I Hate Myself and Want to Die

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"I Hate Myself and Want to Die"
Song by Nirvana
A-side"Pennyroyal Tea"
ReleasedNovember 23, 1993 (1993-11-23) (The Beavis and Butt-head Experience)
April 1994 (single)
FormatCD
RecordedFebruary 1993, at Pachyderm Studios, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
GenreGrunge
Length2:42
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)Kurt Cobain
Producer(s)Steve Albini

"I Hate Myself and Want to Die" is a song by the American rock band, Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist, Kurt Cobain. It appears on the compilation, The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, released in November of 1993. The song was also sanctioned to be released as a b-side to the band's "Pennyroyal Tea" single, but the single's original release was cancelled after Cobain's death in April 1994. In April 2014, it was released, featuring "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," on limited edition 7 inch vinyl for Record Store Day, and charted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart.[1][2][3][4]

History and recording[edit]

"I Hate Myself and Want to Die" was first recorded in the studio in January 1993, when a demo version was recorded by Craig Montgomery at BMG Ariola Ltda in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The final version was recorded by Steve Albini at Pachyderm Studios on February 15, 1993, during the recording session for the band's third and final album, In Utero. [5] Originally titled "2 Bass Kid" [6], the song was represented by a fish symbol on the tape box for the album. [7]

It missed inclusion on the album, which was released in September 1993, with Cobain later explaining that there were too many "noise" songs on the album. [8] The song instead appeared as the opening track on the compilation album, The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, released in November 1993. The band was given $60,000 by its record label, Geffen Records, for the song. [9] The Beavis and Butt-head Experience compilation album has since been certified 2x Platinum in the US.[10]

The song was set to be released as a b-side to the "Pennyroyal Tea" single in April 1994, but the single was recalled following Cobain's death that month, possibly because of the song's title.[11] The single was finally released in April 2014, as part of Record Store Day.[12]

I Hate Myself and Want to Die was also a working title for In Utero. [13][14] According to Tom Mallon of Rolling Stone, Cobain abandoned the title due to fear that the dark humor of the title would be lost on some critics and fans, [15] and after being convinced by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic that the band might end up with lawsuits if Cobain stuck with the original title. [16] Cobain changed the album's title to Verse Chorus Verse, and then two weeks later to its final title of In Utero. In an October 1993 [17] interview with David Fricke of Rolling Stone, Cobain explained that he meant the title "as literally as a joke can be," calling it "funny" and claiming it was a reference to the public perception of him "as this pissy, complaining, freaked–out schizophrenic who wants to kill himself all the time."[18]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

Despite the song's title, the lyrics of "I Hate Myself and Want to to Die" contain no obvious reference to suicide. In The Rough Guide to Nirvana, Gillian G. Gaar called it an "upbeat, friendly thrash-along" with "nonsense lyrics" whose title lacked a connection with its music.[7]

The song's interlude features Cobain quoting a "Deep Thought" by American comedian, Jack Handey.[19]

Reception[edit]

In Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses, R. Gary Patterson compared the song to John Lennon's "Yer Blues" as "an attempt to explain [Cobain's] introspection."[20] In 2015, Rolling Stone put the song at number 44 on a ranked list of 102 Nirvana songs, calling it "a lurching piece of infectious sludge-pop." [15]

Cobain himself was dismissive of the song, calling it "boring" and saying that the band "could write that song in our sleep." [21] Craig Montgomery, however, who recorded the demo version at BMG Ariola Ltda in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was impressed with the song, praising its riff and rhythm and saying he thought it could have been a hit. [22]

The song is referenced by American indie rock musician Cat Power in the song "Hate," from her 2006 album, The Greatest.[23]

Covers[edit]

The Blackout released a parody of the song, titled "I Love Myself and I Want to Live," in 2009.[24] Baton Rouge sludge band Thou released a cover of this song on their EP "The Sacrifice".[25]

Recording and release history[edit]

Demo and studio versions[edit]

Date recorded Studio Producer/recorder Releases Personnel
January 19–21, 1993 Ariola Ltda BMG, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Craig Montgomery With the Lights Out (2004)
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
February 12–26, 1993 Pachyderm Studio, Cannon Falls, Minnesota, US Steve Albini The Beavis and Butt-head Experience (1993)
Pennyroyal Tea (1994)
In Utero (deluxe) (2013)[A]
  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)

Notes[edit]

  • A ^ The version that appears on the "Deluxe" re-release of In Utero is a remix done by Albini in 2013. The original mix does not appear on the release.

Personnel[edit]

Nirvana

Production personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hot Singles Sales billboard.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Record Store Day Chart Recap: Vinyl Album Sales Reach Historic High billboard.com. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Record Store Day Breaks Sales Records, Nirvana Tops Vinyl Singles yahoo.com. Retrieved 25 April, 2014.
  4. ^ Nirvana Top Record Store Day 2014 Best-Sellers spin.com. Retrieved 26 April, 2014.
  5. ^ Garr, Gillian G. (2006). In Utero. United States: Continium. p. 56. ISBN 0-8264-1776-0.
  6. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2014). Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-61713-588-0.
  7. ^ a b Gaar, Gillian G. (2009). The Rough Guide to Nirvana. Penguin. p. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-4053-8119-2.
  8. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (2003). Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Da Capo. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-306-81271-2.
  9. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2014). Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-61713-588-0.
  10. ^ "User must do a search for "Beavis"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  11. ^ Pennyroyal 3 - Pennyroyal Tea single. crimson-ceremony.net. Retrieved on March 10, 2013.
  12. ^ http://www.recordstoreday.co.uk/exclusive-products/2014/?p=10
  13. ^ Cross 2002, p. 262
  14. ^ Crosbie, Lynn (27 September 2011). "Twenty years after Nevermind, Cobain's candle still burns". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  15. ^ a b Mallon, Tom (April 8, 2015). "No Apologies: All 102 Nirvana Songs Ranked". Rolling Stone. 44. "I Hate Myself and Want to Die".
  16. ^ Cross 2002, 268
  17. ^ Bentley, Tiffany (28 March 2012). "David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine tells intimate rock stories during talk at Allentown Art Museum". lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  18. ^ Fricke, David (27 January 1994). "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview | Music News". Rolling Stone. p. 3. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Deep Thoughts".
  20. ^ Patterson, R. Gary (2008). Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses. Simon and Schuster. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-4391-0364-7.
  21. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2014). Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 343. ISBN 978-1-61713-588-0.
  22. ^ Gaar, Gillian G. (2006). In Utero. United States: Continium. pp. 28, 29. ISBN 0-8264-1776-0.
  23. ^ Hoby, Hermione (18 August 2012). "Cat Power: 'I'm your worst nightmare – get your dancing shoes on'". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  24. ^ Vikkeh (4 November 2009). "Daily Music Dose: The Blackout on Vikkeh~'s Blog - Buzznet". Vikkivendetta.buzznet.com. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  25. ^ Robotic Empire. "Thou - The Sacrifice EP".

Bibliography[edit]

Cross, Charles R. (2002). Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain. Sceptre. ISBN 978-1-444-71389-3.