"New" Nirvana video, is this the worst thing ever?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The video has been out for a while (and has managed to find its way into VH1's countdown- this week between Faith Hill and Bon Jovi- somewhere I hear a man spinning in his grave...) and Interscope was pushing it via downloads on their website.

    Is it just my imagination, or is this the most nauseating video ever produced? My major faults are:
    1) The editor attempted to actually cut together the footage to make it look like they were "playing" the song in the clips.
    2) A subset of problem #1, as a result of this editing decision- they cannot show any single shot too long as it would give away the fact that they are NOT, in fact, performing the song. As a result, this has to be one of the worst quick cut videos I've seen. In a passing observation on VH1, I noticed the longest they stayed on any one shot was 2 seconds (a whopping 60 frames!)

    In the course of the video there are literally a hundred pieces of video/film- and they never stay on any one shot (even prepared titles) for more than 2 second. I felt dizzy when it was over...

    Anyone else notice this?

    -V
     
  2. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    I think your perspective differs from mine. I can see where you're coming from but I don't think the editor of this archival footage intended to "make it look like they were 'playing' the song."
    I saw it more as a retrospective. The black bars around the picture act as a border of a TV set. We're back in 1993 watching Nirvana in our living rooms.
     
  3. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I definitely noticed the editing as a problem. I don't know that it's as bad as the Iron Maiden live in Rio DVD, but somewhat nauseating anyway.

    As a side note, has anyone seen the final track-listing for the greatest hits album? It's supposedly out tomorrow, and I can't find any website that has a confirmed track listing.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    At first it came across as a nice montage, but about 1/2 way through, it got pretty annoying.
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    There are several screaming shots with synced "vocal" delivery, and couple with sync'd drums (including several where the original shot had to be sped up or slowed down to match the song)-- I think if they dind't mean to do this on purpose they sure spent a lot of time lining them up. One a quick count, I'd guess there are at least 80 shots where the vocal delivery is specifically edited to start or end with the song (creating the illusion that its the same) and probably 50-60 where the shots of drums have been edited to closely resemble the parts in the song. There is also the whole segment in the middle with feedback where they picked shots where Kurt was pushing his guiat into the amp...

    The chorus from about 1:00 to 1:20 have at least a dozen shots which have been edited to make it look like the match the music (including sharp inhale and opening and closing of screams, the distortion pedal stomp...)

    In fact there are no shots in the video which are of him singing anything that doesn't match!

    Does anyone know where the footage of Kurt playing around on the drum kit (seemingly in a recording studio)? This is about the only footage in the video I haven't seen somewhere before (besides one quick clip for a TV appearance I didn't recognize). I was really hoping that there was some home video footage of them recording with Vig or Albini- but have never seen any...

    -V

    PS: I checked, the longest shot is just over 3 seconds at the very beginning - the redhair shot that opens the video is 101 frames. In the first 1 minute there are over 125 cuts (not counting the stuff that rolls by in 1-2 frame blurs in the opening, which would likely push the total over 200).

    I would guess there are over 400 cuts in the 3:40 of the video. Means an average of about 15 frames of video per clip (1/2 second). Ugh.
     
  6. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    From the webmaster of nirvanaclub.com:

    After receiving the final retail version of the "NIRVANA" (Best-Of) album I can confirm that the tracklisting is indeed the following:


    1. You Know You're Right
    2. About A Girl
    3. Been A Son
    4. Sliver
    5. Smells Like Teen Spirit
    6. Come As You Are
    7. Lithium
    8. In Bloom
    9. Heart-Shaped Box
    10. Pennyroyal Tea
    11. Rape Me
    12. Dumb
    13. All Apologies
    14. The Man Who Sold The World
    15. Where Did You Sleep Last Night *


    First of all: track fifteen Where Did You Sleep Last Night (From MTV Unplugged) only appears on the European version of the album.

    You Know You're Right is identical to the version that leaked online exactly a month ago. However, the quality on the album version is of course better. Been A Son is, interestingly, the version that was put on the 1989 Blew EP and was not taken from Incesticide. The Blew EP version is slightly longer. All Apologies is the MTV Unplugged version and not the one from In Utero. Pennyroyal Tea is the Scott Litt remix that was made for the Pennyroyal Tea single. Apparently, after In Utero was released, Kurt Cobain complained about how certain songs were recorded and mixed. Pennyroyal Tea was one of them. A single of the song was planned for release in the spring of 1994 but all promotion halted when Kurt died. Only a few copies of the single have since been uncovered. Even so, many counterfeits have been produced and they do in fact contain this version/mix of Pennyroyal Tea. It can also be found on the infamous "K-mart" version of the In Utero album. The new mix is better but I don't think it is a huge improvement over the In Utero one.

    One of the main qualities this Best-Of album has to offer is the fact that all songs were re-mastered. Of course only the early material from the Sub Pop days truly benefits from this. The Nevermind, In Utero and MTV Unplugged albums sound just fine without any additional mastering. But, songs like About a Girl and Sliver have lived up a lot and seem to have benefitted significantly from the re-mastering process. They definitely sound better than their earlier counterparts. Even the controversial choice Been A Son has more crisp vocals and this version is much better than the 1991 BBC version that landed on the Incesticide compilation album from 1992.

    As for the booklet that comes with the CD; it basically offers some Nirvana photos (most of which have been seen many times before), and linernotes by David Fricke of Rolling Stone Magazine fame. He goes through each song with some background info and personal comments, starting with You Know You're Right. In particular the information on how this track came to be is interesting, albeit some of it was published in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. I think Fricke's linernotes are very well written, contain a lot of interesting information and details on the songs and Nirvana in general. And as long as a former band member wasn't going to write this piece (as Krist Novoselic did with 1996's From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah for example), David Fricke seems to have been a good choice for the job.

    What's interesting about the tracklisting is that it is the exact same as the one that was posted online by various sources (most noteably amazon.com) about two weeks ago. Shortly after it was posted then, James Barber (Courtney Love's manager and one of the main people responsible for this CD) claimed that the tracklisting was incorrect. What he must have meant was that some versions of the songs were different (i.e. All Apologies being from the Unplugged show, and Been A Son being from the Blew EP) and re-mastered.

    A few more details should be noted; there will not be any singles promoting the album. There were rumors of a You Know You're Right single but this will not happen, unfortunately. Only a 1-track promo CD of the song has been compiled and sent to radio stations. And then, of course, there is the music video. I believe the tracklisting will be the same all around the world except, as noted earlier, the European release will have 15 tracks instead of 14 (adding Where Did You Sleep Last Night as a bonus).

    There is speculation (mostly based on a tracklisting posted at the Japanese Amazon) that the Japanese edition of the album would have no less than 20 tracks. The extra songs supposedly include Negative Creep, Love Buzz, the much wanted Aneurysm, Polly, and Serve The Servants. While it makes sense to have these tracks on the CD (that would certainly strengthen it's appeal and quality significantly), it is extremely unlikely that there will be a 6-song difference between the US and Japanese releases. It is indeed common for Japanese editions of albums to have one or two bonus tracks (due to the generally high price of CD's in the country), but I've never once come across one offering 6 additional songs. Therefore, until this can be confirmed, I will assume they are getting the 15-track version as well.

    Funnily, despite being marked with a October 28 release date, the album was apparently released already today in Australia. At least in some stores. The same happened with the new Foo Fighters album. The official release dates, however, are October 28 and 29.

    As for my personal review of the CD -- most of my thoughts on it can be gathered from the above and from my analysis (which turned out to be valid after all!) in the October 8 story. To sum up my personal opinion; I still think the CD is way too short. They could easily have found room for almost an additional 10 songs and with there being so many classics and fan favs to choose from, it's a damn shame that they didn't utilize this option. The songs they did choose are for the most part fine (with the notable exception of Been A Son which has no place on this CD whatsoever). Indeed, a good portion of Nirvana's best and most popular songs are on the album - and for that reason alone it should belong in any music lover's collection (Nirvana fan or not).

    As stated above, I also think the re-mastering is fairly well done, but perhaps unnecessary in the case of the post-1990 songs. Even these songs DO sound better, but still. Overall, it's a CD that I would recommend to a music lover, but from a Nirvana fan's point of view, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    It serves very well as an introduction to Nirvana and contains the songs that could be expected from such a release. However, to call the CD the best of Nirvana wouldn't be entirely right, in my opinion. Classics such as Sappy, Aneurysm, Drain You and even Something In The Way are sorely missed. But, make your own assumptions. Go out and buy the CD and judge for yourself. No matter how you twist and turn it, it is a CD packed with brilliant songs and they sound better than ever in their re-mastered format. Hopefully next time something comes out of the Nirvana camp, it will have the fans' wishes in mind and give them something they have long desired (and deserved).
     
  7. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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  8. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Vince, I agree with you on the video and the attempts to give a performance impression. There are just too many indicators that make the attempt to do so seem likely.

    Love the song though.
     
  9. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    I'm waiting for the boxset myself. I'm hoping that a lot of unreleased stuff sees the light of day when it is released. I bet there's probably an album's worth of material out there that we have never heard.
     
  10. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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  11. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    The video is insulting. The new album is upsetting because it is what Ms Love wanted and not the band. But hey whatever if thats what it took to release the box set and free up the rights to the material then I'll deal with it. I am going to purchase this cd just to hear the remastering of the songs. Lets Face You Know Your Right is a great song anyway. Besides Best Buy has it on sell this week for $10.99 Thats not a huge loss to me. I do recommend everyone to take a look over at www.justiceforkurt.com Interesting site.
     
  12. Jarrod_L

    Jarrod_L Stunt Coordinator

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    The new video is indeed a travesty. The first thing I thought was Kurt rolling in the grave (although, I believe he was cremated).

    I'm staying far away from the greatest hits CD. No need to line Courtney's pockets w/ any more cash...unfortunately, she'll get a cut of the boxed set money, which I'm sure I'll shell out for.
     
  13. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I just saw the video.. I havent seen other nirvana videos, but my friend says all their other ones are like of them live, but i dont htink the other ones cut to a new scene every 3 seconds.
    And i definitely saw how they were trying to 'simulate' kurt singing to the song, especially at the end. [​IMG]
     
  14. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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    Honestly I really dont have a problem with the video at all... so what if it was synch'ed up to look like theyve actually played it live... I could careless, its a nice little montage... much better than a bunch of still photos IMO. I like the tune I like the vid.

    As for the "Best of" plain and simple it is way too short. As much as I'm a big Nirvana fan Im not going to drop $15 on a 50 minute CD, when there is plenty of material to fill 70 minutes, especially considering I have the rest on CD already.
     
  15. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    pretty sad there is so little video out on a great band
    Im happy I got to see them.... its crappy I dont remember more of the show
     
  16. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    I feel The Smashing Pumpkins vid Untitled uses a similar idea, but to much better effect.
     
  17. Paul Case

    Paul Case Supporting Actor

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    I don't see a problem with the video. To be honest, it really doesn't strike me as being that different from the Lithium video except for the speedy cuts. So many videos employ that same mode of hyperactive cutting these days that I have become somewhat immune to its ill effects, so even that aspect of the video doesn't bother me all that much. Hell, I'm just happy to see NIRVANA getting played on TV again. It is refreshing. Especially since the song itself is, in my opinion, so great and most of the other music on MTV sucks so much.
    As for this notion of Kurt 'rolling around in his grave' because he would disapprove of the way his legacy is being handled, I find that to be completely irrelevant. Kurt Cobain forfeited all rights to the handling of his music/image/writings/legacy the moment he put that shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger. I highly respect the man and love his work as an artist, but if he had cared that much about the way his work should be presented then he would have stuck around to make sure it was done right. If he hadn't killed himself, they could have made a proper video for the song. So ultimately any mishandling of Nirvana's legacy is Kurt Cobain's own fault and thus I find it hard to be critical of any new Nirvana/Cobain releases on the basis that 'Kurt would have wanted it done differently.'
    I'm buying the new CD today, even though I've already downloaded the whole thing. Why? Well, #1 I love Nirvana and want to support them so that there will be more releases in the future. #2, even though I already owned most of the tracks, I did not have an officially released version of YKYR, I never shelled out the $100+ to get the Blew EP which was the only release this CD's version of "Been A Son" has ever appeared on before now, and I have never owned an official release of the Scott Litt remix of "Pennyroyal Tea" that appears on the new CD. So the album actually has quite a few selling points for me and any other die-hard Nirvana fan. I don't think it's a matter of shelling out $15 for one song at all. It's a matter of how deep your interest in the band and its music runs. Besides, Best Buy is selling Nirvana this week for $10.99. [​IMG]
    Anyway, in closing I would just like to say that I really wish Courtney Love had just stayed out of the whole thing and let Dave and Krist release the box set as they originally intended, instead of forcing them to release this greatest hits Cd and a rarities album first while delaying the box set until 2004. But that's the way it happened, so I will make the best of it. Besides, I am honestly thankful for any new Nirvana release that hits the shelves. [​IMG]
     
  18. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    I hope now that the rights issue has been cleared up, They can start releasing a couple of DVD's like the Unplugged show.
     
  19. Kevin Deacon

    Kevin Deacon Second Unit

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    Vince, Nice set of statistics. Do you think you might have just have a little too much time on your hands[​IMG]
     
  20. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    There are a few guys capturing the individual scenes and making a list of all the shots used. They started the day it was played and are STILL working on it.

    The "Red Hair" Shots Vince mentioned are outtakes from the Come As You Are video. The only shots like that you see in the final video are obscured by water, although you can make out the red-haired Kurt.
     

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