Total production costs for recording the album: $606.17.
The releases with catalog DAMP114 came in several versions:
· Black vinyl in a black/silver sleeve.
· Blue vinyl in a black/silver sleeve.
· Blue vinyl in a black/blue sleeve.
· Blue vinyl in a blue/silver sleeve.
· Purple vinyl in a purple/silver sleeve.
· Red vinyl in a black/silver sleeve.
· Red vinyl in a red/silver sleeve.
· Red vinyl in an orange/silver sleeve.
· Yellow vinyl in a black/silver sleeve.
· Yellow vinyl in a black/yellow sleeve.
The Russian SP34b and the Saudi Arabian EN-4563 releases were counterfeits.
The Japanese cassette release did not have a catalog number.
SP34 + SP73 was a limited edition swirled vinyl packaged with the with Sliver single.
For more info on vinyl version see this release
With its title derived from a poster advising heroin users to bleach their needles before use, it's easy to look back at Nirvana's debut album of 1989 - famously recorded for just $606 - and conclude that all the warning signs were there. Collapse was inevitable, disaster just over the horizon. But then you listen to the record and fall in love, again, with a collection of scrappy, scratchy songs that comprised the foundation for one of the best rock albums of all time.
That bona-fide classic is Nevermind, of course - Nirvana's 1991 release elevated the trio of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic (Chris at the time) and Dave Grohl to superstar status, aided in no small way by the runaway success of Smells Like Teen Spirit and the reach of MTV. But Bleach is an angrier, fidgety affair; it's the sound of a hungry band putting all they've got into sessions they couldn't afford to repeat. As such, compared to its successor it's a rough-edged listen, and the actual songwriting on show is at a developing stage, a lack of sing-along choruses limiting its mainstream reach. But the promise that sweats out from the cracks between songs, between the fractured riffs and guttural screams of Paper Cuts, the frenetic flailing of Swap Meet and the affectingly understated ardour of About a Girl, is incredible.
Cobain told Spin magazine, four years after Bleach's release, that many of its lyrics were throwaway, often written hours before recording. He had a point - there's not a great deal that's especially memorable - but the way Cobain delivers his syllables is perfectly indicative of how he must've felt at the time: disenchanted and disenfranchised, ostracised and alone. Finding love, and seeing his band rise through the ranks, would lead to a different-sounding Nirvana on their next album, but here there's a real sense that the writing comes from the darkest pit at the bottom of an acid-ravaged stomach. And this was before the heroin really took hold.
Though a historically significant recording given what followed it, Bleach is the least-essential of Nirvana's three studio albums. What makes this deluxe reissue worth the money, though, is the inclusion of a live set from 1990. Previously unreleased, the band's set at the Pine Street Theatre, Portland is an arresting listen, featuring pre-Bleach numbers Sappy and Spank Thru. Turn it up loud and lose yourself in the ferment.
Recorded for a smidgen over $600, some Nirvana die-hards argue that Bleach is Nirvana's finest work. Such connoisseur's say that while Nevermind is revered as the soundtrack for 'Generation X', its reluctant spokesman, Kurt Cobain, shows his true colours in Bleach - before the unwanted fame that ultimately cost his life took a hold.
Sophomore release, Nevermind, gripped the music world and thrust Cobain into the celebrity role he seemed to detest, but it also triggered interest in Bleach and uncovered the gems that had been hidden, with original sales of just 6,000 copies.
Subsequent Nirvana albums had a lyrical complexity to them, matching the personal struggles that Cobain went through whilst writing them. Bleach differs since its quality lies in the simplicity of the songs that deliver the crux of the album - the boredom of growing up as a confused teenager in a sleepy part of conservative America.
Kicking off with the dirty sound of "Blew" and "Floyd The Barber" - a couple of furious, dark and muddy openers - the albums' stand-out track follows. "All About A Girl" is a ballad that should be used as a template by today's Emo tyros, with Cobain's superb throaty vocal over a much poppier sound than much of what we are normally used to from Nirvana.
"School" is the classic example of the minimalist grunge, with just four lines hidden under a filthy base and the album reaches a thrilling crescendo with the angry duo of "Big Cheese" and "Downer".
But it is what's missing that makes Bleach important - Chad Channing's hit-and-miss drumming before Dave Grohl took over the sticks and the frankly awful rushed production job that leaves the album full of feedback and distortion. Combined, these two factors are what make Bleach special, adding a chaotic and grimy feel that Nirvana, as the darlings of the Seattle grunge scene, stood for.