Nirvana: one of the last rock legend to play Guess the Song
Not a lot of rock bands can brag about having such a success, both publicly and critically, as Nirvana. These success stories are rare and generally make these artists real legends. Which can make fans go crazy...
On the 20th of last June, in Beverly Hills, Kurt Cobain's semi-acoustic guitar - the one from the mythical MTV Unplugged concert of 93 - was auctioned for a record of $6 million! Although the guitar in question, a D 18-E produced in 302 copies, is a rare model, the amount of money reached, shows how important the band was in the 90s, and stll today.
Let's take a look back at their career and their greatest success through a special Nirvana "grunge" musical quiz!
Some classics in your Nirvana special to remind you of the good old days
For many of the people who have experienced the group's success, Nirvana is above all Nevermind, their famous second album illustrated with a baby swimmer in pursuit of a Dollar...
It must be said that the phenomenon has been surprising. Barely two months after its release, in 91, the record is up the charts, carried by the first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit", which was then broadcast in loop on MTV. At the beginning of the following year, the unthinkable happened for this once unknown band: already a platinum disc, Nevermind takes the first place on the Billboard 200 in front of Dangerous from Michael Jackson – with sales exceeding 300,000 copies per week! And as a result: the album is now one of the biggest success stories in the History of music, with more than 30 million copies worldwide!
If "Smells Like Teen Spirit" remains undoubtedly the most emblematic song of the album, this last one contains several classics that any “Guess the song” game on Nirvana must include. "Come As You Are", "Lithium" or "In Bloom" are some of the tracks that made them famous and that your guests will be delighted to hear again. But to be honest, if the album is still considered to be one of the best in rock history, it's because there are no bad songs on it ! No risk to ruin the atmosphere of your party, even by randomly picking up from their 12 tracks…
In Utero and MTV Unplugged: a musical quiz for the experts…
Two other Nirvana albums sold several million copies: In Utero, the band's third and final studio album, and the recording of their live MTV Unplugged, released just a few months after Kurt Cobain's death. This last one is in fact the best-selling posthumous record in the History of music, with nearly 7 million units sold!
Even if both albums were a great success, they include some songs less known by the general public, which could make your quiz a bit more difficult... Besides the famous (and unmistakable) David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World", the MTV Unplugged gathers several other covers such as "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam" by The Vaselines or "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by Leadbelly.
Regarding In Utero, in addition to the now famous "Heart-Shaped Box", "Rape Me" and "Pennyroyal Tea", this album contains some great tracks, which marked the band's return to a more punk and violent sound – reminding us of their debut with their first album Bleach. This ended up with some edgy tracks such as "Scentless Apprentice". This might explains why the record wasn't as much of a success as its predecessor... And yet, Kurt Cobain wanted the record to be even more aggressive, nothing like Nevermind's commercial success, which he couldn't stand.
Turn it up with songs only known by the biggest fans!
Nirvana wasn't really famous before releasing of Nevermind. Their first album, Bleach, is full of exciting musical discoveries for anyone who would like to learn more about the band.
The song "About A Girl" - which was later recorded again for the MTV Unplugged – it is a good starting point for playing a “Guess the song” game for real aficionado. It shows (once again) Cobain's talent for writing pop melodies. Other Bleach tracks deserve to be here, such as "Love Buzz", the band's first single, which is actually a cover version of a Shocking Blue track released in 1969. It might be the opportunity to test your guests' knowledge by asking them who originally composed the song... The powerful and pessimistic "Negative Creep", which deals with the precarious life of Kurt Cobain at that time, or "Floyd The Barber" should also make them rack their brains...
Finally, if your friends are really experts, and especially Nirvana fans, you can put their culture to the test with the ultimate challenge: the B-sides, demos and other oldiest! After Nevermind's triumph, several unreleased tracks leaked and the band was forced to officially release some of them on an album, resulting in Incesticide. This album also includes "Sliver", considered to be one of their best tracks.
Of course, with Kurt Cobain's in 94, some unreleased and rare tracks resurfaced in the following years. For example, in 2002, we can mention the record entitled Nirvana, which opens on the studio version of "You Know You're Right", which was previously only a live recording. A release that made a lot of noise at the time! This led the way for two other ones with new recordings, With The Lights Out and Sliver: The Best of The Box. So many option s to put your friends to the test!
Did this retrospective make you want to (re)discover the mythical Nirvana? Feel free to dive back into their discography and get inspired by our advice to set up your own Guess the song Party.