Nirvana has created plenty of controversy over the years, causing lots of discussion between fans of the genre while actively being considered an icon from their prime in music.
Regardless of whether you like Nirvana’s music or not, they’ve made a lasting impression on many people and won’t be forgotten any time soon due to many of their music’s timeless qualities.
With a signature sound that isn’t hard to recognize, the band has come out with songs that have touched on different topics over the years, some leaving more of an impact than others.
So without further ado, here is my list of the best Nirvana love songs they’ve released over the years!
1. Heart-Shaped Box
For men, it’s understandable why “Heart-Shaped Box” is in the number one spot, as it’s one of the most well-known songs from the band. It offers a banging chorus with much calmer verses for a great contrast.
It’s a jam that many music lovers know of as it was all over the radio after its release and has remained in different forms of media for years. The mix is excellent on this song, and it offers a level of nostalgia fans won’t ever get enough of no matter how old they get.
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit
Offering high energy from beginning to end, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” left a massive imprint on a generation of listeners. The melody is so recognizable that it only takes the first few seconds before people notice who the song is from.
It’s a very danceable record that comes with many melodies that have resonated with listeners for a long time. Part of what makes Nirvana so memorable is their music can be loved by many different people and generations.
3. About A Girl
From a personal standpoint, I can say this is one of the best Nirvana love songs of all time as I feel it’s highly relatable and provides many timeless qualities like much of the band’s music. The melodies of this record are very catchy, and the overall production value brings a classic sound that people love.
The band has released a lot of music over the years, but their record “About A Girl” will outlast many others due to its organic sound. Regardless of the lyrics’ nature, the song brings many upbeat qualities.
4. Love Buzz
One of their more uptempo tracks, “Love Buzz,” is a record loved by many and will continue to be shared for a long time. Nirvana has produced some of the most noticeable melodies in their genre’s history, and this record is one of my personal favorites.
It’s a song that primarily focuses on the production value as the vocals are pretty spaced out. There are repetitive qualities such as the bassline and drum pattern, but the guitar has much more range and continues to satisfy.
5. On A Plain
Another record on this list that brings a very classic sound to this era in music; it brings many organic elements that a vast group of music lovers can love. One of their more repetitive records, the dynamics and progression doesn’t change too often.
This song is somewhat of a hit or miss for fans, but it’s still a staple from Nirvana’s discography. Regardless of its pros and cons, it isn’t hard to get into the song, and it comes with plenty of vitality.
6. Drain You
Driven with a lot of passion from the vocals, “Drain You” is a fan favorite, and I feel it is a solid choice for this list of best Nirvana love songs. The electric guitar progression is reminiscent of an era in this genre that we don’t hear too much anymore.
The drums are relentless, and the vocals glide over the instrumental effortlessly. Many enjoy the cinematic qualities of the record as well as the suspenseful elements that build up through the song.
7. Come As You Are
You can’t ignore the influence this song has had on a generation of listeners. Many people will immediately know which record it is from the first note alone.
“Come As You Are” sends a clear message, and the melodies are incredibly groovy. The record has a fast enough tempo to be danceable, and it’s left an impact on music lovers from all walks of life.
8. You Know You’re Right
Full of emotion and contrasting sonics, “You Know You’re Right” is an excellent record from the band’s discography. The distorted guitar hits just right, and the entire mix of the song leaves room for the vocals and instrumentation to flourish.
One of the grittier songs on this list, it’s still regarded by many to be one of the best Nirvana love songs of all time. I’m personally a fan of how the drums are arranged as they bounce between a light pattern to heavy clashes and kicks.
9. Negative Creep
Consisting of pure energy, this record offers a head-banging pace that’s unique all on its own. “Negative Creep” couldn’t be forgotten as it brings an energy that you don’t see in a lot of Nirvana’s music.
Riddled with distortion and an intense production value, Nirvana didn’t hold back from experimenting on this record. It just goes to show what the band is capable of and how they’re able to adapt to different sounds while taking influence from many genres.
10. Hairspray Queen
From their album Incesticide, “Hairspray Queen” stuck out from a lot of the tracklist as the band experimented with many different sonics and dynamics that seem to work against each other on purpose. It’s a record that seems like it’s competing for space yet still works at the same time.
The vocals are surely an acquired taste, but it’s a great representation of the band’s unique approach. Nirvana has always been somewhat unorthodox, but this record is an easy top ten choice in my opinion and is a fitting choice for one of the best Nirvana love songs.
Alex is a man of many talents. He’s been playing music since he was young, and has been the main content writer at Tone Start for the past few years. Alex loves to play around with different styles of music and enjoys listening to anything from country to classical.