Rarities Vol. 1 – Review


Vol. 1 (DGC )
by Joey Ammo

Prior to selling nine million copies of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album, David Geffen’s DGC label was an independent set up to sign and develop new alternative bands. Like their related neighbors, Sub Pop (only with a whole lot more money), DGC has helped bring attention to some bands that have gone on to become well known. This sampling shows just how impressive some of their early prospects were.

Counting Crows‘ “Einstein on the Beach” may be the radio hit from this collection, but there’s a lot more meat on this bone. Check out Sonic Youth‘s psychedelic acoustic mess “Compilation Blues,” and Hole‘s haunting rocker, “Beautiful Son.” Teenage Fanclub gives us the let’s-get-drunk” pop tune, “Mad Dog 20/20,” and the Posies contribute their best Hollies-meets-Marshall amps impression. Cell, That Dog, Sloan, and St. Jonny‘s appearance on this compilation demonstrates DGC’s continued commitment to exposing new talent to the world.

One thing that concerns me is the inclusion of the Nirvana track “Pay to Play,” which is actually just the rough demo of “Stay Away” from Nevermind. I wish Mr. Geffen had accorded some dignity to the memory of Kurt Cobain and refrained from exploiting him in this way. After Hendrix’s death, the public was exposed to a barrage of “rare tapes” which were not meant for public release by the artist, but rather were just the record companies capitalizing on his tragedy. I wish DGC would not do this to Cobain.

Rarities Vol. 1 is not exactly up there with the Singles soundtrack, but it’s not bad.