Within a matter of months after Kurt Cobain's suicide in April of 1994, fans started asking for the official release of all the demos, stray songs, alternate takes, and rarities in Nirvana's vaults. Due to various legal disputes between the surviving bandmembers and the Cobain estate, this long-awaited set of unreleased material did not appear until late 2004, when the three-disc, one-DVD box With the Lights Out
finally appeared. Not counting the 20-song DVD, the box contains 61 tracks, with nearly two-thirds of this material seeing its first official release on this set (the remaining songs are B-sides, one-off singles, and compilation contributions that didn't make it to the compilation Incesticide
, or appeared after its 1992 release). Much of this unreleased material has circulated frequently on bootlegs over the past ten years -- most notably on the 1995 box set Into the Black
and the multi-volume Outcesticide
series -- but the fidelity here is much, much better, and there are several items here that have never been bootlegged, including early alternate versions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Heart Shaped Box." Just as importantly, no major item that appeared on the bootlegs does not
appear here (with the arguable exception of the Kiss cover "Do You Love Me"), which makes this the definitive collection of Nirvana studio rarities and outtakes. As the sessionography in the liner notes indicates, this hardly contains all of the unreleased material, but it certainly contains all of the noteworthy unreleased material.