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Compilation album by Nirvana
Released December 14, 1992
Recorded 1988–1991
Genre Grunge
Length 44:44
Label DGC
Producer Various
Nirvana chronology
In Utero

Incesticide is a compilation album by the American rock band Nirvana. Incesticide consists of their 1990 single "Sliver", demos, outtakes, covers, and radio broadcast recordings. At the time, the majority of the material on Incesticide was circulating within fan communities (albeit in lower quality). It was widely reported in the music press that the band wanted to offer fans a higher-quality alternative, but in the book Cobain Unseen, Charles R. Cross writes that Kurt Cobain agreed to the release of this compilation because he was allowed complete control over the album's artwork. The album was released on December 14, 1992 in Europe, and December 15, 1992 in the United States and eventually reached number thirty-nine on the Billboard 200. Since the songs were recorded in different sessions and some were recorded when Nirvana did not have a stable formation, the album includes recordings by four different drummers: Chad Channing, Dan Peters, Dale Crover, and Dave Grohl.


  • Songs 1
    • Previously unreleased 1.1
    • Previously released 1.2
  • Artwork and packaging 2
  • Release 3
    • Commercial performance 3.1
    • Critical reception 3.2
  • Track listing 4
  • Personnel 5
  • Charts positions 6
    • Album 6.1
    • Certifications 6.2
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Previously unreleased

  • The songs "Hairspray Queen", "Aero Zeppelin", and "Big Long Now" were officially unreleased at the time, as well as the versions of "Been a Son", "Aneurysm", and "(New Wave) Polly", which are different from the versions previously released on the Blew EP, the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single, and the Nevermind record, respectively.
  • "Downer" appears on the CD version of Nirvana's 1989 debut album Bleach but was only included from the 1992 reissue onwards.

Previously released

  • "Dive" and "Sliver" were released on the "Sliver" single in 1990. "Dive" was also previously released on The Grunge Years compilation album in 1991.
  • "Stain" was released on the Blew EP in 1989.
  • The three cover songs, "Turnaround" (Devo), "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun" (The Vaselines) were released on the Hormoaning EP in 1992, which was only released in Japan and Australia.
  • "Mexican Seafood" appeared on the 1989 Teriyaki Asthma Volume 1 compilation.
  • "Beeswax" appeared on the 1991 Kill Rock Stars compilation album.

Artwork and packaging

The cover art was painted by Cobain,[1] who is credited as Kurdt Kobain in the liner notes.[2] The rubber duck seen on the album's back cover also belonged to Cobain. The front cover prominently displays a poppy, hinting at Cobain's struggle with heroin addiction.

The first several pressings of the album contained liner notes written by Cobain. Versions of the album containing the liner notes by Cobain could be found at record stores as late as 1998. Initial copies in the US and Canada also contained a "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics" sticker.[3]


Commercial performance

Incesticide was released on December 14, 1992 in the United Kingdom, and on December 15, 1992 in the United States.[4] The record label, Geffen, decided against heavily promoting the album, possibly to avoid a "Nirvana burnout" as the band had released Nevermind and four singles in the preceding fifteen months.[5] Despite this lack of promotion and being a collection of old and new material, Incesticide debuted at number 51 in the Billboard 200 and sold 500,000 copies in two months.[6] The album is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. On November 23, 2012, Incesticide was re-released on vinyl as a limited two LP 45 RPM edition for its 20th anniversary.[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [8]
Blender [9]
Robert Christgau (A-)[10]
Rolling Stone [11]
Select [12]

The album received generally positive reviews. "Nobody really wants a Hatful of Hollow-type assortment of Peel/Goodier sessions, b-sides, demos and obscurities in the place of a proper studio album," observed Andrew Perry in Select. "But, hell, wouldn't you try and put an end to the consumer madness going on in your name? And harvest some of the money for yourself? Anyway, people might start talking about the music again…"[12]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Kurt Cobain except where noted. 

No. Title Drummer Length
1. "Dive" (Cobain, Krist Novoselic) Chad Channing 3:55
2. "Sliver"   Dan Peters 2:16
3. "Stain"   Chad Channing 2:41
4. "Been a Son"   Dave Grohl 1:56
5. "Turnaround" (Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale) Dave Grohl 2:19
6. "Molly's Lips" (Eugene Kelly, Frances McKee) Dave Grohl 1:54
7. "Son of a Gun" (Eugene Kelly, Frances McKee) Dave Grohl 2:48
8. "(New Wave) Polly"   Dave Grohl 1:48
9. "Beeswax"   Dale Crover 2:50
10. "Downer"   Dale Crover 1:44
11. "Mexican Seafood"   Dale Crover 1:55
12. "Hairspray Queen" (Cobain, Novoselic) Dale Crover 4:14
13. "Aero Zeppelin" (Cobain, Novoselic) Dale Crover 4:41
14. "Big Long Now"   Chad Channing 5:04
15. "Aneurysm" (Cobain, Novoselic, Dave Grohl) Dave Grohl 4:36


All sessions:

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (January 23, 1988)
Nirvana's first studio demo tape. Those songs went to the compilation in their rough one-hour mix made by Endino on the day of the recording, though he would have loved to be given the chance to mix them properly.
Songs: "Beeswax", "Downer", "Mexican Seafood", "Hairspray Queen" and "Aero Zeppelin"

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (December 1988 – January 1989)
The Bleach recording sessions.
Song: "Big Long Now"

Seattle, WA: Music Source Studios (September 1989)
The Blew EP recording sessions.
Song: "Stain"

  • Chad Channing – drums
  • Steve Fisk – producer

Madison, WI: Smart Studios (April 2, 1990 – April 6, 1990)
The sessions for the planned second Sub Pop album.
Song: "Dive"

  • Chad Channing – drums
  • Butch Vig – producer

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (July 11, 1990)
The "Sliver" Sub Pop single session.
Song: "Sliver"

  • Dan Peters – drums
  • Jack Endino – producer, engineer

London, England: Maida Vale Studio 3 (October 21, 1990)
The 1990 BBC session for John Peel.
Songs: "Turnaround", "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun"

London, England: Maida Vale Studio 4 (November 9, 1991)
The 1991 BBC session for Mark Goodier.
Songs: "Been a Son", "(New Wave) Polly" and "Aneurysm"

  • Dave Grohl – drums
  • Miti Adhikari – producer
  • John Taylor – engineer

Charts positions


  1. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 295
  2. ^ Incesticide liner notes
  3. ^ "Incesticide - Americas". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  4. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 357–358
  5. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 296
  6. ^ Cross, p. 269
  7. ^ "RECORD STORE DAY - SpecialRelease". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Incesticide at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 February 2005.
  9. ^ [2] Archived January 6, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 26, 1993). "Incesticide"Consumer Guide: Nirvana: .  
  11. ^ Alden, Grant (January 21, 1993). > Album Review"Incesticide"Recordings: Nirvana .  
  12. ^ a b Select, January 1993
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Australian Chart Archives". Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2003). Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 951-1-21053-X.
  15. ^ (The user has to select "Nirvana" from the drop down list) "InfoDisc : Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" . Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  16. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2012-02-24. 
  17. ^ Album Chart-Book Complete Edition 1970-2005. Orikonmāketingupuromōshon (2006). ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  18. ^ "Nirvana Album & Song Chart History". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  19. ^ "Nirvana Top Albums/CDs positions (26 - 190)".  
  20. ^ Roberts, David, ed. (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. 19th edition. HIT Entertainment. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide".  
  22. ^ "French album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide" (in French).  
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide".   Enter Incesticide in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  • Azerrad, Michael. Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday, 1994. ISBN 0-385-47199-8
  • Cross, Charles. Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain. Hyperion, 2001. ISBN 0-7868-8402-9

External links

  • Live Nirvana Companion to Official Releases - Incesticide
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