Cheap Top 5: Nirvana Songs
In today's paper I reviewed "Dark Was the Night," the new "intellectual indie" collection from the folks at Red Hot. The AIDS charity has been releasing compilations for the last two decades, and if you went to high school in the '90s -- or even if you didn't -- "No Alternative" is probably the one that's most familiar to you. That was Red Hot's 1993 foray into the alt-rock boom, and it was certainly a staple in the collection of everyone who ever bought 8 CDs for a penny through BMG, or whatever it was. As fun as Pavement's R.E.M.-namechecking "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" is ("'Time After Time' is my least favorite song!") the best song on the album is, obviously, Nirvana's "Verse Chorus Verse," which for some reason was relegated to hidden track status and has since been retitled "Sappy." I queued it up recently and it still kills. And it got me thinking -- is it one of the five best Nirvana songs?
Yes, it is. Barely, but it made the cut. The list, in alphabetical order, because who doesn't love a list?
"Drain You" - Definitely the best pop song Cobain wrote. The bridge is a little cheap, but the build up back into the verse makes it worth it.
"In Bloom" - The "Nevermind" single that holds up sturdiest a decade and a half later. Nature really is a whore, too.
"Lithium" - The "yeah yeah yeah" in the chorus is probably Cobain's most effective lyric ever.
"Serve the Servants" - During a quick poll of some friends (OK, people I talk to on g-chat), this was the only song that showed up on every list. And with good reason. The guitar is just so stinging (thanks, Albini), the drums sound like actual drums (thanks again) and it's the most complete song on "In Utero."
"Verse Chorus Verse/Sappy" - Tongue in cheek as it may be, the formula works. Plus, killer solo.
Just missing the cut: "Pennyroyal Tea" and "On a Plain"
You know you have your own list. Let's see it.
By David Malitz |
February 17, 2009; 5:53 PM ET
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