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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49. "Plateau"

"Plateau" was the first of three songs Nirvana covered from the Meat Puppets' 1984 punk-country totem Meat Puppets II at their MTV Unplugged date – a major boost to a band that spent the entirety of career underground. "MTV didn't really want it to happen, as I recall," bassist Cris Kirkwood told Willamette Week "They were somewhat disappointed we were the guests they chose to take on TV with them." But Nirvana was just returning a favor: "I owe so much to them," Cobain once said – a quote that ended up on a sticker tacked to the Puppets' 1994 breakthrough Too High to Die. Like a lot of II, "Plateau" is mystical but banal and ultimately a little vague – the kind of wisdom proffered by guys on porches at rural gas stations. Still, you can imagine how Cobain – who once wrote the line "All in all is all we all are" – would hear in a rambling, philosophical credo that ends in, "But those are all just guesses / Wouldn't help you if they could": The freedom of shrugging your shoulders and letting go. MIKE POWELL

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