"From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah," an album of sixteen live performances, was released on October 1, 1996. The album got its name from a river in Aberdeen, Washington where Kurt Cobain and Chris (now Krist) were from. The Wishkah River flows directly under the North Aberdeen Bridge which was immortalized by Kurt in the song "Something in the Way." The sixteen mesmerizing tracks from 1989-1994 were recorded in places from the Paradiso Club in Holland to the Civic Center in Springfield, MA.
Krist Noveselic, who said "it's an aggressive record," and Dave Grohl listened to more than 100 hours of tape. The 16 tracks include one "intro" where Cobain screams and yells. Just as "unplugged" in New York showed the acoustic side of Nirvana, "The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah" shows the edge of Nirvana during live venues.
On the sleeve Krist states that Nirvana started as a live band. People who didn't get to see the electrifying shows that personified what grunge, hard rock and hard pop were all about now have a chance to hear it.
The album was scheduled to be a two-CD album, one with the live MTV recording from the "unplugged" special (done completely acoustically), and the other a live album (From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah). Originally to be released in the fall of 1994, the pain of Cobain's death proved too emotionally difficult, so the "unplugged" CD was released by itself.
Most of the songs on the album date back to the band's tour the winter of 1991, including "Aneurysm," "Drain You," "School," and "Spank Thru"(the first Nirvana song), plus many more.
The album generates the full blast that was and is Nirvana, showing the unbelievable new wave of "Polly," and the crunch of such songs as "Scentless Apprentice" and "Blew." The band's talent and sound all mix together to produce the sound that has left a trademark on the music business. This CD keeps you waiting in anticipation for the next track when each song ends. It leaves you mesmerized and in awe. Full blown, loud, noisy, full of power and live!
"From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah" is one of the best live albums, having been recorded by Andy Wallace, best known for his work with Nirvana on the "Nevermind" album. It is 54 minutes and three seconds of electrifying vocals and guitars, pulsating basses, and memorable drum beats, an album to be cherished which came around when nothing else seemed interesting. That's Nirvana
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.