Aneurysm (song)

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This article is about a song called "Aneurysm". For the medical condition, see Aneurysm.
"Aneurysm"
Nirvana aneurysm.png
Single by Nirvana
from the album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
Released October 8, 1996
Format Promo CD single
Recorded December 28, 1991 in Del Mar, CA
Genre Grunge
Length 4:35
Label DGC
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
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 allude to the first time he spent time with Tobi, when he got so nervous he had to throw up: "Love you so much, makes me sick!" He also wrote it as a dark love song to try to get her back and to describe how the break-up devastated him: "Come on over...do the twist, Overdo it...and have a fit!"[5]

Recording and release history[edit]

The first studio version of "Aneurysm" was recorded on January 1, 1991 by producer Craig Montgomery and appeared as a B-side to Nirvana's 1991 single "Smells Like Teen Spirit".[6] 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.[7] This version was released on the Incesticide compilation album in December 1992. In a review for AllMusic, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said of the song "Aneurysm" on Incesticide, that it was "perhaps the greatest single song the group ever recorded".[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 VHS / 2006 DVD)
  • 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 MTV for the From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah album in 1996.[10]

Chart positions[edit]

(From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah version)

Chart (1996) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 49
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[12] 1
Finland Airplay (The Official Finnish Charts)[13] 40
Poland (LP3)[14] 17
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[15] 63
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[16] 11
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[17] 13
Preceded by
"Muzzle" by The Smashing Pumpkins
Canadian RPM Alternative 30 number-one single
November 4–18, 1996
Succeeded by
"Stinkfist" by Tool

Covers[edit]

Nashville songwriter/producer, Shane Tutmarc released an all electronic version of the song as a single, and music video, in 2013.[18]

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. ^ St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 79.
  7. ^ St Thomas, Kurt and Smith, Troy. pp. 118.
  8. ^ Nirvana - Incesticide - AllMusic review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine allmusic.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Nirvana - All Music Guide - Awards allmusic.com. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Billboard magazine - September 29, 1996 - p. 104 - "Video Monitor" section americanradiohistory.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9930." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9847." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2003). Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 951-1-21053-X.
  14. ^ "ANEURYSM". Polskie Radio. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Nirvana – Chart history" Billboard Radio Songs for Nirvana.
  16. ^ "Nirvana – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Nirvana.
  17. ^ "Nirvana – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Nirvana.
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIPFBDN0lNg
  • Azerrad, Michael. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Doubleday, New York: 1993, ISBN 0-86369-746-1

Notes[edit]


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