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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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32. "Sappy"

"Something just drove Kurt to keep busting it out," Krist Novoselic told Gillian G. Gaar for her 2006 book about In Utero. "He had some kind of unattainable expectations for it." The song in question, one of the few white whales of Nirvana's catalogue, is "Sappy." Cobain wrote and recorded the lament against the expectations of others in the late Eighties; he then re-recorded it in most every major studio session for the rest of his life, never to be completely satisfied. After nearly making Nevermind, "Sappy" was never released under Nirvana's name. Various takes and demos bound around the Internet (including a muted and wonderful turn with Butch Vig), but the official version arrived as an uncredited hidden track at the end of No Alternative, the 1993 AIDS fundraiser. That take, with Dave Grohl on drums and Steve Albini behind the boards, is crisp and cutting, with a guitar solo that dips and climbs and vocals that suggest irritation morphing into emancipation. GRAYSON HAVER CURRIN

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