Aneurysm (song)

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This article is about a song called "Aneurysm". For the medical condition, see Aneurysm.
"Aneurysm"
Single by Nirvana
from the album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
Released 1996
Format Promo CD single
Recorded December 28, 1991 in Del Mar, CA
Genre Grunge
Length 4:35
Label DGC
Writer(s) Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic
Producer(s) Westwood One
Andy Wallace
Nirvana singles chronology
"About a Girl"
(1994)
"Aneurysm"
(1996)
"You Know You're Right"
(2002)

"Aneurysm" is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana. Two studio versions have been released,[1] and a live version from the album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah was released as a promotional single in 1996.[2]

Song meaning[edit]

According to the 2001 Kurt Cobain biography, Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross, Cobain wrote the lyrics to "Aneurysm" about his ex-girlfriend, musician Tobi Vail.[3] Cobain's lyrics for the song make fun of pop conventions and drug-use rituals ("shoot the shit"), ("beat me out of me").[4] Cobain's lyrics for the song reference when he first spent time with Tobi he got so nervous he had to throw up "Love you so much, makes me sick!" and he also wrote it as a dark love song to try to get her back and also how the break-up devastated him, "Come on over...do the twist, Overdue it...and have a fit!"[5]

It has a much darker side: "A monument to emotional sickness and depravity, and beloved object of our obsession with the voyeuristic. Cobain’s dark, seething artistic voice is deeply personal and reflective, a product of both struggling with – and reveling in – his vulnerabilities, anxieties, immorality and dog-hungry appetite for self-destruction (including a $400-a-day heroin habit)." [6]

Recording and release history[edit]

The first studio version of "Aneurysm" was recorded on 1 January 1991 by producer Craig Montgomery and appeared as a b-side to Nirvana's 1991 single, Smells Like Teen Spirit.[7] This version has been released on several subsequent Nirvana releases. The second studio version of "Aneurysm" was recorded at Maida Vale Studios on November 9, 1991 for Mark Goodier's BBC session,[4] and was first aired on November 18, 1991.[8] A live performance of Aneurysm by Nirvana at Del Mar Fairgrounds, California, in 1991 was later released on the live album, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah in 1996, from which it was a promotional single.[2] The single reached number 11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and number 13 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[9]

Studio versions[edit]

Date recorded Studio Producer/recorder Releases Personnel
January 1, 1991 Studio A, The Music Source, Seattle, WA, US Craig Montgomery Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
Hormoaning (1992)
With the Lights Out (2004)
Nevermind (deluxe) (2011)
November 9, 1991 Maida Vale Studios Mark Goodier Incesticide (1992)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)

Live versions[edit]

Date recorded Venue Releases Personnel
October 31, 1991 Paramount Theatre (Seattle, Washington) Live at the Paramount (2011)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)
November 25, 1991/
January 23, 1993 (in two parts)
Paradiso (Amsterdam)/
Hollywood Rock festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! (1994/2006)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)
December 28, 1991 Del Mar Fairgrounds, California From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)
August 30, 1992 Reading Festival, England Live at Reading (2009)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)

Music video[edit]

The footage from the Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! video was used as a promotional video on music television for the Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! video as well as the From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah album in 1996.

Chart positions[edit]

(From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah version)

Chart (1996) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[note 1][10] 49
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[11] 1
US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[9] 11
US Hot Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)[9] 13
US Hot 100 Airplay (Billboard)[12] 63
Finland Singles Chart[13][note 2] 40
Preceded by
"Muzzle" by The Smashing Pumpkins
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 number-one single
November 4–18, 1996
Succeeded by
"Stinkfist" by Tool

References[edit]

  1. ^ St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 252 - 253.
  2. ^ a b St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 242 and 252 - 253.
  3. ^ Cross, Charles R. (2012) [1st ed. 2001]. Heavier Than Heaven. A Biography of Kurt Cobain. New York: Hachette. ISBN 1-444-71712-X. ISBN 978-1-44471712-9.
  4. ^ a b Crisafulli. pp. 77.
  5. ^ Cross, Charles. R. Heavier Than Heaven. A Biography of Kurt Cobain. p. 169
  6. ^ http://songmango.com/aneurysm/
  7. ^ St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 79.
  8. ^ St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 118.
  9. ^ a b c Nirvana - All Music Guide - Awards allmusic.com. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  10. ^ Canadian RPM singles chart - 25 Nov 1996 (Last week's position) collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  11. ^ Canadian Alternative singles chart - 18 Nov 1996 collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  12. ^ Nirvana - Radio Songs (Hot 100 Airplay) Peak Positions billboard.com. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  13. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2003). Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 951-1-21053-X.
  • Azerrad, Michael. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Doubleday, New York: 1993, ISBN 0-86369-746-1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ :"Aneurysm" charted on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart which was then the official chart and was based on both sales and airplay.
  2. ^ :"Aneurysm" charted on the Finland combined sales and airplay chart in 1996. This chart had become the official Finland Singles Chart in 1994.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Crisafulli, Chuck. Nirvana: The Stories Behind the Songs. Omnibus Press.(1996). ISBN 0-7119-5809-2.
  • St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects. St Martin's Griffin (2004). ISBN 0-312-20663-1.

External links[edit]

External video
Nirvana - Aneurysm (Live at Reading 1992) on YouTube, NirvanaVEVO