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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44. "I Hate Myself and Want to Die"

"We could write that song in our sleep," Kurt Cobain once said of "I Hate Myself and Want to Die." Even if it were a throwaway, it looms large in Nirvana mythology mostly by virtue of its ill-omened title, Cobain's original name for In Utero. Eventually surfacing on The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience comp (huh-huh), the band buried the lurching piece of infectious sludge-pop because they (rightly) feared that no one would get its black humor. "[It was] nothing more than a joke," Cobain told Rolling Stone in late 1993. "We knew people wouldn't get it; they'd take it too seriously. It was totally satirical, making fun of ourselves." Even in hindsight, "I Hate Myself" doesn't exactly sound confessional – the demo version on With the Lights Out shows how little the lyrics evolved from melodic grunts to a goofy sketch that Cobain could barely bother to finish with "one more quirky clichéd phrase" (and a nearly inaudible monologue from Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts"). One fan who definitely missed the joke was Noel Gallagher, who claimed that countering the "fucking rubbish" nihilism of the song was one of his motivations to write Oasis's "Live Forever." TOM MALLON

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