By Lorne Gillies
A band that defined a generation and influenced multiple artists that we all know and love today, Nirvana not only gave the world the masterpiece, Nevermind but they also introduced the world to grunge. Fronted by creative, troubled and, now, hero to millions, Kurt Cobain took his own life in his Seattle home on 8th April 1994. Undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the nineties, Cobain alongside Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic stormed their way into the mainstream with the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit rocketing the trio into stardom.
The success of Nirvana was short lived and leaving the world with only three studio albums Cobain, Grohl and Novoselic are still considered one of the greatest bands due to their infectious form of music. To commemorate what will be the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, King Tuts are hosting an evening dedicated to the master of grunge with eight acts including Carnivores, Michael Cassidy and Poor Things, performing music in memory of the Nirvana frontman. The event is taking place Saturday 5th April with tickets priced £8 and all proceeds will go to the Scottish Association for Mental Health; doors for the event open at 8PM.
Nirvana’s music still lives on with dedicated fans all over the world and that is a testament to the raw, gritty and timeless music the Seattle trio gave us. Here’s our top five Nirvana songs:
Starting off the song with a powerful guitar riff and pounding drums the second song from Nevermind is the perfect adaptation of soft punk and unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll. Telling the story of a, possibly, mentally challenged rock fan who “likes to sing along, and likes to shoot his gun” highlighting the issues that Kurt Cobain had in regards to those who listened to his music. A story within a song backed by pure instrumental pleasure makes this the go to Nirvana track.
A bass line eases you in before shattering instrumentals and vocals take over. The song is about a man who turns to religion: “today I found my friends, they’re in my head”, which can be about the man finding religion or a person finding peace within themselves. Backed by a grunge infused melody Lithium explains why so many millions of people still love Nirvana; brilliant, timeless songs.
Originally written on an acoustic guitar the song is actually, contrary to what some might believe, an anti-rape song challenging the situation. The completed version stands true to all Nirvana songs: a deafening drum beat, simplistic yet effective guitar riffs complimented by the hoarse and powerful vocals of Cobain.
Something In The Way
A completely different side to the grunge God’s, Something In The Way is the slowest Nirvana song on our list. Hauntingly beautiful with almost inaudible singing from Cobain during the verses makes the chorus lift even more mesmerising. The final track on Nevermind seals the effect the album had on people with chilling silence when it’s finished.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Obviously this one had to be on the list, the song that propelled three men from Seattle into stardom making Nirvana the biggest and best rock band in the world. Released in 1991 Smells Like Teen Spirit is recognisable within the first five seconds thanks to the scratchy guitar riffs going into the sensational drum beat and is the song that introduced fans to the band. Unfortunately due to extreme media coverage Cobain grew to loathe the song that made him the icon he is today.