All feature remastered sound that brings up the volume and slightly smooths the rougher edges without sacrificing the band’s power and appeal. The happy-go-lucky, almost surf rock bassline is yet another example of Novoselic’s minimalistic, god-like craft; less is more and the bassist only swaps things round in the chorus. Had this been written a year before, it would have been a dirge of heavy riffs. This wasn't entirely an accident, either, since Nirvana did sign with a major label, and they did release a record with a shiny surface, no matter how humongous the guitars sounded. All utterly convincingly. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Arranged by Novoselic and Grohl, it is Nevermind’s only Cobain-Novoselic-Grohl credited song. Drums that kick your ears in and a bass line so hooky that Mr & Mrs Hook named their son Peter after it—it was destined to be a smash hit from the moment it was written. DGCD-24425; CD). Bath This is a confessional, angst-ridden missive about ex-girlfriend and Bikini Kill member Toni Vail. The phenomenal success of Foo Fighters demonstrates that Nirvana were a talented trio, and not just a rickety pair of training wheels for Kurt Cobain's wild ride into fame and annihilation. Due in large part to Butch Vig’s production, Nirvana sound every inch the ‘biggest band in the world’ here. His mother, upon hearing Nevermind on cassette before being released, broke down in tears. ‘Drain You’ is a lighter, more tuneful precursor of ‘Milk It’ from the third album, In Utero, which revisits a similar theme from a much darker corner. That’s where Weezer got it from, right? Nirvana came from an era where artists regularly released singles with non-album B … Krist Novoselic’s chilled-out, backseat bass perfectly complements Lounge Act’s jolly main riff and that yelled third verse/chorus couplet is a winner. Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind has just turned 29. Best Nirvana Songs. Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Nirvana Songs ... We asked our readers to vote on their favorite Nirvana songs. Nevermind is 25 years old this week. “You better buckle up, ‘cos you are not ready for this,” she replied when hearing it for the first time. By 1991, even when writing in the idiom of detachment and paranoia, Kurt Cobain was incapable of producing anything but sparkling melody. NIrvana in 1991: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. It would be a hefty rock in the shape of Nirvana. A melody so lovely, and so progressively attacked, it deceives you into thinking you can perform it until Kurt goes up a key and his wild vocal abandon leaves you screaming out of key into a microphone wishing you’d decided to learn the bass. But this song is most likely self-mythologising from Cobain, using metaphor to express his feeling of isolation, and finding beauty in unlikely places. With barely a spare second across its thirteen tracks (12 on vinyl, with a secret track on the CD—’Nameless Endless’), the songs range from blistering punk to out of tune folk. Listen for Grohl’s wonderful run on the snares. Along with Mudhoney’s Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More, Nirvana’s second single defined the initial sound of grunge: deeply unfashionable early-70s heavy rock refracted through a punk lens, where sludgy riffs met Ramones-ish third wall breaking (“here is another word that rhymes with shame”) and a coda so repetitious it sounded as if the record were stuck. He looked, played and sang like he was being burnt alive, but he wrote like Paul McCartney in a bad mood. Recorded on a four string charity shop guitar on a run through for Butch Vig, the band spent more time than apparently necessary de-tuning their instruments to match the feel and sorrow expressed in this stripped-down performance. Dave Grohl, the drummer, was the last member to join the band and complete the lineup. Like most bands’ best song, ‘Breed’ (originally titled ‘Imodium’ after the constipation medication) releases the valve of pressure and sprays savagely played pop music all over us. The song has the same message—go away and stay there. Genres: Grunge, Alternative Rock. One of Kurt Cobain’s favourite Nirvana songs, and possessor of one of the greatest drops in popular music. The 10 best Nirvana songs. You will receive a verification email shortly. That’s older than South Park, Heelys and PlayStation, and arguably more influential than all three combined. Now nearly 20 years after Nevermind first conquered the mainstream, PopMatters will take a look at the ten best songs by alternative rock's definitive and most important band. The ‘other’ acoustic one. On A Plain serves as one of Nevermind’s poppiest moments; it’s the Beach Boys with ripped jeans and scuffed Converse. Here, we rank them in order. If Nirvana isn’t onto anything altogether new, Nevermind does possess the songs, character and confident spirit to be much more than a reformulation of college radio’s high-octane hits. Nirvana's classic second album Nevermind might have inspired a generation - but that doesn't stop us messing with it. The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s. It’s worth remembering, if you’re old enough to, what the musical landscape looked like in 1991. Something In The Way was originally recorded by Cobain on his battered acoustic guitar, with Grohl and Novoselic recording their parts later. The Nirvana baby is now 25 years old. Play on Spotify The chorus pedal achieves an aquatic guitar effect, doing nothing to stifle the track’s appeal: a testament to Nirvana’s warping of the weird to well-accessible at will. Released 24 September 1991 on DGC (catalog no. The lyric is a call to all those who found themselves at the fringes of American/Western society to join in, be themselves and swing from a chandelier. Picture: Charles J. Peterson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images I remember I had a portable CD player, and my older sister's friend burned me a copy of Nevermind for two dollars. #18. Nevermind is the second studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991. And we’re off. Stark beauty ending an album of passionate fury, there was something happening with this 23-year-old, and the world was on tenterhooks to see the next instalment. If there’s a soundbite to be had about ‘Stay Away’ it is simpler to think of the song as ‘Territorial Pissings’’ better-looking sister. The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s. This is one of those songs that stops you in your tracks upon first hearing it, but suffers from diminishing returns. Sign up below to get the latest from Louder, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! Grohl’s frantic drum roll at the start is the sort of shit we dream of seeing live, leading us into a three-minute masterpiece that rumbles along at an even more frightening velocity than Drain You. At a time when grunge or punk rock music was seen as ‘alternative’ and not prominent in Billboard charts and other popular music spaces, Nirvana’s Nevermind completely broke that mould.. So, as we roll out the birthday cake and gorge on grunge, here’s each song from Nirvana’s breakthrough record, ranked from worst to best. Somehow, it never made it onto that album. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, How Nirvana Changed The Face Of Rock Music Forever. Late last year Nirvana's Nevermind celebrated its 25 th anniversary. The moment Nirvana’s sound crept out from beneath America’s underground. "Aneurysm" isn't just the best non-album Nirvana song, it's the best Nirvana song, period. DGCD-24425; CD). It’s laid-back but Grohl’s drumming suggests otherwise. Picture: Charles J. Peterson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images At 4 minutes and 17 seconds, its epic scope and range of emotion make it feel twice the length and ten times the size. As an Amazon Associate, we earn revenue from qualifying purchases. This is nothing but a stone cold classic pop song. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind is famously the first Nirvana album to feature Dave Grohl on drums, propelling the band into a new direction. Beautiful writing that would be clumsy and insensitive in anyone else’s hands, it was these kinds of songs that even saw Bob Dylan pay attention to Cobain’s words, proclaiming, “the kid has heart.”. Right. Come As You Are is Cobain’s Beatles moment. This song transcends Nirvana (and... 2. Photograph: Paul Bergen/Redferns 13. The chorus laden guitar riff was a nod to ’80s pop and a sound he’d use liberally across all of Nevermind, Kurt was now writing accessible songs your Dad could sing. Nobody is the star here; Novoselic’s bass underpins the entire thing and gets a good showing when the track breaks down, while Grohl’s powerhouse drumming is simply world class. Editors’ Notes For the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s landmark Nevermind album, several different versions are available. Please refresh the page and try again. Written about Bikini Kill’s Tobi Vail, Kurt’s girlfriend before that girlfriend, ‘Lounge Act’ is every amateur singer/guitarist/frontman’s worst nightmare. It was one of the last songs written before Nirvana travelled to California to record Nevermind, Kurt sending Butch Vig a cassette of its demo a week ahead of the sessions. The other five tracks, maybe. Nirvana while on tour in Germany in 1991 (left to right): Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the … 9. As murky as Something In The Way may be, Po… With ‘On A Plain’ he was warning us, years before the event. Nevermind is the second studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24th, 1991 by DGC Records. Vocal take alone puts this song in the pantheon of great Nirvana tracks, but the all-round performance, melody and arrangement put it firmly in a Godlike tier of pop-rock. Come As You Are is Nevermind’s victory lap and arguably the ultimate Nirvana song. Features Best Nirvana Songs: 20 Essential Tracks That Blaze With Teen Spirit. The best Nirvana songs exemplify the band's place in rock history, as the group changed the face of the music industry within a very short period. Initially called ‘Pay To Play’, it was repurposed and repackaged to warn a potentially new audience and newfound popularity that this man simply wasn’t for sale. Of course, the massive success of Nirvana’s 1991 follow-up, Nevermind, would help change the course of rock history. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. The simple, heartfelt chorus is a shining example of Cobain’s knowledge of the pop hook, while a haunting cello gives the track a mournful feel. Obscured behind a smokescreen of publicity and deadened by the effects of endless radio play, Nirvana's music nonetheless holds its own as some of the very best of the 1990s. The iconic band embraced a … Sad, angry, funny. DGCD-24425; CD). Genres: Grunge, Alternative Rock. About A Girl Released in 1994 On Album MTV Unplugged in New York and Bleach The song is about Curt’s relationship with then-girlfriend Tracy Marander. Savage and simple, simply stay the fuck away. How they left it off Nevermind is something I'll never understand. 10. If there is such a thing on Nevermind, this track is disposable. Cobain’s lyrics were often so cryptic that some of the more direct ones could slip past you unnoticed, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb. A banger. What more could you want? There’s little point in trying to interpret Kurt’s lyrics, they’re so obtuse as to rightly be considered artistic nonsense, but the attack of the bass and drums makes for an electric mix of intent and melody. Lyrically it is some of Cobain’s finest work: “I’m so lonely, that’s OK, I shaved my head and I’m not sad/ And just maybe, I’m to blame for all I’ve heard, but I’m not sure/ I’m so excited, I can’t wait to meet you there, and I don’t care/ I’m so horny, that’s OK my will is good.”. Cobain was shedding melody as effortlessly as a butterfly sheds its cocoon, emerging as something else entirely. Kurt knew it too, and disowned it as soon as it was released claiming it a Pixies rip-off, though he continued to play it live, a nice example is seen below. This isn’t just a scream, it’s something pulled from the soul. Nirvana's covers were as crucial to the overall Nirvana story and discography as the band's best original songs, and it'd be impossible to discuss their legacy without mentioning these songs. With still eight more songs to go, we’re already at pop-masterpiece territory, so buckle up, we’re about to upset some fans as not all your favourites can make it to the top. This Cobain track presents the story of the irredeemable Gerald Friend, a man who abducted, raped and tortured a 14-year-old girl. Rated #5 in the best albums of 1991, and #142 of all-time album.. It got a huge response, and the top 10 goes way beyond the obvious hits. It’s that good. A throwback to Bleach but streets ahead. Probably Nirvana’s greatest heads-down banger, even amongst such revered bedfellows Breed became the most-performed song on Nevermind. It is a monster though: a songwriting masterclass in dynamics, performance and recording. Here now were the gun-toting rednecks, ignorant to the foundations of his world view and swaying their heads to the songs he was writing about the isolation that, he felt, they forced upon him. Despite earning its place as Bob Dylan’s favourite Nirvana song, this gently sinister Nevermind album track has become one of the more controversial and misunderstood songs in the Nirvana canon. Again, utilising the Pixies quiet/loud dynamic seen in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, but to greater effect—this is a pop song of truly breathtaking quality. But it’s delivered in a slightly different way. 18 November 2020, 20:01. Nevermind is the second studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991 by DGC Records.Produced by Butch Vig, it was Nirvana's first release on the DGC label, and the first to feature drummer Dave Grohl.Characterized by its polished and cleaner sound, the album was a departure from the band's rawer debut album Bleach. Looking at someone like Liam Gallagher, it’s unlikely, but this performance secures his reputation as one of rock’s great emoters. Listen out for the rubber duck toy, too. I was sitting in the Every song on Nirvana's Nevermind, ranked from worst to best 1. It contains twelve tracks, with a running time of just over fourty-three minutes. Nevermind, an Album by Nirvana. That verse. It’s everything you’d want from Nirvana post-Bleach. Louder is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Whereas the burgeoning power and fragility of Nevermind’s tracks stands upright throughout, Lounge Act slouches; the band couldn’t be arsed to think of an ending for the track, so just slowed the tape machine down instead. Don’t get me wrong, this is far from a bad song but in the context of one of the seminal albums of the decade, if not the century, it falls flat. Nevermind is the second studio album by Nirvana, which was released on September 24, 1991 by DGC Records. Come As You Are. Listen free to Nirvana – Nevermind (Smells Like Teen Spirit, In Bloom and more). No frills. Nirvana were often tagged as miserable bastards and while In Utero had its morbid moments, Drain You is a few minutes of unbridled adrenaline. This is the song all the interesting boys play on guitars at parties and we can completely see why. Which is fine by us. Nirvana came to a sudden end 19 years ago this month when Kurt Cobain committed suicide. The result is one of Nevermind’s best songs, a potent and powerful blare complete with a menacing chorus and a decidedly ‘out’ middle section worthy of Sonic Youth. Now nearly 20 years after Nevermind first conquered the mainstream, PopMatters will take a look at the ten best songs by alternative rock's definitive and most important band. It launched Kurt Cobain, Kirst Novoselic and … Had he lived beyond 27, I often wonder if he’d have been able to maintain this throat-ripping, in tune, screaming. Released 24 September 1991 on DGC (catalog no. This is Nirvana doing punk and we like it. But we must start somewhere. It’s such a tiny thing but, when we’re this close to the top, it’s nuances like this that give Breed the edge. Snarky, sarcastic and boasting a supercharged refrain without ever really being aggressive, Stay Away remains an anthem for the disenfranchised to this day. At a time when grunge or punk rock music was seen as ‘alternative’ and not prominent in Billboard charts and other popular music spaces, Nirvana’s Nevermind completely broke that mould.. The improvisational hidden track whacked onto the end, Endless Nameless, is a far cry from the rest of Nevermind, and opts for a noisy Melvins-esque attack on the senses. Today would have been Kurt Cobain’s 45th birthday. Here’s a rarely heard MTV Nirvana Unplugged version of ‘Drain You’ to prove our point. Visit our corporate site. Polly. Again, through his frustration and anger came melodic writing that would make Neil Finn blush. Thank you for signing up to Louder. You can deny your love for Nevermind’s opener all you like, but when Smells Like Teen Spirit kicks in and you haven’t heard it in a while… you will get shivers down your spine. Listen to The 10 Best Nirvana Songs now. Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the Zeitgeist will hit, and Nirvana's second album turned out to be the place where alternative rock crashed into the mainstream. BA1 1UA. It was one of the last songs written before Nirvana travelled to California to record Nevermind, Kurt sending Butch Vig a cassette of its demo a week ahead of the sessions. Nirvana's Nevermind, one of the most important albums of the 1990s, celebrated its 20th anniversary over the weekend. Then that filthy intro riff, a defiant statement on Cobain’s behalf, ignoring producer Butch Vig’s pleas and plugging his guitar straight into the mixing desk. Riff ripped from ‘More Than A Feeling’ and ‘Loui Loui’, surely a non-accidental nod to all the bands he didn’t want to be in, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ hurtled the band into the mainstream. Always cynical and sarcastic, it’s easy to take him too literally or not at all, but he had a plan from 14 years old to be the world’s biggest rock star and then throw it all away. As murky as Something In The Way may be, Polly is downright chilling. Nevermind is the second studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24th, 1991 by DGC Records. I got into them about eight years after Kurt Cobain died. Fitting, because it’s about possession and a kind of parasitic love. Butch Vig recalls Cobain mood swings during Nirvana Nevermind sessions, Kurt Response: Steve Gullick on his new book ‘Nirvana Diary’. This was an age where dinosaurs still roamed the earth: MichaelBoltonosaurs vied with CliffRichardodocuses for top 10 dominance whilst the ThreeTenorsourus Rex’s roared their way to massive chart success unbeknownst to the fact that alternative music’s destructive asteroid was about to wipe them off the face of the earth. Nirvana song list curated by Matthew Campbell. The grunge singalong that survives in clubs, pubs, bedrooms and anywhere else people have ears and lungs; Lithium is a fucked-up love song of the most vehemently infectious kind. The B-side to Smells Like Teen Spirit does possess a riff achingly reminiscent of the A-side, but Drain You excels in other ways. Nevermind, an Album by Nirvana. And that’s it. That it made great pop music is its own reward. Alternative music’s ‘Wonderwall’. Based on the grisly true story of a young girl abducted after leaving a rock show in Seattle, you can see why the story disturbed Cobain enough to inspire him to commit it to song – having been … Your picks include ‘All Apologies,’ ‘Drain You’ and ‘Come As You Are’. The result is one of Nevermind’s best songs, a potent and powerful blare complete with a menacing chorus and a decidedly ‘out’ middle section worthy of Sonic Youth. ‘Drain You’ is a lighter, more tuneful precursor of ‘Milk It’ from the third album, In Utero , which revisits a similar theme from a much darker corner. “Lake Of Fire” (MTV Unplugged) The quiet/loud dichotomy is in full swing here and it’s another of Nevermind’s examples of perfection. Nevermind, an Album by Nirvana. Written with a simple three chord structure, it’s simplicity is its secret weapon. Basically, it’s fun. His anger now had a voice. Not to be mistaken for James Taylor’s song of the same name, ‘Something in the Way’ is a love song to solitude. A number of labels courted the band, but Nirvana ultimately signed with Geffen Records imprint DGC Records based upon repeated recommendations from Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and their management company. Nevermind remains one of those rare and surprisingly ‘perfect’ pop moments. Nevermind was the release that toppled a King (of … A good clue to just how great a rock song is, falls at your feet when the acoustic version of the song is just as impressive as the plugged-in one. OK, this is from personal experience, but Cobain’s performance on this wonderfully simple song is of the type that his reputation hangs. About Nirvana. The most well-known Nirvana songs from Nevermind are often the ones where Cobain is shouting; the oft-played "Smells Like Teen Spirit"'s at times … That’s older than some of you. It’s that good. My Wedding Songs is a reader-supported website. Genres: Grunge, Alternative Rock. Ranked number nineteen on Rolling Stones Greatest 500 Albums list, Nevermind is filled with distorted guitars, memorable lines, and catchy overall songs. Its Butch Vig produced pop-sheen may have aged it a touch, but the songs are timeless. The same three Nirvana albums were also placed on Rolling Stone's 2011 list of "The 100 Best Albums of the Nineties", with Nevermind ranking the highest at number 1, making it the greatest album of the decade. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind is famously the first Nirvana album to feature Dave Grohl on drums, propelling the band into a new direction. There was a problem. This album is host to some of Nirvana's best songs. “He’s the one who likes all our pretty songs/ And likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun/ But he knows not what it means,” sings Cobain, taking aim at the newfound fans who had begun making their underground shows feel like surface-level crap. Even more curiously, it was left off of the 2002 self-titled “Best Of” collection. Unabashed, straight-up pop music. Another staple of Nirvana’s live shows, “Aneurysm” was first recorded during the Nevermind album sessions. Like The Beatles or The Smiths, some of Nirvana's best songs were never on their proper studio albums. Nirvana shared a bill with them in 1990, and mutual fandom resulted in this split single, which was released deep into Nirvana’s post-Nevermind success. Nirvana Best Best Songs - Nirvana Greatest Hits Full Album. Produced by Butch Vig, Nevermind was the group's first release on Geffen Records, which signaled its move away from Seattle-based independent record label Sub Pop. Novoselic once said that In Bloom “originally sounded like Bad Brains, then Kurt turned it into a pop song.” There’s no reason why it couldn’t sound like Bad Brains, but the fact Cobain refuted any notion of hardcore and instead embraced those wonderful vocal harmonies with Grohl is a titanic statement. Ranking the songs on Nirvana’s album ‘Nevermind’ in order of greatness, Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, Relive Led Zeppelin’s final performance with drummer John Bonham, From The Who to Cream: Rush’s Geddy Lee picks 9 of his favourite songs, Maximo Park share heartfelt new single ‘All Of Me’, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ hurtled the band. But Nirvana's sophomore album Nevermind-- released Sept. 24, 1991, 25 years old this week -- does. A number of labels courted the band, but Nirvana ultimately signed with Geffen Records imprint DGC Records based upon repeated recommendations from Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and their management company. Known for its blistering live performances, this represents everything that was peak commercial Nirvana. For all Cobain’s talent, Nirvana would have been significantly less impressive, and, in fact, were, without the future Foo Fighter’s power and grace around a kit. Nirvana Best Best Songs - Nirvana Greatest Hits Full Album. If Nirvana isn’t onto anything altogether new, Nevermind does possess the songs, character and confident spirit to be much more than a reformulation of college radio’s high-octane hits. The vocal harmonies, the scuzzed-up power chords, the nonsensical lyrics and general air of awkwardness. You end up happily singing along with a sex offender, laughing about chasing a girl through a field after letting her escape for sport. The most well-known Nirvana songs from Nevermind are often the ones where Cobain is shouting; the oft-played "Smells Like Teen Spirit"'s at times … The 10 best Nirvana songs. But the biggest doesn’t mean the best. Nirvana shared a bill with them in 1990, and mutual fandom resulted in this split single, which was released deep into Nirvana’s post-Nevermind … Come As You Are is Cobain’s Beatles moment. Picked up by everyone and everything, the song may be more famous than the band now, in 2020. A key ingredient to the song’s success, though undeniably one of the slightest tracks the band ever recorded post-Bleach, is the addition of Dave Grohl’s powerhouse drumming. Do you feel old yet? Kurt was writing about getting high (as if heroin were pot) and hurting himself, but singing with a smile and a wink. Nevermind is largely a flab-free album. © The ‘other’ acoustic one. Nirvana; Nevermind [20th Anniversary Edition] by: Jess Harvell; September 27 2011. 18 November 2020, 20:01. Despite its grim subject matter (which is handled excellently by Cobain, providing a perfect lack of empathy) it’s a classic, and the best defence to anyone claiming Nirvana relied solely on the quiet/loud dynamic; there’s a simple bassline and Channing, in his sole drumming performance on the record, ever-so-rarely brushing his ride cymbal. Time included Nevermind on its list of "The All-TIME 100 Albums" in 2006, labeling it "the finest album of the 1990s". The same three Nirvana albums were also placed on Rolling Stone's 2011 list of "The 100 Best Albums of the Nineties", with Nevermind ranking the highest at number 1, making it the greatest album of the decade. That’s the same amount of time between the trio’s sophomore album and the release of the Beatles’ seemingly prehistoric debut, Please Please Me. This dirty, dismal side to Nirvana would be perfected on their next record, In Utero. Polly is beautifully crushing. NIrvana in 1991: Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. About as perfect a description of manic depression as I’ve heard put into song, ‘Lithium’ is amongst the most rousing and affecting songs Nirvana have ever released. The song I blame for all my early and entirely unsuccessful attempts at being a rock star. I can only think of one other band who uses the word ‘Yeah’ so effectively, and that’s high praise indeed. That’s some bullshit right there. Fitting, because it’s about possession and a kind of parasitic love. Closing out SPIN magazine's Newermind tribute project, Erika M. Anderson's critically acclaimed noise-rock act tackled one of the noisiest songs … The 10 best Nirvana songs, from In Bloom to Smells Like Teen Spirit Twenty-five years since Kurt Cobain's death, Mark Beaumont picks the Seattle band’s greatest tracks Comments Finally, Dave Grohl’s relentless, rigorous drum roll. The victory belonged to DGC company. Everyone works in tandem. Rated #5 in the best albums of 1991, and #142 of all-time album.. 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