There’s a lot that can be said about Nirvana and woe to the person that decides to dish or diss them to their diehard fans because it wouldn’t go well. In the 90s they were THE band that everyone wanted to be fans of and they were a movement unto themselves that helped grunge to really kick into high gear and become something that would be remembered for years to come. Plus their music, disturbing as the lyrics might have been sometimes, were the kind of stuff that you couldn’t get out of your head and would find yourself singing in the middle of the day when you weren’t even thinking about it. A lot of people called Kurt Cobain the kind of guy that could easily qualify as a musical genius but there’s no doubt that he was a bit disturbed and operating on a different level than a lot of people. That fact alone is possibly why he was called a genius, but it could also be that he spoke to an entire generation of individuals that were looking for a voice, or someone to give it to them.
Here are some of the best uses of their songs on TV and in movies.
5. Shoot ‘Em Up – Breed
While some of their songs were a bit slower and didn’t really offer the pace that a movie like this would need, Breed was something that made you start moving the moment you heard it ramp up and get going. This film wasn’t much to look at other than the unrealistic manner in which people were killed throughout and the simply story that was laid down, but it was something to watch and featured a small host of great actors that made it possible to gain the kind of attention it needed to even be considered by anyone. The simple fact is that it was a movie offering lots of violence and not much else and it worked for what it was.
4. Jarhead – Something In The Way
Unless you’ve been in the service you simply wouldn’t know if this is entirely accurate or not, but some folks that have been in have said that it happens more or less this way when you’re on the inside. The loneliness, the uncertainty, and the pain of wondering if those you left back home are still there waiting for you or have done the unspeakable and moved on without even considering that you might be home soon. It’s an existence that’s taken for the honor of serving one’s country and being a part of something, but there’s a lot more to it than the honor of serving the United States, and this film probably gives just a shorter version of it.
3. Beavis and Butthead – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Remember when MTV actually meant Music Television? There were still these things called music videos on the channel that aired for most of the day until the reality shows and other stuff came in and started to dominate. As a kid I can still recall sitting up late at night and sometimes all day just waiting for my favorite video to come on so that I could remember the name of the song or so that I could see what album it was on. Those were the days when MTV was actually worth its name since it was the type of channel you switched over to in order to be entertained and could hope that you’d see something new every now and then.
2. Nirvana Unplugged – Where Did You Sleep Last Night
A lot of bands got in on the whole Unplugged deal when it came around and unfortunately only a few of them really sounded that great when they did it. Nirvana was one of those since a lot of their songs sounded just as awesome if somewhat low-key when they performed. It was a much more laid-back atmosphere and the audience was a lot smaller as well. Not all of the sessions went smoothly since Kurt did have a habit of coming to the stage drunk now and again, but it would seem that he was mostly sober for these sessions and didn’t really get out of control while they were on the stage.
1. American Horror Story: Freak Show – Come As You Are
This was something of a surprise given the time period that was being used and the fact that the song wouldn’t have come out until decades later. But it’s TV and it’s all fiction so it flies. But to hear Come As You Are on AHS was kind of an eye-opening experience because it was unexpected and kind of added another layer of ‘what the hell?’ that was there and gone within a few minutes.
Nirvana is likely to remain a rock and roll legend no matter what anyone says.