Kurt Cobain died 18 years ago today. Excuse me while I catch my breath and shake my head in disbelief. It's still unfathomable that after only three years in the spotlight, and in the midst of his creative prime that the Nirvana singer committed suicide. Enough stories have been written about him, both theories and conspiracies, so I won't wax poetic anymore than what's been said already. Cobain was one of my first heroes, a star that didn't want to be star. In his honor, I've come up with the most Nirvana iconic songs in their catalog. This list could probably have had 30-40 songs, but after much thought, here they are and hopefully I can do the guy justice.
Honorable Mention: “About A Girl” (Unplugged version): Wow, was there a better way to kickoff an Unplugged program or what? From the opening chords to Cobain's wails, this tune set the tone for the most iconic performance in the history of the program.
5. “Sliver”: Whenever I hear this tune, it brings me back to being stuck at my grandparents' house as a kid, for better or worse. The song is punk, it's grunge, and it's a bit of everything. It really kicks ass.
4. “Lithium”: I remember watching my first VMA when the band started with “Rape Me” before launching into a thunderous rendition of this song, which was ultimately capped with bassist Krist Novoselic throwing up his bass and hitting himself in the head. Classic.
3. “Serve The Servants”: This song rocks.
2. “Come As You Are”: Another classic. Though many recall the familiar opening riffs of this song, it's the big guitar solo that was the standout moment on this tune. This song epitomized what the '90s were about, well, at least the alt-rock part. As both a radio hit and a fan favorite, “Come As You Are” united music listeners and inspired kids to pick up a guitar, or at least the ones that this guy knows.
1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: Cliché? Maybe. But this was the first song that I ever heard that made me go “holy shit” and was the impetus for me getting into music. Those iconic opening chords, the anarchy in the music video, the thunderous solo all had me hooked on this band from what seemed like a faraway land for an 11-year-old. Thanks for the memories Kurt, I don't know where I'd be without your music.