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TOP TEN NIRVANA SONGS

This weekend on 92.9 we're bringing you the top 10 Nirvana songs





10. Sliver

Incesticide (1992)


The lyrics to "Sliver" were written shortly before they were recorded, although an acoustic demo of the song, first released on Nirvana box set With the Lights Out in November 2004, suggests that Cobain had written some of the lyrics before entering the studio to record the vocals. "I decided I wanted to write the most ridiculous pop song I had ever written," Cobain explained to Azerrad, in order "to prepare people for the next album," which became their 1991 release, Nevermind.

9. You Know You're Right

Nirvana (2002)


"You know you're right" is the first song on the band's self-titled greatest hits album and the last song the band recorded before Cobain's death in April 1994.

Unreleased for years, the song eventually became the center of a legal dispute between Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, with each party wanting it for a different release. It was also the subject of a high-profile Internet leak, which led to the song being put into heavy rotation on radio stations around the world before its official release, despite cease and desist orders from Nirvana's record company, Geffen Records.

8. Lithium

Never Mind (1991)


Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain described "Lithium" as "one of those songs I actually did finish while trying to write it instead of taking pieces of my poetry and other things...

7. Inbloom

Never Mind (1991)




According to the 1993 Nirvana biography Come As You Are by Michael Azerrad, "In Bloom" was originally written about "the jocks and shallow mainstream types" of the underground music scene the band began to find in their audience after the release of their 1989 debut album, Bleach.

6. Heart Shaped Box

In Utero (1993)


Kurt Cobain wrote "Heart-Shaped Box" in early 1992. Cobain forgot about the song for a while, but began working on it again when he and his wife, Courtney Love, moved to a house in the Hollywood Hills. In a 1994 Rolling Stone interview, Love said she overheard him working on the song's riff in a closet. She said she asked him if she could use the riff for one of her songs, to which he replied "F*** you!" and closed the closet door.


5. The Man Who Sold The World

MTV Unplugged in New York (1995)


4. All Apologies

In Utero (1993)


"All Apologies" was written by Cobain in 1990. In 2005, drummer Dave Grohl recalled that the song was "something that Kurt wrote on 4-track in our apartment in Olympia. I remember hearing it and thinking, 'God, this guy has such a beautiful sense of melody, I can't believe he's screaming all the time.'"

3. About A Girl

MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) + Bleach (1989)




"About a Girl" was written in 1988, reportedly after Cobain spent an afternoon repeatedly listening to Meet the Beatles!. The song was first recorded in the studio in December 1988 by Jack Endino at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, Washington. This version appeared on the band's debut album, Bleach, in June 1989. It was debuted live at a dorm party at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in February 1989.

According to Cobain, he had been attempting to conceal his pop songwriting at this time, and was reluctant to include the song on Bleach for fear of alienating the band's then-largely grunge fan base.

2. Come As You Are

Nevermind (1991)


The unexpected success of the album's lead single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" drew Nirvana to mainstream success, with Nevermind being released two weeks after the single's release. Following the album's release, the band and its management company debated whether to release "Come as You Are" or "In Bloom" as the next single from the album due to Cobain's concerns over similarity of the former with the Killing Joke song "Eighties" (1984). After some persuasion by the management company, Cobain agreed to release "Come as You Are" as the second single because of its commercial potential.


  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit

Nevermind (1991)




Smells Like Teen Spirit is the opening track and lead single from the band's second album, Nevermind (1991), released on DGC Records. The unexpected success of the song propelled Nevermind to the top of several albums charts at the start of 1992, an event often marked as the point when grunge entered the mainstream.

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" was Nirvana's biggest hit in most countries, charting high on music industry charts around the world in 1991 and 1992, including topping the charts of Belgium, France, New Zealand and Spain.