Nirvana – Love Buzz

Released as a limited edition via the Sub Pop Singles Club, Nirvana’s first seven-inch is a slice of rock history…     

As the shtick of glam metal and classic rock began to wear thin in the late 80s, there was a new scene coming up from the Pacific Northwest, particularly Seattle. The band who would gain the most success from this scene would be Nirvana on the back of their groundbreaking second album, Nevermind, but they got their start in 1988 with the debut single, a cover of Love Buzz by Shocking Blue.

The version differs from that which featured on the Bleach album a year later. The album version was remastered and had the 10-second ‘cartoon’ intro known as ‘Montage of Heck’ removed. The B-side to this legendary single is Big Cheese. It was recorded at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle and was produced by Jack Endino and Nirvana. Both songs were later released on Bleach, though Love Buzz was remixed. This was Nirvana’s first single and 1,000 hand-numbered copies were made available to members of the Sub Pop Singles Club, with another 200 copies in un-numbered sleeves given to those within Sub Pop circles. It is widely believed that Kurt Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, owns copy number one.

No matter how many records were made and what sleeve they came in (numbered or un-numbered), the vinyl should be the same, including the matrix etchings. It has been subject to numerous counterfeit versions, but they are often easy to spot and tend to be on coloured vinyl with poor-quality sleeves. Original pressings of Love Buzz in mint condition have been known to change hands for up to £2,500. It is highly sought after not only because of the low number pressed, but also due to its significance within the history of a band who changed the face of rock music forever.

Glen Bushell