After the release of September’s 20th anniversary version of In Utero in 3 CD / 1 DVD, radio-friendly-unit-shifter £80 box-set version, you might figure there wasn’t much left at the bottom of the Nirvana barrel.
And yes, new book Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History includes plenty of familiar material – the band’s '50 all-time favourite albums' list, that’s made much of here, was first published in Kurt Cobain: Journals a decade ago – bit it still wins on two counts.
One: the strength of the contributors, which include Cobain biographer Charles R Cross (and various decent US rock critics). And two: its cataloguing of tour memorabilia and ephemera, including gig posters, merchandise, handbills and backstage laminates that will have you peering in closer at the typography and illustrations.
The band’s sense of aesthetics were frequently anti-this or anti-that, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have one – as anyone who recalls Cobain provocatively photographed by David Sims in a flowery dress, wearing nail varnish and Kohl and looking amazing, will attest.
Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History, 15 November 15, £25.
Photograph by David Sims