Nirvana: No New Songs, But Plenty of Vinyl

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

At the “Wax Attacks!” panel at SXSW on Saturday, Monti Olson, a senior VP of Universal Music Publishing Group/Interscope Records announced that, over the coming year, the company would make many of Nirvana’s albums available in 180-gram vinyl for the first time.

At the “Wax Attacks!” panel at SXSW on Saturday, Monti Olson, a senior VP of Universal Music Publishing Group/Interscope Records announced that, over the coming year, the company would make many of Nirvana’s albums available in 180-gram vinyl for the first time. Olson’s Original Recordings Group will be handling the Nirvana reissues, having recently handled vinyl albums for Beck and TV on the Radio. Scheduled for this year, ORG will release Nevermind (1991), In Utero (1993) and MTV Unplugged (1994), while Sub Pop is currently in the process of manufacturing a vinyl version of the Nirvana’s 1989 debut album Bleach.

Speaking about the vinyl releases, Olson said, “They’re the best sounding records on the market. We spend $15 per LP on manufacturing. That’s an enormous expense, but it shows in the final product, it shows by our sales, it shows by our growing customer base.”

Olson might want to take a more cautious vocal approach though, especially considering the news that Nirvana’s music licensing rights have earned less than expected. In 2005, Primary Wave bought a 50% share in the publishing rights for $50 million, but has so far, only earned $2.3 million on licenses, leaving experts questioning the wisdom of Primary Wave’s purchase.

Whatever the sales outcome of Nirvana’s vinyl releases, fans will sadly not be hearing any more new songs. Bassist Krist Novoselic made an announcement to that effect early in the month, although he did offer, “There’s a lot of video.” Time will soon tell if the promise of exciting visuals will be enough to entice fans to purchase the new Nirvana vinyl LP releases.

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