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Playlists

Courtney Love's favourite Nirvana songs

Courtney Love, the widow of iconic Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, named a list of her favourite songs ever created by the grunge pioneers. The Hole frontwoman, who first met Cobain at Portland’s Satyricon nightclub in January 1990, was married to the acclaimed musician for two years after getting wed on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, in 1992. The highly charged relationship, which was played out in the public eye, ended prematurely when Cobain tragically committed suicide in 1994 amid his battles with mental health struggles and drug addiction.

Their relationship was fast and furious, and under the glaring spotlight of the media, built around intense creativity and heavy touring amid major commercial success through both bands, the pair had little semblance of what constitutes a life of contentment. While reflecting on her career and life as part of an Instagram live Q&A, Love was drawn into a conversation about some of her favoured Nirvana tracks for the first time.

Courtney Love has become so entwined with the legend of Nirvana and their mercurial frontman Kurt Cobain that it feels as though she is almost a part of the band herself. Always accompanying her husband through festival circuits and worldwide domination, Love became an icon of the moment. It means that her favourite songs offer an insight not only into her relationship with Kurt but the band and the scene too.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Love picked out ‘Heart Shaped Box’ taken from the 1993 album In Utero, a track which she attempted to get her hands on while she heard Cobain originally writing the guitar riff. “We had this huge closet,” Love recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1994. “And I heard him in there working on ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. He did that in five minutes,” she recalls. “[I went] Knock, knock, knock. ‘What?’ ‘Do you need that riff?’ ‘Fuck you!’ Slam.”

Love has also been willing to reveal the origins of ‘Heart Shaped Box’, responding to Lana Del Rey on social after she covered the track: “You do know the song is about my Vagina right? ‘Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back,’ umm,” Love wrote in a public message to Del Rey. “On top of which some of the lyrics about my vagina I contributed. So next time you sing it, think about my vagina, will you?” she added.

Moving away from Courtney Love’s vagina, the Hole frontwoman referenced ‘Serve The Servants’ in another nod of the head to In Utero as well as ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’ from the same record.

Courtney Love’s favourite Nirvana songs:

  • ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ – In Utero
  • ‘Serve The Servants’ – In Utero
  • ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’ – In Utero
  • ‘In Bloom’ – Nevermind

Love’s final choice is Nevermind’s fan favourite, ‘In Bloom’. The song was originally written by Cobain by way of quietly mocking the new pop fans the band were acquiring. A bittersweet way of delivering a message under the guise of a grunge pop gem.

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