Love Buzz

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"Love Buzz"
Song by Shocking Blue
from the album At Home
GenreAcid rock, psychedelic rock
LabelPink Elephant
Songwriter(s)Robbie van Leeuwen

"Love Buzz" is a song by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue. It was written by Robbie van Leeuwen and first released on the group's 1969 album, At Home. The song was covered by Nirvana, released as their debut single in 1988.

Nirvana cover version[edit]

"Love Buzz"
US picture sleeve
Single by Nirvana
from the album Bleach
B-side"Big Cheese"
ReleasedNovember 1988
RecordedJune–September 1988 at Reciprocal Recordings in Seattle, Washington
LabelSub Pop
Songwriter(s)Robbie van Leeuwen
Producer(s)Jack Endino
Nirvana singles chronology
"Love Buzz"
Bleach track listing
11 tracks
  1. "Blew"
  2. "Floyd the Barber"
  3. "About a Girl"
  4. "School"
  5. "Love Buzz"
  6. "Paper Cuts"
  7. "Negative Creep"
  8. "Scoff"
  9. "Swap Meet"
  10. "Mr. Moustache"
  11. "Sifting"
Audio sample

American rock band Nirvana recorded a cover version of the song for its 1988 debut single, released on Sub Pop in the USA.

Release and reception[edit]

It was the first single in the Sub Pop Singles club and was limited to 1000 numbered copies. A Sub Pop invoice indicates that 1200 sleeves were made, the other 200 having a red slash instead of a number.

It was made single of the week in Sounds by John Robb, which was the first mention of the band in the UK press.[citation needed]

In a 1989 review for British music magazine Melody Maker, Everett True wrote, "Nirvana are beauty incarnate. A relentless two-chord garage beat which lays down some serious foundations for a sheer monster of a guitar to howl over. The volume control ain't been built yet which can do justice to this three-piece!" True also made "Love Buzz" joint-US Single of the Week.[1] True also described Nirvana's "Love Buzz" single as a "Limited edition of 1,000; love songs for the psychotically disturbed".[2]

A slightly different mix of the song would also appear on Nirvana's debut album, Bleach. This version is missing a 10-second sound collage introduction put together by Kurt Cobain. "Love Buzz" was later released on Nirvana's Blew EP in the UK in December 1989. This was the song's first release in the UK after having been substituted by "Big Cheese" on the British release of the Bleach album.

Track listing[edit]

1."Love Buzz"3:35
2."Big Cheese"3:42

Live versions[edit]

An intense, violent performance of the song, recorded in Dallas, Texas, can be seen on Nirvana's 1994 home video Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!, with another 1990 performance from Olympia on With the Lights Out, and another performance from 1991 on Live at the Paramount.


In 2012, a Dutch episode of Classic Recordings about Shocking Blue's album At Home featured a rare interview with guitar player Robbie van Leeuwen[3] and clips of Nirvana's live performance of the song at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. Klaasje van der Wal was proud of the fact that Krist Novoselic once called him a bass god in a blog, while it was said that Van Leeuwen was informed about the Nirvana cover during a visit to Hilversum in the Netherlands. Apparently, he had listened to Bleach in a shop, returned it to his friend without having purchased the album and explained that he did not buy it because he thought the cover was inferior.

As the "Love Buzz" single was released in November 1988, Nirvana were announced in their first year of eligibility as being part of the 2014 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 17, 2013. In 2017, to mark what would have been Kurt Cobain's 50th birthday, the Phonographic Performance Limited released a list of the top twenty most played Nirvana songs on the TV and radio in the UK in which "Love Buzz" was ranked at number fourteen.[4]

Other cover versions[edit]

The track has also been covered by Hatcham Social on the free EP Party, released in 2008. A club mix of "Love Buzz" was released on Saint Thomas Records in 2009 by the Dallas psychedelic band Lithium X-Mas as a CD single. British/German singer/songwriter Anika covered "Love Buzz" on her 2013 self-titled EP. In 2018, Israeli musician Itay Burg released an electro ethnic rock version in Hebrew on his album Katan Bamaarechet. Italian band Veeblefetzer included a version of "Love Buzz" on their album More in 2019.


The original Shocking Blue version was sampled in the song "Phoenix" by The Prodigy on their 2004 album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.

Elements of the original song were also sampled for the track "Kitty Box" by Lil' Kim, on her 2005 album The Naked Truth.

Hip hop artist k-os also sampled the track in the song "Uptown GirL" from the album Yes! in 2009.

The song was sampled by the Danish rap group Malk De Koijn, in the song "5 øres ting" from the 2011 release Toback to the Fromtime.

The Shocking Blue version was sampled by Necro for the title track on his 2010 album Die!.[5][6]


Specific references:

  1. ^ True, Everett. (2007). Nirvana: The Biography. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81554-6. p. 111.
  2. ^ True, Everett. (1989). Melody Maker magazine, 18 February, 1989. p. 28.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ 20 most-played Nirvana songs revealed to mark Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Necro's 'DIE!' - Discover the Sample Source". WhoSampled. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  6. ^ NECRO - "DIE!" OFFICIAL VIDEO (Psycho+ version) Hardcore Underground Hiphop Death Rap Uncle Howie, retrieved 30 January 2020

General references: