“You Know You’re Right,” the opening and previously unreleased track to this overdue compilation of Seattle-based “grunge rock” band Nirvana’s best material, demonstrates fairly handily that, up until almost the very end, the late Kurt Cobain could knock together a raw and riveting display of crystallized emotion. And the song is as well-performed and recorded as any of the group’s other material.
Speaking of which, everything you might expect is here. Highlights: “Sliver,” with its insistent, childlike mantra “Grandma take me home/Grandma take me home"; the breakthrough “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” with its magnetic, driving riff and the bitterly accurate observation “Acting stupid and contagious/Here we are now, entertain us"; “Come As You Are,” “Lithium,” “In Bloom,” “Heart Shaped Box” and, from MTV Unplugged, the live version of “All Apologies” and a great and somehow appropriate cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World.”
This is a nice collection that justly serves as a primer for newcomers to Nirvana and as a reminder for the rest of us.