Here It Comes Again: Nirvana Collection from UMe This Time at 45rpm (updated 7/9/15)

First released in 2002 on CD and double LP, this collection of familiar Nirvana tunes plus the then previously unreleased "You Know You're Right" is again being reissued with some new production twists.

The 14 tracks include all of your favorites (that you perhaps already own). The previous vinyl set was in a single sleeve jacket. This one is a gatefold, but more significantly it's at 45rpm and pressed on 200g vinyl as well as a less deluxe set on 150g vinyl.

If you buy the 200g records you get a 96k/24 bit download. Buy the 150g set and you get 320kbps MP4 audio. The compilation will also be issues as a Blu-Ray Pure Audio at 96/24 plus three DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.

No doubt in my mind that the LPs were mastered from the high resolution files. Nirvana only produced a few albums before Kurt Cobain's passing. So do you need this compilation? Well if you didn't buy Never Mind when Mobile Fidelity issued it some years back, or you missed the spectacular, rocking, ORG Music reissues from a few years ago, cut from analog tape and pressed at RTI and now out of print, this is probably a good way to go. Certainly better than the original Sub Pop vinyl more than likely cut from a CD.

The real lesson here is: he/she who hesitates loses. Those ORG Music reissues were the best.

Received an email today with mastering details from UMe, which we very much appreciate:

"We used highest resolution digital files as noted below for each song. Final assembly and lacquers were cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. For the lacquer cutting process only, the last two 44.1kHz 16-bit sources "All Apologies" and "The Man Who Sold The World" were up res'd to 96kHz 24-bit so all audio was a consistent resolution to cut from. For the Blu-ray Pure Audio edition these same two tracks remain as 44.1kHz 16-bit files."

Recorded by Adam Kasper
at Robert Lang Studio Mixed by Adam Kasper
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios Previously unreleased

Recorded and mixed by Jack Endino
Drums: Chad Channing
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound Licensed courtesy of Sub Pop Records
(p)1989 Sub Pop Records
Originally appeared on Bleach

Recorded and mixed by Steve Fisk
Drums: Chad Channing
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering Licensed courtesy of Sub Pop Records
(p)1990 Sub Pop Records
Originally appeared on "Blew" EP

Recorded and mixed by Jack Endino
Drums: Dan Peters
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering Licensed courtesy of Sub Pop Records
(p)1990 Sub Pop Records
Originally appeared on "Sliver" single

Produced and recorded by Butch Vig
Mixed by Andy Wallace
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios Originally appeared on Nevermind

Recorded by Steve Albini
Mixed by Scott Litt
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Mastering Studios Original versions appeared on In Utero
* previously unreleased single mix

Recorded and mixed by Steve Albini
96kHz 24-bit Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Mastering Studios Originally appeared on In Utero

Produced by Nirvana and Scott Litt
Mixed by Scott Litt
Guitar: Pat Smear
Cello: Lori Goldston
44.1kHz 16-bit Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios Originally appeared on MTV Unplugged in New York Courtesy of MTV Networks

zzcorey's picture

Wish they did more stuff, my nevermind, damn the torpedoes, and blood sweat & tears from them are all unbelievably spectacular

Martin's picture

I have the ORG releases, which are the best. Those pressings will have your speakers smoking and the neighbours knocking on the door...
After that it's the German pressing with the "320" in the deadwax which also sounds great.
I have a couple of other pressings of Nevermind, all of which suck. The Simply Vinyl is a waste of plastic.
Digital, I'll be passing on these. Analogue, I would have gone for it.

Superfuzz's picture

The hi-res files offered for download will probably be the ones already available at places like HDtracks etc... and they sound pretty horrible to me, extremely compressed just like the Cd remasters. If they cut this new 45RPM from digital files, it can't be those files... maybe they have some uncompressed hi-res files they can use. Anyway, I have all I need of this music so this is a pass for me.

MrRom92's picture

It wouldn't be impossible for them to cut from tape considering they did cut In Utero @ 45rpm, DMM by Abbey Road a couple of years ago. Of course digital for the 2 tracks recorded by Sony.

Bix's picture

The 2013 (date of initial release, it still gets repressed) Geffen "Pressed at Pallas" version of Nevermind is indeed Bernie Grundman's cut for ORG Music, just with "ORG" obviously crossed out in the deadwax. Same goes for the 2013 Geffen "Pressed at Pallas" version of Unplugged in new York. Both are readily available at reasonable prices, with fantastic pressing quality, great mastering, and great packaging, as well.

They're some of the best reissues you can get, especially at retail. You cannot go wrong with them.

usernaim250's picture

Sub Pop hadn't even released a CD when Bleach came out, so almost certainly the analog mixes went straight from Reciprocal Audio to K-disc where it was cut by Carol Hibbs, then to Greg Lee Processing where it was plated. These plates were used for the white vinyl first pressing, the black vinyl second, and the colored vinyl 1992 editions (which were pressed at Erika).

Presumably, a 1:1 analog copy was sent to Tupelo in the UK, who did release the album on both vinyl and CD in 1989. There was also an Aussie release that was probably from an analog dub. Sub Pop issued it on CD in 1990. And Geffen and others pressed many versions worldwide, who knows the source.

In 2002 it was remastered for vinyl by John Golden (who had worked a k-disc). I don't know the source, but I'd bet on analog. It sounds nearly as big and good as the original (which is admittedly rough).

In 2009 it was mastered again from analog at Sterling.

In other words, I don't think you can buy a US copy that's not analog-sourced.

blackmetal's picture

Why waste the money on a huge cumbersome CD burned on vinyl. I know why, but it's ridiculous. They have the tapes and choose to release it on the fly and call it audiophile grade because they produced it at 45rpm. Once again the music industry (bands included) are given another life-saver and they go for the jugular of the consumer to squeeze the money out with record weight and doubling the LP. Only 30-40% think long-term business.

Rudy's picture

I know there are sonic benefits, but I'm not a proponent of 45 RPM releases either. I agree this sounds like a money grab, but in addition, I'd rather not have to jump up every three songs and flip a record. I love the sound on the Elvis 24 Karat set I have, but I rarely play it since it is a pain in the ass to play back. I got a free Metallica "Load" 45RPM set and also the Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" (a gift) and those mostly sit unplayed also.

In the meantime, I need to find that ORG pressing of "Nevermind"...

dobyblue's picture

ORG Music did the first pressing of Nevermind at RTI then subsequent pressings at Pallas while their license was still active. I believe the same for the others.

If you missed the ORG of Nevermind the 2013 pressing also uses the same mastering and is pressed at Pallas, very smart of UMe to do that as clearly they listened to people denouncing the awful mastering used on the 4LP "20th Anniversary" edition which was obviously pressed from the same slammed 24/96 files Bob did for the BD-A and digital downloads (and CD).

Having compared the ORG to the MOFI I think the ORG handily wins, it resolves the hi-hats and cymbals with this clarity that is lost on all other masterings.

The 45rpm of Incesticide also is AAA by Bernie, was sold on RSD BF in 2013.

GardoGardo's picture

Michael, great info from UMe but did you receive any info as to when these were remastered? Apparently Bob Ludwig mastered YKYR to 24bit in 2002 - it appears they could be using this? Was hoping for a more recent transfer of that track and the Nevermind tracks...