Bleach (1992)

12" (pink) / test pressing / Sub Pop / SP34 / made in USA (Erika) / 1992

The test pressing is for the 1992 reissue of the album. Unusually, they were pressed on pink vinyl. There were no black retail records pressed for the 1992 reissue, but even so it is common to press test pressings on black vinyl. Perhaps the test pressings were made just shortly before they were to press the pink retail records, and so they used the color they had ready. The labels are two inverted side B labels. They appear to be regular white labels at first, but closer inspection reveals the artwork on the other side. The test pressings came in white cardboard sleeves and clear plastic inner sleeves.

Retail pressings with these matrix codes, which are shown in image 6, with "RE1" for recut 1 of the original 1989 cut, were never pressed because the cut was unsuccessful. There is a short dropout on side B during Negative Creep [1]. A new recut of side B was done, "RE2", and new test pressings were made, pairing it with a recut of side B of a Steven Jesse Bernstein promotional 12" from his Prison album.

The RE1 and RE2-B cuts were done at K Disc, even though they did not stamp the cuts as usual [2]. The metal plates were manufactured by Lee Plating, and the test pressings were finally pressed by Erika Records.

It is unknown if the second recut was successful, but it did not appear on any retail records. They instead chose to use stampers manufactured from the original 1989 mother plates when pressing retail records. It is not known why they then tried to make the new RE1 cut at all, if they could just have made stampers from the original mother plates. The 1992 reissue on CD features remastered tracks; perhaps this is also the case with the two RE1 and RE2 test pressings. However, the L-code, which is the internal project number written by the processing plant, is the same on the original cut and on the recuts, so this seems unlikely.

So far four confirmed copies have been found:

  1. Blank side A label, "Nir" written in light blue pen and "vana" written with pencil on side B label. Perhaps "Nir" was just a short note at the pressing plant or at Sub Pop, while a later owner added the rest of the name.
  2. Blank labels. This came in a plain white sleeve. It was sold on eBay by Danny Peters of Mudhoney.
  3. Blank labels, but Nirvana Bleach Test - Fucked Up is handwritten by Steve Turner of Mudhoney in the upper left corner on the cardboard sleeve. Turner received the test pressing while visiting the Sub Pop offices [3], and later sold it on eBay.
  4. Blank labels.

A few more copies may have surfaced, as three supposed copies were sold by the same seller in the early 2000's. However, the third copy turned out to not be Nirvana. It is unknown whether the two others were also not Nirvana test pressings. The seller supposedly got them from Bruce Pavitt.


Side A
  • Blew - 
  • Floyd The Barber - 
  • About A Girl - 
  • School - 
  • Love Buzz - 
  • Paper Cuts
Side B
  • Negative Creep - 
  • Scoff - 
  • Swap Meet - 
  • Mr. Moustache - 
  • Sifting


Side A
SP34A   RE1   L-32926
Side B
SP34B   RE1   L-32926-X

Copy 1, side B
1. Copy 1, side B

Copy 2
2. Copy 2

Copy 3, inverted labels
3. Copy 3, inverted labels

Copy 3, text written on the sleeve by Steve Turner
4. Copy 3, text written on the sleeve by Steve Turner

Copy 4
5. Copy 4

Side B matrix codes
6. Side B matrix codes