Sub Pop Records celebrated its 25th birthday this year, and while the local label has more musicians and comedians signed to it than ever, it's their legacy artists that really put them on the map. Like, you know, a little band of grungy kids called Nirvana who, according to a document Sub Pop posted on their Tumblr, were signed for the low, low cost of $600.
The label, which was then operating on a shoestring budget, posted an image of the contract with the caption "Nirvana’s original contract with Sub Pop. Six hundred bucks well spent—not that we had it at the time."
The $600 advance covered three "album length master tapes," and cites members "Kurt Cobain, Chris Novoselic [sic], Chad Channing, Jason Everman." Channing and Everman both eventually left the band, and, in 1990, drummer Dave Grohl joined to form the trio that is considered to be the full formation.
Only Nirvana's first album, "Bleach," was released on Sub Pop.
Nirvana has been getting a lot attention recently, as the band's third and final studio album, "In Utero," turns 20 years old on September 13. As part of the commemoration of the album, a director's cut of the music video for their single, "Heart-Shaped Box," was released this morning. The surviving members of the group also recently took to the stage at Safeco Field to perform some of their songs alongside another rock legend, Paul McCartney.
"In Utero" is being reissued in September.