April 5, 1994 remains one of the darkest days in music history. The death of Kurt Cobain, one more member of the infamous 27 Club, is a loss that many of us still feel deeply today. Much has been written about the Nirvana leader in the twenty-seven years since that day. In fact, rarely in history has so much been written about such an ostensibly scarce body of work, since they only released three studio albums: Bleach , Nevermind and In Utero .. And to this day, they are still generating news such as the lawsuit that the surviving members of the band received a few weeks ago for alleged child pornography, at the expense of the baby who appears naked on the cover of their most famous album. The grunge pioneers of Seattle burned with unprecedented speed, following the dramatic trajectory of a Shakespearean tragedy and explosively reshaping the cultural landscape of pop and rock. And it was the unfortunate death of their leader that in a bizarre turn of events helped make them one of the greatest bands of all time. Why? Well, because they never had time to grow old, to release filler records, to become commercial… and their songs have remained, at the peak of the group, perfectly preserved like the mosquito in amber ofJurassic Park.

Did they have years of greatness ahead of them or would they have ended up dissolving like a sugar cube soon after? We will never know. We do know that people are still thinking about Kurt’s suicide and incidentally accusing Courtney Love of being the Yoko Ono of the group; that Dave Grohl (a drummer, who knew) continues to have a successful career with his Foo Fighters and that Krist Novoselic… well, he hasn’t really done anything worth googling either.

But none of that matters in this nostalgic happy corner where songs by Kurt & co. they still sound as good and loud as ever. If you, like us, have not stopped listening to Nirvana since they set the course for music in the 90s, you are surely going to enjoy this Top 20. Isn’t it starting to smell like adolescent spirit?

It makes a lot of sense that Nirvana’s first single was a cover. First of all, because Kurt Cobain was a true music obsessive, always looking for new sounds to inspire him. And secondly because, as the band’s career has shown, they are the greatest cover group of all time. This cover of the 1969 song by the Dutch Shocking Blue is fun, catchy and with one of the best riffs that the group left us.

 The high point of Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach , is a surprisingly sweet love song, simple and heartfelt, set to a Beatles-inspired melody. The theme refers to Tracy, Kurt’s then girlfriend, and the phrase “I ca n’t see you every night for free” refers to him spending nights at Kurt’s house watching television while he was a wannabe. to rock star

Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

Having listened to this song SO MANY times makes it easy to lose perspective on the huge impact it had on its release. But since Kurt already hated it when he died, and since no hardcore Nirvana fan picks it as their favorite song, and since pretty much everyone is a little sick of it, we’re leaving it up here. Oh, well, whatever, nevermind.

The howl with which Kurt sings it and the metal riff that accompanied this song were especially appreciated live. “I’m a negative creep, a negative creep, a negative creep… and I’m stoooooned!!!!!” said (howled) the singer in one of the best songs on the band’s first album and the most grunge song of its beginnings.

Territorial Pissings (1991)

This rabid cry against machismo is frantic from the first verses taken from The Youngbloods’ Get together to the loudly sung chorus. Nirvana used to use this song to play in television performances instead of the single they were supposed to sing on that occasion, before smashing their instruments in the best style of The Who.

Something in the Way (1991)

Is this poignant song that Kurt practically sings in a whisper based on the singer’s own experiences living under a bridge during a bad time in his life? Maybe it’s just an urban legend. What is certain is that if you let this song play 13 minutes and 51 seconds after finishing, the secret song Endless, Nameless would appear and it would blow your mind.

The Nirvana singer considered it “the most ridiculous pop song I’ve ever written.” But the autobiographical background of that child whose parents leave him at the grandparents’ house, eat ice cream, fall asleep and watch TV said the opposite. In the video clip of the song that you can see below, recorded in the garage of Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle, the girl that appears in the video is his daughter, Frances Bean.

Cobain appropriately titled this song about a man who after the death of his girlfriend finds religion as his last resort to stay alive, with the name of a medication to treat bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts. It’s a deceptively deep track with a theme that wasn’t abundant in the post punk that Nirvana grew out of.

Considering the singer’s tragic end, the tendency to search for harrowing situations throughout Nirvana’s catalog is understandable. But on many occasions the lyrics were full of humor with this theme about getting a job as a janitor at your old high school. As a curiosity, the entire song consists of only 15 words. I’m sure you can learn it.

Although it was written at the same time as songs like Drain You or Lounge Act , it makes sense that Aneurysm was left out of Nevermind . In addition to having an overly long introduction, it’s the song that serves as a bridge between Bleach and Nevermind and that’s why it exists in limbo between the two albums. With lyrics supposedly about Kurt Cobain’s heroin addiction, it was hailed by critics as the latest grunge masterpiece.

Polly / (New Wave) Polly (1991)

One of the group’s darker tracks is based on a true case in which serial rapist Gerald Friend tortured and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl, who then outsmarted and escaped him by convincing him she enjoyed it. Written from the haunting perspective of the assailant, both versions – one slow and one fast – convey the terrifying nature of the song and exemplify the depths Cobain was keen to explore.

Come As You Are (1991)

“I swear I don’t have a gun,” Kurt lied on the second single from Nevermind , a track that summed up 90s social anxiety perhaps even better than Smells Like Teen Spirit . According to Cobain, the lyrics are about “people and how they are expected to act”. The version with out of tune guitar in a live performance in Holland that we have left you here is amazing. Don’t forget to spend a few minutes.

“He’s the only one who likes all our pretty songs and he likes to sing and he likes to shoot his gun but he doesn’t know what it means,” the band sang to the type of fans they disliked the most. The women’s dresses that they wore in the video clip that accompanied the song were also dedicated to them.

Kurt Cobain said of this song that it was equal to or better than Smells Like Teen Spirit and Dave Grohl compared it to Bohemian rhapsody . Were they both exaggerating? Surely. But this distorted, twisted and at times psychedelic love song is one of his best compositions, which he concocted after his breakup with singer Tobi Vail.

Heart Shaped Box (1993)

In Utero was not the Nevermind II that many fans –and his own record company– expected. It is a farewell note from a man who is coming to the end of his days. But it also meant a notable musical evolution in the band, as it happened – bridging the gap – to Extremoduro. Heart-Shaped Box is haunting and disturbing, full of sarcasm and Cobain’s obsessions. And that video clip…

This haunting and surreal song with the name of abortion herb came about by accident while Dave Grohl and Kurt were messing with a tape recorder. The singer assured that he had composed it in just half a minute. The song was to be the third single from In Utero , but its release was canceled after Cobain’s suicide. The idea of ​​recording a video clip was also cancelled, although we will always have the amazing solo version of the song on MTV Unplugged .

Dive was issued as the B-side to Nirvana’s second single, Sliver , then as part of Sub Pop’s 1991 compilation The Grunge Years , and finally as the opening track to their 1992 rarities collection, Incesticide . It was one of his first successes when it came to fusing the strength of heavy metal with pop and cryptic lyrics. “Pick me, pick me,” he pleads with him, before changing his mind and saying, “Hit me, hit me, yeah I’m a very good hater.”

Think about it: if you had to go on stage to sing any song and give it your all for three minutes, which would you choose? We bet on this rabid version of the punk band Wipers that you may never have heard if you haven’t dived among the band’s rarities. Hit the link below and don’t be fooled by the slow start: you’re going to freak out.

The Man Who Sold the World (1993)

In 1971 David Bowie wrote The Man Who Sold The World and included it on an album of the same name. According to Kurt’s diaries, that was his favorite album of all by the English singer, so it was only fitting that he gave us a wonderful acoustic version on MTV Unplugged . Are Bowie and Cobain playing in heaven together? If you are one of those who believe in such things, why not?

With its punchy title, Rape Me makes a starring appearance in one of the third season episodes of Succession . The interpretation of her has been discussed since some see in her a response to Polly , and others a reflection of the singer on the weight of fame. If anything, it remains one of the boldest moments in music history.