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Grunge Documentary ‘Hype!’ Expanded for 20th Anniversary Reissue

Hype!, a celebrated grunge documentary, will be expanded with additional interviews and outtakes for a 20th anniversary version. The film, which includes Nirvana’s 1991 debut performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” originally appeared in 1996. It has since been released on DVD, but the upcoming reissue will be the first time the movie has also been available on Blu-ray.

By following the Sub Pop label’s marketing of the “Seattle sound” and then the rise of “Smell Like Teen Spirit” to No. 1 in charts all over the world, Hype illustrated how the underground music scene in the Pacific Northwest became a global phenomenon. Rare performance footage from Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others is also featured.

Hype! was the first film by director Doug Pray, who went on to work with HBO on The Defiant Ones, Scratch, Surfwise and Art & Copy. The project premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, and went on to win best documentary honors at the Seattle International Film Festival.

In the film, Sub Pop producer Jack Endino recalls his first encounter with Kurt Cobain: “I think we all became aware that there was a certain regional sound developing. We got a phone call at the studio one day from this guy Kurt, who came up, blew out 10 songs in five hours. We recorded them and mixed them in one afternoon. Blew me away.”

Bonus material for the collector’s edition, due on Sept. 29 via Shout! Factory, includes a new audio commentary by Pray, additional interviews and Peter Bagge’s animated short, “Hate.” The MelvinsMudhoney, the Posies are also featured; many of the artists take part in interviews, as well.

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