Joey’s Top 10s: Top 10 Nirvana Songs

Teen Spirit takes #4 on this controversial list!



Washingtonians love the Seattle-based, iconic grunge band Nirvana.


This Seattle-based grunge band has made a resurgence due to the popularity of “The Batman” using their song “Something In The Way” for movie promo. However, the band is so much more than that and their catalog, while not super long, is incredible.

  1. “The Man Who Sold The World”

Nirvana covered this David Bowie song during their MTV Unplugged concert and totally owned it. This is one of the most noteworthy examples of a cover song being better than the original.

  1. “Lithium”

A somewhat similar song to “Come As You Are,” “Lithium” oscillates between a clean guitar and laidback vocals to an overdriven guitar and lead singer Kurt Cobain’s signature screeching vocals.

This is a pretty cool song overall, but there are better Nirvana songs.

  1. “On A Plain”

“On A Plain” follows the typical Nirvana recipe for a song, a couple chugging power chords from a heavily overdriven guitar and up-tempo drums.

  1. “Heart-Shaped Box”

Most beginner guitarists learn how to play this riff as one of their first things after picking up the instrument. This is a pretty stereotypical Nirvana song, maybe a little less intense than some of their other songs.

  1. “Something In The Way”

Yes, this is the song from Batman, but it is more than just that. It is in an alternate tuning which gives the guitar the real dark, gloomy vibe and makes the song that much more atmospheric.

  1. “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”

A classic song from their legendary MTV Unplugged concert, Cobain’s screams in this song are unforgettable. This song changes pace several times and is done really well.

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

The song that launched Nirvana into the stratosphere, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of the most iconic songs in music history. It is one of the very first songs beginner guitar players learn when they first pick up the instrument.

  1. “Come As You Are”

One of the most recognizable intro riffs in music history (but that is a list for another day) – the solo is awesome. It is just the melody of the chorus, but that is all it has to be.

Cobain was an expert at melody writing, and the solo did not need to be flashy, it just had to fit the song, which it does masterfully.

  1. “Lake of Fire”

“Lake of Fire” could have been a snub from my Top 10 Spooky Songs list, it sets such an incredible tone.

The meaning of this song is unclear, but Cobain’s screechy vocals and the acoustic guitar work so well that you almost do not care about their meaning. They are covering this song live, but I think it is one of their best performances.

  1. “You Know You’re Right”

I know what you guys are saying, no teen spirit as #1? I hear ya, that song was huge for music history, but I truly think that “You Know You’re Right” is Nirvana’s best song.

It strays away from their typical grunge sound to almost heavy metal. However you want to slice this song, it is thoroughly phenomenal.