No Apologies: All 102 Nirvana Songs Ranked

RS tackles the complete catalog of the band that defined the Nineties and made the world a lot noisier

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79. "Blandest"

"When they recorded it," wrote Jack Endino in 2005, "the band had just showed [drummer Chad Channing] the song, and they hadn't even learned or really practiced it yet." You can hear that instability throughout "Blandest," a plodding number that the trio recorded in the late 1988 sessions that also yielded "Love Buzz." They didn't intend to use this early runthrough for anything, so, as instructed, Endino recorded over it. It survives only as a clipped, static-damaged copy of a copy of a copy, salvaged and bootlegged, Endino hypothesizes, from a band member's own tape. It's structurally rudimentary, with two verses falling up and down over a simple buzzsaw riff, a tune clearly in need of more arrangement. In fact, its most significant feature comes in quickly, during each turnaround before every reiterated second verse. "Hey!" Cobain shouts as an extemporaneous preamble, foreshadowing the iconic instant in which he'd do the same for the hit "Heart-Shaped Box." It's like a lost rehearsal, then, a forgotten worktape for a forthcoming classic. GRAYSON HAVER CURRIN

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