Dick’s Picks: Nirvana’s legendary debut 7″, Love Buzz

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 ground breaking second album, Nevermind, but they got their start in 1988 with the debut single, a cover of Love Buzz by Shocking blue.

This spectacular debut differs from the version featured on the Bleach album in that there is a 10 second ‘cartoon’ intro. The B-side to this legendary single is Big Cheese. It is housed in the original numbered fold-out picture sleeve. It is well known that this single was limited to 1000 copies only.

This legendary track was recorded at Reciprocal Studios, Seattle and was produced by Jack Endino & Nirvana. Both songs were later released on Bleach, though ‘Love Buzz’ was remixed. The cartoon intro is a brief clip taken from one of Cobain’s early sound collages entitled ‘Montage of Heck.’ This was Nirvana’s first single and was also the first item issued to members of the Sub Pop Singles Club. All copies are pressed on black vinyl (45 rpm), though sleeves may vary:

Numbered Sleeves
1000 copies were hand-numbered with a red marker. Matrix etchings and sleeve quality are key features of this item if you are concerned about fakes.

Unnumbered Sleeves
A Sub Pop invoice indicates that 1200 sleeves were made. Considering that 1000 were used for the hand-numbered single, that leaves 200 extras, apparently with a red slash instead of numbers. The extras were given out to those closely involved.

No matter how many records were made and what sleeve they came in (numbered or unnumbered), the vinyl should be exactly the same, including the matrix etchings. This has been corroborated by those that have an unnumbered version. Counterfeit copies do exist with unnumbered sleeves. Those don’t have the red marker slash, but it would be very easy to reproduce this feature.

In addition to the Sub Pop crowd getting unnumbered copies, quite a few were shipped overseas. Some were given out as promos, others were sold retail. (It’s been said that Australia may have received the most exported copies.)

There are also a few copies of the test pressing and numerous counterfeits, and Kurt Cobains widow, Courtney Love, is said to own copy number 1

For more information about this item, and the rest of our Nirvana catalogue, head to 991.com.

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