December 14, 1992: Nirvana Incesticide releases in Europe. The album would see an American release one day later.
Incesticide isn’t the proper follow-up to Nirvana’s 1991 breakthrough Nevermind, even though I consider it to be. The story goes like this: Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop (Nirvana’s first label) contacted Gary Gersh of DGC (Nirvana’s major label) to let him know the band had a bevy of unreleased early Nirvana recordings. Sub Pop had planned on putting them out, but realized DGC’s distribution had greater reach.
Poneman and Sub Pop ended up selling the songs that would become Incesticide to DGC for an undisclosed six-figure amount. Now you’re probably asking: “How the hell did they get Kurt to agree to this?” The labels gave Cobain complete control over the artwork. I’d say he was motivated, too, because there were already low-quality version of the songs circulating in the fan community. Now there was an official release.
Incesticide is my favorite Nirvana album because it plays like an album, not just a collection of b-sides and rarities. Which is a feat, considering the tracks feature four different drummers and were recorded at a wide range of times and locations. That says something about Cobain’s songwriting ability: his voice comes through clear and strong, no matter the environment.
Nirvana ‘Incesticide’ Turns 30
It’s also my 14-year-old’s favorite Nirvana album. When I told them I was writing this and asked them to weigh in, they said:
“The friggin’ songs on that album were the reason my Spotify Wrapped was so skewed this year! I was in the top 7% of Nirvana listeners. I was like: How?!”” When I asked Kade if Incesticide is their favorite Nirvana album, they replied: “Yeah. Because it has the most songs I like off of it.” Well, that’s the best possible reason for an album by a band to be your favorite, I’d say.
Because of that, I’m letting Kade throw together a six-pack of their favorite tracks from the album. You can take a spin through those below.