Nirvana doesn’t have a whole lot of videos under their belt, but there are some great videos and some not so ones in their library. They don’t really have videos that are outright terrible, but there are some that just don’t live up to the others. Nevertheless, they are all here for your enjoyment to honor the memory of Kurt Cobain. Here are all of their videos ranked from best to meh.
This has got to be the weirdest and trippiest video in the Nirvana library. It’s even a bit creepy what with the huge woman covered in paint moving towards fetuses hanging from trees. Not to mention the doe eyed KKK girl dancing around. The wild, vivd colors, obscure imagery, and extreme close ups of Cobain really makes this a memorable video. There are two versions of this video with slight alterations: one with Cobain lying in flowers and another of Cobain singing in the starry room, but they’re both just as great.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
This is a classic video and for good reason too. Just looking at all the smoke and sweating going on here gets you sweating and reaching to take off your shirt. The energy and aggression that’s found in the song is perfectly captured in this video. While it may be one of Nirvana’s best videos, it was their most difficult to shoot mainly due to the tension between Cobain and the director Samuel Bayer. They disagreed on what was supposed to be in the clip. One prime example is the guys wanted heftier women to be the cheerleaders, but Bayer insisted on the skinny women seen in the video, which the band referred to as porn stars. Cobain at least got his way in the end: Bayer didn’t want the ending to be Cobain’s face moving closer and closer to camera.
“Come as You Are”
The water themed video features distorted images of the band and a red headed Cobain swinging from a chandelier. It also has footage of several organisms twitching and swimming around. It’s pretty creepy to see how fast they move, especially since you don’t exactly know what they are. This video seems to do a pretty good job at capturing the atmosphere and mood of the song. It’s charming and memorable to say the least.
“In Bloom” (Nevermind Version)
This video shows the humorous side to band. Here they are posing as a fifties pop group complete with cheesy outfits and moves. (Check out Dave’s cheap blond wig!) The video then switches back and forth between the clean cut footage and the members destroying the set in dresses. This video actually has three different versions: the one mentioned above, one of Nirvana performing in just suits and one with Nirvana performing in dresses only. The one with only the dresses is probably the funniest one.
“You Know You’re Right”
This video released in 2002 is nothing but several images and footage of Kurt Cobain live. It’s actually a pretty entertaining video, especially considering there are some clips that make it look as if Kurt is singing along to the song. The footage ranges from Kurt thrashing around on stage, Kurt hanging out with the band, Kurt crawling around on stage and Kurt smiling (gasp!). It’s definitely not their best video, but it’s pretty cool to watch and a great homage to his memory.
“In Bloom” (Sub-Pop Version)
I hate that this is so low here because it’s actually a pretty funny video. Before signing on to a major label, Nirvana (with drummer Chad Channing) did an early version of “In Bloom” for their first label Sub-Pop. The video is compiled footage of the band fooling around in weird masks and x-ray glasses, smoking, eating greasy hot dogs and performing live. It’s not the most riveting thing but it’s interesting to see a young, silly Cobain.
This video didn’t seem to be all that popular, but what’s interesting about it is that it features Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean. Otherwise, this is basically Nirvana playing in a room filled with old magazines and weird figurines. What’s shocking to see is Kurt with jet black messy hair. He actually looks really frazzled and distraught here. Not the most exciting thing to watch.
For some reason every band has to have the standard live music video and I personally have never been a big fan of them. They just get boring after about a minute and same applies for this clip. What makes the video even worse is that the footage is slowed down to a halting speed, which doesn’t fit the band at all. There are also images intersecting with other images to the point where it’ll give you a headache. Apparently, Kurt wanted to do an animated video for this song, but the idea was too ambitious and scraped at the last minute. The original idea for the video sounds more promising than what we got.
As a bonus here’s the dresses version of “In Bloom”