Best Nirvana Songs

The Top Ten
1 Smells Like Teen Spirit

This is the song that made realize there was more music out there than the mainstream top 40.
I'm a 13 year old girl. All my life I've listened to pop music. I've thought for a long time it was kind of annoying, but I went along with it. After all, "it was cooler to listen to pop" and "the only other music is that stupid Beatles and Elvis junk". Well, that's what I thought.
Then one day in music class a few months ago we learned about grunge music. My teacher put on the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video as an example. I instantly loved it. By the time Kurt (aka 'shaggy hair dude' because I didn't know who he was) was singing/screaming the chorus I realized that this was the kind of music I wanted to listen to. I loved every second of the video and song, especially how it goes from all mellow to rocking out or whatever you call it. Even though other Nirvana songs have better lyrics, this will always be my favorite. It let me escape from what everyone else was listening to, and ...more

Look, I know this song is overplayed and there are a lot of phony fans that only know this song, but there's a reason it's popular. It's got good lyrics (not their best, but still good), it's got a good beat, it's easy to sing or dance along to, which makes it catchy. Come As You Are, In Bloom, Lithium, Heart-Shaped Box, All Apologies, etc. ; all of these probably have better lyrics but Smells Like Teen Spirit is catchier and I normally judge songs by their lyrics as a main priority but this, in my opinion, is better than all of their other stuff, although it is a bit overplayed. And as much as I hate phony fans who only know this song, I hate fans who dislike this song just because Kurt did equally.

I have to say that this isn't my favorite Nirvana's song, many people know Nirvana as the smells like teen spirit band, but the band is more than just a song. And that piss me off every time! Then I look back when I listened to this song for the first time, and it was outragious, that feeling that is growing on you...I can't even describe it, I'm sure you experienced the same feeling. So imagine a whole generation back in the 90s feeling the same way. Right? I know this song is overplayed, but come on, it changed music and changed me.

Nevermind most powerful album from Nirvana, and in 1991 hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 unseating Michael Jackson with its major label debut and ushered in the age of grunge.

2 Heart-Shaped Box

This is one out of my three absolute top-favourite Nirvana songs.
This song has so many possible meanings, same as the music video, and every time I listen to it I think of a new possible meaning, ranging from relationship issues to cancer in children (Which Kurt Cobain has also clarified).
It is so underrated, and this makes me really upset. Yeah, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are are amazing songs, but they don't seem to hold so much meaning as Heart-Shaped Box.
RIP Kurt Cobain, you will be forever loved and missed.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Is Way to Overrated. I would Choose Either Heart-Shaped Box for its amazing Lyrics and being more grunge than Smell Like Teen Spirit. After Heart-Shaped Box I would Choose All Apologies (MTV unplugged Of Course) and then, even though it is a cover song, Where Did You Sleep Last Night Due to being the most Lyrical-Wise Songs I Have Ever Heard. They Are Better Than a Shakespeare Poem and Where did you sleep last night almost made me cry, which is the only song that has ever done that.

Soooo good. Really deep. One of my favorite songs I can't help but sing along to it. I had to learn this on guitar it is one of the best riffs ever. This son displays a more mellow kurt and it shows how he was unhappy with a lot of things. I wish he could come back and perform it live one more time with nirvana. This track is way better that teen spirit but people only prefer teen spirit because it is played more.

This is the song that made me aware of Nirvana and download nearly every song I could find. It's quite depressing but somehow, I can listen to it no matter what mood my PMS has bestowed upon me. Nirvana is just so universal, these top three songs are absolutely addictive.

3 Lithium

My favorite song of all time. The vibe, the lyrics, the instruments, the voice, the everything is fantastic in this song. Don't get me wrong, Teen Spirit is amazing but the thing is I think that the YEAH YEAH is just amazing. Also Kurt commited suicide pretty much of his popularity and Teen Spirit was his most popular so being a hardcore Nirvana fan and Kurt being one of my idols, it seems hard to like. Yet I still love the crap out of that song... But lithium is just genius.

Nirvana are something else. Best band to come out of America, and nevermind, one of the best, most acclaimed albums of all time, and this one is the best of the lot. The dark, sinister lyrics are so deep and thoughtful, and the performance is incredible. It's so difficult to explain why this is such a good song to someone who hasn't, but its incredible.

Such an amazing song. It flows beautifully and when I first heard it I almost cried because it's so perfect in my opinion. Teen spirit was my favorite but that was when I hadn't heard very many. Overall, this is my favorite song of my favorite band. It's just one example of the many that make up the outstanding Nirvana.

I like this one a lot. I think that Smells like teen spirit is a BIT overrated. Honestly, maybe the lyrics are "deep", but I think it's just a ton of random lines about puberty strung together.

Too bad Kurt's still not alive. Music would be so much different... Maybe rock wouldn't be dead.

4 Come as You Are

This is no matter why the song only able to collect 10 vote. But to be proud that we 10 percent of people could able to understood the meaning of the song. And moreover there is no any other musical band in this universe who does give this type of challenging song before and neither it could happen in future. "You are awesome nirvana! " It's completely against of time.

Can everyone stop voting for the overplayed Smells Like Teen Spirit? We all know it's great, but Nirvana have more than just 1 good song. This deserves way more than 9 percent! VOTE!

Simple tune with creepy undertone and a killer chord section "no I don't have a gun". Their most melodic song too. A jewel of rock that you can seduce an audience with at any time.
Just beats smells like teen
Spirit and lithium for me and then I would go for the unplugged version of about a girl.

Awesome song this really showed me how great a song writer Kurt really was as well as a good singer also. If that's not good enough the production from Butch Vig is amazing my personal favourite track of nevermind with exception of drain you and lounge act.

5 In Bloom

According to this song, the fans described in this song can understand that Nirvana should be loved not for cool, popular beautiful songs, but for their "black", not popular, inconspicuous side, or songs that are listened to but they fade into the background comparing with hits. My Top: 1 Drain You. 2. Come as you are, 3. In bloom, 4. Do Re Mi, 5. Heart - shaped Box, 6. Teen Spirit I will not continue the list further, it is very long. Thank you for reading!

I praise this song not because it sounds great (which it does) but because to me it represents the pinnacle of Nirvana's witty and intelligent lyrics. This lyrics to this song are beautifuly self-aware written to literally mock those who like it. Truly an amazing song.

Not the most meaningful or deep Nirvana song, but that's the point because it's meant to be tongue in cheek. It's genuinely very enjoyable to listen and sing along to, which is exactly what Cobain had intended.

Guys come on this is so underrated! Awesome guitar solo, super loud, epic bass part, just everything is so awesome in this! Only thing that should be before this is Smells Like Teen Spirit! Vote this!

6 All Apologies

The haunting quality of the production on this song, combined with the brilliant guitar melody supported by the beautifully dark sounding cello parts, in addition to the pain in the lyrics and the incredibly effective extended ending to the song...all of this makes All Apologies not only one of Nirvana's very best songs...I think it is one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

Kurt Cobain rarely talked about this song, but he did say that it was dedicated to his wife, Courtney Love, and daughter, Francis Bean. The song deals with everything that was expected of him and the changes he had been through, which weren't all pleasant judging by the lines, "Married... Buried."

So many great songs but of their songs All Apologies gets my vote. Not including any of their many great covers from leadbelly to the vaselines, the meat puppets or bowie etc. Kurt you are truly 1 of the greats & it's sad that music hasn't been the same since you've passed. The music you wrote will live on forever! R.I.P. Kurt

Kurt Cobain's restrained voice, coupled with the amazing guitar line, easily makes this song their best. The end sequence for this song is one of the best I've heard.

7 The Man Who Sold the World

How can one not just love this great song. Kurt is amazing as always, the guitar piece is mesmerizing. Many people say that Smells Like Teen Spirit is overrated, I don't think so. I don't hate any of their songs. But this one's my favorite:

Oh no, not me
We never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world

These lyrics makes me ecstatic. Nirvana fan for life..

It really disappoints me to see people who wear Nirvana merchandise but will only ever listen to Smells Like Teen Spirit. That song, is far from their best. In my opinion, Nirvana's cover of this David Bowe song is really something else. Normally I don't like covers, but this one was exceptional.

This song starts with an amazing Guitar.. I felt like this song is an underrated one and it deserves to be in #2. When Kurt sings "... I spoke into his eyes- I thought you died alone... A long, long time ago... Who knows.. Not me... We never.. " everything melts in it.. An amazing artist..R.I. P Kurt.. Gone but not forgotten..!

This cover is better than the original David Bowie version to me. This song is one of the best acoustic song. This song comes from the greatest posthumous album. This song is from the greatest MTV Unplugged performance.

8 You Know You're Right

"You Know You're Right" is just one song that can break a true Kurt Cobain/Nirvana fan's heart but in other words, I was only a year old when this song was first played on the radio and I was very young. The last time I heard this song on the radio was way earlier this year and I just memorized the whole song from 13 years ago. I fell in love with this song and never heard the song being played on the radio ever again. Forget the radio stations, I'll buy another copy of this cd someday and listen to it until my kids will hear it and will think they heard the song before they were even born.

Kurt's last song... Nirvana's best performance. I mean seriously! The pain and suffering he just screams out of his voice! The furious drumming bashing the room! The thunderous bass echoing the walls! How could someone NOT like this song?!?! I love Smells Like Teen Spirit a lot. I really do! But Nirvana just NAILS it here! They just gave it all they got. What an amazing last performance. I tip my hat to you Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. No, I don't tip my hat, I burn it in your honor!

This song is simply beautiful, I get goosebumps every time I hear that dark bass line, and the pure pain in Kurt's voice. The lyrics are some of Kurt's best, but it's the way that the song somehow builds into the screaming chorus at the middle and end without changing anything until the final second that makes this song Nirvana's best.

Just because this was released after he died doesn't mean this is an amazing song the intro is good but overall this isn't a top 10 nirvana song, I'm not going to name them all but just look at the songs below this, they should all be above it, however this is still a good song like all their songs.

9 Rape Me

It should be at rank 6, before the song 'The Man Who Sold the World' which is at 6... Then the list would be perfect. This song is much better than that.. It is one of the best catchy song of Nirvana.

This song is the most straight out blunt song you will ever hear. Don't try to pull some super awful meaning out of it. It was only made to be abrupt and get people to stop and listen.

The most powerful song Nirvana has written. It's ironic that this is one of the most calm and sing-along-y from their album In Utero, but was still banned because of the word "rape".

Great song! Love the story where they started "Rape Me" at the VMA's and MTV executives went crazy! But then they switched to Lithium... They were just messing with everyone!

10 About a Girl

I am very surprised to see about a girl in 10th place. This is a vary underrated song.
It is a very good song too. This should of made Nirvana popular, not smells like teen spirit. I thought that I would never like a song as much as I like smells like teen spirit, but then I heared about a girl This should be # 1

My favorite Nirvana song. The unplugged version is even better, and if you like acoustic you will love this. All in all, this song is listed as one of the greatest love songs above Heart Shaped Box, so why is it not above it here?

Honestly, I bet half the people who voted for Smells Like Teen Spirit probably the only reason they did was because it's their most popular. Like they have more than 1 good song. About A Girl is great.

Kurt Cobain wrote this for his girlfriend at the time, Tracy Marander. They lived together for a while, and he took the photo that's on the album cover.

The Contenders
11 Pennyroyal Tea

Ok, I can understand that some of my favorite songs are not on the top ten, because I like A LOT MORE than 10 nirvana songs. I agree with 9 out of the ten songs included in the top ten, except for breed, I mean, it just doesn't belong there. There's two songs that deserve to be on the top ten, and those are: 1. About a Girl: Bleach was characterized as being a "dirty sounding" album, but about a girl is simply the masterpiece in there. It's their first great song (followed closely by blew and school). 2. Pennyroyal tea: Ok, do I even have to explain to you why this is one of the songs that should replace Breed in the top ten? It's a perfect balance between the rather edgy and sharp sound of Heart Shaped Box and the greatly melodic All Apologies. It's just a perfect song, not my favorite, but one of them; it definitely is one of the 2 songs that deserve to replace breed in the top ten

This is a top 10 song guaranteed! What a great song from the last album (unfortunately) of Nirvana! I love the power in Kurt's vocals on this song.

My top 10:
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (might as well be my favorite since it's everyone else's)
2. Come As You Are
3. About a Girl
4. Heart Shaped Box
5. Lithium
6. Pennyroyal Tea
7. In Bloom
8. The Man Who Sold the World
9. Polly
10. You Know you're Right

R.I. P Kurt

Goosebumps! One of my fave song... Have a cup of tea guys. This song shows the powerful voice of kurt.. Long live

This song speaks to me so much. I love this. This and Lithium are my favorites.

12 Something in the Way

Why isn't this amazing song higher up? I mean, just look at these lyrics:

"Underneath the bridge
The tap has sprung a leak
And the animals I've trapped
Have all become my pets
And I'm living off of grass,
And the drippings from the ceiling
It's OK to eat fish, 'cause they don't have any feelings. "

Bloody amazing. Not to say anything about the melody and his voice. And people vote for Smells Like Teen Spirit *headdesk* Don't get me wrong, it's a great song, but seriously? People who vote for that song obviously don't know any of their other songs...

My fellow appreciator of real music at point 1. Thank you. Teen spirit was groundbreaking but doesn't really show you what I think he loved to feel. Listen to the MTV start to finish, listen to the chelos and realize he wasn't suicidal, depressed sure but we all are. He just loved to let you know something was in the way of his happiness, and the he sold the world and the he thinks he's dumb and all applolgies and will burn in a lake of fire. Pretty standard but he could write and sing it impeccably

I actually cried listening to this for the first time. Beautiful song. This isn't my absolute favorite Nirvana song, but is (in my opinion) there best song. It can't even be explained. Whenever they did the song live, it was never up to the quality of the studio version, just because it's that diverse and different sounding. But something like SLTS can easily be played live, because it's so simple. Anyway, sorry for the paragraph lol, that's just how I write, and uh yeah, hope you enjoyed.

I'm guessing most people voting for Teen Spirit not heard many Nirvana songs. It's a great song but to be honest its not in my top 10 Nirvana songs. I choose Something in the way because I can't think of another song by any band that sounds remotely similar and unlike some other Nirvana songs I can listen to it whatever my mood.

13 Drain You

This is probably one of the best, if not "the" best song Cobain wrote. It should absolutely be in the top 5. While it never had the sensational popularity of teen spirit, this track is the best use of the "quiet-loud-quit-loud" style Nirvana was known for. The guitar riff is simple, but powerful and emotional. The lyrics in this song are some of the most complex Cobain ever wrote, and his guttural scream is pure raw emotion.

This is SUCH A GOOD SONG. It was one of Kurt's most favorites, and you can really tell when you listen to it. You can feel the enthusiastic energy he had while recording it. It's just...good. Interesting lyrics, really neat how the guitar comes back in full-force after the quieter part with the duck squeaky toy, just awesome. For whatever reason though, it feels the most bittersweet to listen to. It reminds me of Kurt the most. I think that kind of adds to it though

Kurt Cobain liked this song more then Teen Spirit for a reason. Don't get me wrong, Heart Shaped Box, Lithium, Come As You are.. All are fantastic songs, but I'll have to say, this is my favorite song by the greatest grunge act there was, is, and ever will be.

In my opinion, this is Nirvanas number 1. The vocals are great, catchy riff, builds up to the final verse. I love how he wrote this watching a show on water births. The guitar is awesome, perfect amount of distortion and a great song played live.

14 Dumb

"I'm not like them
But I can pretend
The sun is gone,
But I have a light
The day is done,
I'm having fun
I think I'm dumb
Or Maybe just happy

Think I'm just happy"

There is a reason this was in the greatest hits album. Get this in the top 10 ASAP!

This song is unexpectedly low. I love that cello part just after "think I'm just happy". It's such an awesome chill song and it deserves to be higher up on this list, just give it a listen and you will agree.

The perfect nirvana song, such beautiful lyrics,
Nice mellow guitar, and while it's not overrated
Like smells like teen spirit, it's not too hipsterish
Like you know you're right either... Get this
To at least the top 5!

Although I still consider spells like teen spirit to be their best song, I think dumb deserves to be higher on the list. Come on, there's a violin in the song!

15 Breed

Look, I don't want a depressing funeral. I want a party where people are celebrating my life and just going crazy. This song is 100% one I want to be playing there. Clever lyrics "We can plant a house, we can build a tree". Also, kick-ass guitar and a great grunge sound. A lot of fun to listen to.

An early Nirvana song about being trapped in middle-class America, this was a song the band developed during live performances in 1989 when they toured Europe with their Sup Pop labelmates TAD. In our interview with Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt, he explained that this song was "hypnotic," and a stylistic breakthrough for the band. "Audiences would become ecstatic," Pavitt said. "They were experiencing Nirvana. And when you're experiencing really good, primal rock n roll, you break into a trance."

One of the greatest songs ever! Good intro to a song
'We can plant a house, We can build a tree'
Such great lyrics. Should definitely be in the top 10. The best song in nevermind alongside Drain You and Endless Nameless. R.I.P Kurt Cobain

Come on this is an amazing song! How could it be so low, and honestly all people who vote for smells like teens spirit could vote for something else, we already know it is their most famous and overplayed song. Doesn't need 33%.

16 Where Did You Sleep Last Night

The song is a cover of a folk song made famous by Leadbelly. It was performed in Nirvana's Unplugged set in 1993 as the final song from the set. The song is chilling and kind of creepy, as it was one of the last performances Cobain ever left for the public to hear. The last verse is screamed but not in a bad, aimless way. You can tell there is emotion and angst behind it. And unlike other Nirvana songs, Cobain was actually pleased with the performance himself. When asked to perform an encore at Unplugged, he refused because he didn't feel he could top this song. And he was right. This song is perfect.

It shouldn't be first because it's a cover and not one of their most popular but it's my favourite nirvana song with tbe emotion that he puts into it and the sort of creepy way it builds up to his howling scream thing at the end.
But I also think the context of the song makes it better. The fact that it was the last song of such a legendary show, the fact that it was live and I don't think theyd recorded or performed the song before, the fact that it's a really dark folk song from the mid 1800's and that Cobain killed himself just a few months after he recorded this and I think it was the last new song he performed... This all makes the song a lot weirder and better I think

Chills everywhere! One of the most outstanding live performances! It does not matter if the vocals are perfect...the only that matters is the feeling! And you can totally feel his pain, his sadness, his anger! You can feel that and see that in his eyes, you can hear that in his breath just before the end of the song! Perfect!

This was the epitome of Kurt, his voice, the way the show ended, even he knew it was perfection when MTV wanted to do another take. It was the last time many of us saw Kurt Cobain alive, and it is how we remembered him, and the way I will...

17 Aneurysm

This will always be my favorite Nirvana song! This song is so much better than Smells Like Teen Spirit! Smells Like Teen Spirit is just overrated by all the fake Nirvana fans who only listened to them on the radio!

I just don't believe that this awesome song isn't in the top 10. For me, it's the most underrated song of all time. I used to think that Heart Shaped Box is their best song, but when I heard Aneurysm... Damn, I just love this song!

This song isn't exactly one of my favorites.. (About a Girl, Dumb, and Come as You Are) BUT, it is still better than some of the trash they call good these days.

This song is one of my favorites and I LOVE smells like teen spirit. True Nirvana fans likes all their albums and songs.

18 Scentless Apprentice

Ok but this is a really, really cool song. I love how he drew inspiration from his favorite book to write the lyrics. I just love the guitar and the general mood. Honestly there are a lot of underrated songs on In Utero, and this is one of them. All Apologies gets too much attention in my opinion.

This song was inspired by the novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind, about a man born with an amazing sense of smell but no smell of his own. He was an apprentice in a perfume shop and becomes a murderer of young girls for their scent.

The first time when the 3 Nirvana's musicians have been collaborate, and one of the most loved song from Kurt. This song is definitely the definition of what is Nirvana.

Kurt's distorted voice adds extra intensity, beyond that it has great interchange of the riffs, which by themselves are amazing anyways. The bridge is great also.

19 Territorial Pissings

I really hate the fist 10 sec. when Kurt's talking: come on people now... but the moment when the guitar part starts is just so powerful, I can't even describe it with words. Personally I think it should be in the top 3 along with polly and lithium. This is one of the songs that made nevermind one of the best albums ever!
RIP Kurt!

To the person who doesn't know anything but "Teen Spirit", this sounds like an absolute train wreck of a song, but that is what makes it their best!

Yeah, teen spirit is probably my favourite but if you've seen the video for this you'll know that it shows the TRUE nirvana!

First off it's Krist singing the intro, Second, Hoe can you hate he intro?!?!? It makes the song the song! This is the punkiest song on nevermind. But the best Nirvana song is Aneursym

20 Sliver

Really 'out of this world' song. The guitar riffs, the bass and the lyrics are so very awesome that I listen to this song again and again. Please get it up on the list guys, the is the real Nirvana!

Can't believe this is so low. Very repetitive and simple, but also really memorable and catchy. Not their best, but I can't stand seeing this great song so far down on the list.

Not the best song, but it breaks my heart to see, that it is so underestimated by people. This song is still one of Nirvana's best, extremely powerful, and sustained by genius lyrics

This Song tell story of my life. When I was toddler my parent left me with my grand parents and from that day I never wanted to live with my parents. I wanted to live with my Grand parents

21 Lounge Act

I wouldn't say it was the single best ever Nirvana song, but it's up there with You Know You're Right and Scentless Apprentice. Smells like Teen Spirit is the most overrated Nirvana song and really doesn't define Nirvana as a grunge band. Probably not even worthy of the top 20.

This should be in the top 3, the way the lyrics are constructed and delivered are genius, the clean guitar until the last verse and in between what I guess you could call the chorus is awesome.

Great song. Kurt doesn't scream that much in the song making it unique compared to the rest (even though all of their songs are great). Plus how can you hate on that bass line!

You don't hear crap about the this song, or the other half of the songs on Nevermind either. I just love the rhythm of this song and the way Kurt's voice sounds too.

22 Polly

I really don't understand why this isn't higher up. Even from the beginning when I hadn't heard all the hype about some of the other songs, this song struck me as being the best of the album right away. I'd assumed this would be the chart topper, the song that would make them famous.

Having this song at 17 is a crime. Simple as that. Beautiful song which showcased Nirvana's incredible talent exceptionally well, and is still just as memorable, and disturbing today as it was in 1991. Particularly like the Live at Reading version. Long live rock.

This is definitely one of Kurt's best pieces of work. The lyrical genius he puts into this song that's based on a real story is masterful. The unplugged in new York version is the best, and it shows Cobain in a different light with a different style.

Incredible song, sung by Kurt in this soothing voice that gives the song a sort of comforting feel to spooky lyrics. Can't believe I needed to scroll down the list this far to see it.

23 On a Plain

What I like about this song is that, although Kurt wrote it in a couple minutes, and only to "fill" the album, there's something about the rhythm and the lyrics that's somehow catchy.

I love this song. It isn't even the band's best effort but it still manages to make my top 10. The unplugged version is my favorite.

On a plain, should be higher on this list, but I can't complain... Seattle rules!

Awesome song! Very underrated

24 School

Powerful opening riff and demonstrates that a song can be a simple aka punk! Kurt was able to convey the angst of childhood here in just a few words. By far my favorite track off of what I view as their best album Bleach..

23!? This song is so bad ass! Sure there is only 10 words but it is more of a instrumental thing. I love this song especially the live at reading version. If you are a Nirvana fan and you haven't heard this song, I would definitely check it out

School 29th! There no way these people could have listened to All Nirvana's songs!
School is one of the best! It absolutely rips your face off!

Pretty amazing song. One of the best opening riffs ever. Not the best of all time, but certainly higher than 42nd place.

25 Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle

The best Nirvana song my opinion. Deep dark meaningful lyrics, powerful chores, loud distorted guitars, Kurt's haunting voice just makes this song 10x better every time you listen to it.

Amazing song with very good lyrics. 'To come back as fire to burn all the liars and leave a blanket of ash on the ground'. Just everything in this song sounds so perfect.R.I. P Kurt Cobain

Wow. People need to start listening to more nirvana, this is definitely my favorite song by them. From lyrics to the melody, just perfect

Extremely underrated song, the lyrics are so deep and Kurt's voice is flawless.

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