Nirvana: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah – [Record 5]
16 live performances between 1989 and 1994.
Includes Excerpts of Band/Audience bulls*!##ing & Ranting Available Only on this Limited Edition 2-record Set.
From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah: is a live album by the American alternative rock band Nirvana. It was released on October 1, 1996 and features live performances recorded from 1989 to 1994. As opposed to Nirvana’s previous live album, MTV Unplugged in New York (1994), which features an acoustic performance, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah is a compilation of live electric performances.
The album opened at number one on the Billboard 200. It spent 25 weeks on the chart and became the band’s sixth platinum album since 1991. As of 2001, it has sold over 1.15 million copies in the United States alone.
Record 1, Side 1.
3, Drain You.
5, Smells LIke Teen Spirit.
6, Been a Son.
Record 1, Side 2.
9, Spank You.
10, Scentless Apprentice.
11, Heart-Shaped Box.
Record 2, Side 1.
12, Milk it.
13, Negative Creep.
Record 2, Side 2.
Release: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah was the second Nirvana album to be released following the death of singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain in April 1994. It was compiled primarily by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who also penned the album’s liner notes. Novoselic and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl had originally intended on releasing a live album in 1994, to accompany what became MTV Unplugged in New York in a two-disc set originally titled Verse Chorus Verse, named after both a Nirvana song and the most prevalent song structure in the band’s music, but were emotionally unable to compile it so soon after Cobain’s death.
The album’s title refers to the Wishkah River in Aberdeen, Washington, where Cobain claimed to have spent nights sleeping under the Young Street Bridge as a teenager (as referenced in the song “Something in the Way,” from the band’s 1991 release, Nevermind). This claim has since been refuted by Novoselic, who said, “He never lived under that bridge. He hung out there, but you couldn’t live on those muddy banks, with the tide coming up and down. That was his own revisionism.”
No commercial singles were released from the album, but promotional singles were sent out for radio play for a number of the songs, including “Aneurysm” (U.S. and U.K.), “Drain You” (U.S.), “Lithium” (the Netherlands) and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Spain and France). A limited edition promotional box set was also released in Australia containing three promotional singles for the songs “Aneurysm”, “Heart-Shaped Box”, and “Polly”. The box set also included Nevermind: It’s an Interview, a promotional interview disc first released in 1992.
Reception: Critical reception of the album was generally positive. It was rated #9 in Rolling Stone’s 1997 critics’ poll of the top 10 albums of 1996, and #14 in Spin’s Best Albums of 1996.
Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone described the album as the “emotional, visceral flip side” of MTV Unplugged in New York, and as “riotous and liberating,” showing the band “in their most natural state, smashing instruments and inducing irreversible tinnitus.” Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it “a little scattershot” but “still a terrific record” which “finds a great band in top form.” American music critic Robert Christgau wrote, “I play Unplugged to refresh my memory of a sojourner’s spirituality. I’ll play this one when I want to remember a band’s guts, fury, and rock and roll music.”