A Record Collector's Guide

Nirvana/The Melvins

Here She Comes Now b/w Venus In Furs

Communion Comm 23 7", released 1991 (U.S.)

Buckle up...this one's tough, convoluted, and damn near impossible to get complete. This single is probably why I never really attempted to tackle the Nirvana discography before. I hate this single. Not the music. I hate this single from a collector's standpoint. Why? It never ends. 1. There are so many color variants, and if you are compulsive enough, you can always talk yourself into a variant being different enough to count. 2. The competition is rough. There are a good number of people pursuing 20+ variants each, so it gets cutthroat and expensive. 3. Some of the variants are, for all intents and purpose, impossible. Years ago, I swore to myself that I wouldn't get sucked into collecting this one. I decided I would own one color vinyl and one black vinyl copy, and that would be it. And I've stuck to that (which is why most of the pictures on this page are grabbed from elsewhere).

As I said, one could make an argument for there being anywhere from 10 to like 25 variants. We don't know exactly how many were made. The inside of the sleeve says, "Limited edition of __ (however many we can sell)". I have never seen anything to indicate there was more than one pressing. Some estimates have said 1,000 copies, but it seems to get sold too often for that to be true. It's not perfect science, but...just as an example, there were 1,200 copies of the Love Buzz single. That one is auctioned 8-10 times per year. Versions of the Nirvana/Melvins split are sold publicly generally 30-40 times per year. So who knows.

Time to look at the specific variants. Let's start with the two most common colors: blue and purple. These are generally the least expensive variants. Not surprisingly, they are also the colors with more variants than any other.

- Blue: The blue one ranged from a very light baby blue to almost a navy blue. The colors on the ends of the color spectrum are rarer and can command more money. There was also a blue-grey version. That one is a little tougher than the other bluish ones.

- Purple: There were also a good number of purple variants. There were some reddish grape-colored purple ones, and then a spread from light purple marble to a very dark purple marble (almost grey). As with the blue, the lightest and darkest purples are rarer and more expensive. The reddish-grape colored one is quite rare and pretty expensive. Beware counterfeits for the purple variant. I'll discuss those at the end.

Next up, the mid-range rare variants: red, black, and yellow. These are generally sold 1-2 times per year.

- Red: First up, red marble. There's a fake red one, which has made the market a bit screwy. Legitimate red ones have shown up a little more frequently the past couple of years. There is one red variant that is transparent, and that one is quite scarce.

- Black: Be careful here: there are counterfeits of this one that are tougher to spot. We'll get to that later. Black can be expensive, but I suspect the price moves around quite a bit due to the existence of the good fakes. Most people just don't bother with it.

- Yellow: The yellow one only had one real variant, and it is mid-range rare, but it is consistently rare. There was also a tan-brown-mustard colored one which most consider a unique color. I agree with this assessment (see below).

Tier 3: Very rare. These will sell on average once a year or so.

- Green: There are at least five distinct greens: a lime green, a seafoam green (bluish-green), a standard green (fern green?), a teal, and a mint green (almost white). The teal one could be included with the blues. These are all quite rare. From 2017-2020, I have seen five mint greens, four seafoam greens, three teals, and two greens sold. I have not seen a lime green sold over that period. All quite expensive. There is also a counterfeit green, which is fairly easy to tell apart from the real ones, but looks most like the green and the seafoam green.

- Grey: The grey marble ones are pretty tough. There is some variation in the depth of the grey color. All are generally very expensive.

- Pink: As with some of the other colors, there was a range of pinks: light bubblegum pink to hot pink. There were also a salmon-pink and peach ones; these are pretty distinct colors and are generally treated that way. The various pinks seem to be roughly equally rare...that is to say, very. These are difficult, expensive finds. More have shown up in the past couple of years, but they remain brutal for collectors.

- Mustard: I mentioned this one with the yellows above. This is a really tough one. I've only seen it sold once in the past several years.

Tier 4: Rarest of the rare...

- Orange: This is the one, folks. The orange one has tortured Nirvana collectors for years. There is also variation in this color, but...I don't think anyone's splitting hairs and would be thrilled with getting any orange.

We do have to address the bootlegs. There were a couple, and most were well made. They can be much harder to spot than counterfeits of other records. The black vinyl fake look pretty good. The easiest way to spot the difference is by the matrix codes. The real ones are hand-etched, and they say: (T) COMM 23 A1 L-37601/(T) COMM 23 AA1 L-37601X. The black fakes say: COMM-23A X/COMM-23AA X. There were also some color vinyl fakes, though. One version came out on red, green, and purple vinyl. The red one looks fairly similar to the real red, but the purple and green are pretty easy to spot. Here's a pic from the old site:

There are a few other ways to tell when how to ID a fake from this batch. The bad news is the matrix codes match those of the original. The good news is they were oriented incorrectly. On the legitimate one, the COMM 23 text is oriented such that it faces inward, toward the label. On the fake, it faces away. Beyond that, there are a couple of tells on the sleeves. For the Nirvana side, the black background appears more grey than on the real one (which is straight black). Also, the "Special Low Price" text at the bottom of the sleeve is a giveaway. It turns out the tiny white print on the original was tough for bootleggers to nail:

On the fake, the font is a bit of a different style and is larger. Also, on the real one, the e in price looks a little wonky. On the record, the labels on the fake are slightly smaller than on the original. Many of these things are subtle, though, and kind of require having an original to compare. The best bet is the orientation of the matrix codes.

There was one more color that surfaced a few years back - a white marble one. It looked kind of like the mint green one...but not too much like it. The fakes are easy to pick out. The matrix codes are also off on these: they say COMM23A/C-37601X. A new color or two may have surfaced in recent years. I thought I spotted a pink one for sale a while back with a fake sleeve. There may be others.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
Comm 23 Blue Marble 120-140 6 Stable
Comm 23 Light Blue Marble 150-180 8 Stable
Comm 23 Dark Blue Marble 150-180 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Baby Blue Marble 180-220 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Blue-grey Marble 180-220 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Purple Marble 150-200 6 Volatile
Comm 23 Light Purple Marble 200-220 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Dark Purple Marble 200-220 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Reddish-grape Purple Marble 220-260 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Red Marble 200-240 7 Stable
Comm 23 Black 100-150 7 Volatile
Comm 23 Yellow Marble 180-200 7 Stable
Comm 23 Mustard 200-220 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Mint Green Marble 250-350 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Seafoam Green Marble 220-240 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Green Marble 300-350 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Teal Marble 300-350 8 Volatile
Comm 23 Lime Green Marble 350-450 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Pink Marble 200-240 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Hot Pink Marble 500-800 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Salmon Pink Marble 500-800 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Peach Marble 500-800 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Grey Marble 250-350 9 Volatile
Comm 23 Orange Marble 800-1,200? 10 Up
Light Blue
Dark Blue
Baby Blue
Light Purple
Dark Purple
Reddish-grape Purple
Mint Green
Seafoam Green
Lime Green
Hot Pink
Salmon Pink
Sleeve Paper foldover sleeve
Credits Niaboc79: green, lime green, light purple, reddish-grape, salmon pink, baby blue, grey marble images (and the orange thumbnail)
Discogs: many of the other vinyl images
Auction listings: the rest of the vinyl images Bootleg details/images

This page was last updated on June 18, 2020.

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Nirvana Index

Scarcity Score Definition
10 Near impossible: Fewer than 50 copies or publicly sold every few years
8-9 Very rare: 50-199 copies or publicly sold 1-2 times per year
6-7 Rare: 200-499 copies or publicly sold a few times a year
4-5 Medium: 500-999 copies or publicly sold ~10 times a year
1-3 Common: 1000+ copies, readily available, or publicly sold 20+ times a year

Estimated values are based on recent auction results or online sales. Commercial use of images on this site is not permitted. Non-commercial use of images permitted, with attribution to Pette Discographies. All images copyright their respective owners.