|Song by Nirvana|
|from the album Bleach|
|Bleach track listing|
Origin and recording
Written by Cobain in 1988, "Negative Creep" was recorded for Bleach by Jack Endino at Reciprocal Recording in December 1988 and January 1989. It is the only recording on the album that ends with an extended fade-out, giving it a 1960s pop aesthetic.
Composition and lyrics
In his 1993 Nirvana biography Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Michael Azerrad described "Negative Creep" as "a first-person narrative from an antisocial person," with that person being Cobain himself.
The song received some criticism from members of the Seattle music scene in the late 1980s because of the lyric, "Daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more," which closely resembled the lyrics to the 1988 song, "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More," by Nirvana's Sub Pop label mates, Mudhoney. According to Azerrad, Cobain claimed the similarity was an example of "subconscious theft."
"Negative Creep" has been described as one of the "Sub Popiest" songs the band ever recorded, and "a text book example of Seattle's true grunge sound". The song has also been likened to thrash metal.
Several critics have noted the intensity of Cobain's vocals on the studio recording, with Mark Richardson of Pitchfork writing, "Cobain's voice through the second verse terrifies me. There is no concern for his physical well being or even his future as a vocalist in a rock band. He sings as intensely as he can possibly sing. Sometimes, when I'm listening loud, I think my headphones might be breaking up from the volume only to realize that the membrane being excited to the point of distortion is actually Cobain's larynx."
"Negative Creep" appeared in the 1996 grunge documentary, Hype!, and was included in the film's soundtrack. It also appeared in the bonus CD included with the 1995 book Screaming Life: A Chronicle of the Seattle Music Scene, which collected the photographs of acclaimed music photographer, Charles Peterson.
|1998||Kerrang!||United Kingdom||20 Great Nirvana Songs Picked by the Stars||9|
Recording and release history
Demo and studio versions
|December 24 & 29-31, 1988 and January 14 & 24, 1989||Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, Washington||Jack Endino||Bleach (1989)||
|February 9, 1990||Pine Street Theatre, Portland, Oregon||Bleach (20th Anniversary Edition) (2009)||
|August 20, 1991||Sir Henry's, Cork, Ireland||1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)||
|October 31, 1991||Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA||From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996)
Live at the Paramount (2011)
|February 22, 1992||Pink's Garage, Honolulu, Hawaii||Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! (1994)||
|August 30, 1992||Reading Festival, Reading, England||Live at Reading (2009)||
|1996||Tura Satana||Relief Through Release|
|1997||Machine Head||Take My Scars|
|2001||Dee Dee Ramone||Smells Like Bleach: A Punk Tribute to Nirvana|
- Clover, Joshua. 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About. p. 82.
- Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects - Kurt St. Thomas, Troy Smith - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- SPIN - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Bleach (album review)". Sputnik Music. January 14, 2005. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- Azerrad, Michael (1994). Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday. pp. 100, 101. ISBN 0-385-47199-8.
- Azerrad, Michael (1994). Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday. p. 101. ISBN 0-385-47199-8.
- Crisafulli, Chuck (1996). Teen Spirit: The Stories Behind Every NIRVANA Song. Omnibus Press. p. 25. ISBN 0-7119-5809-2.
- Gage, Josephine (September 23, 2009). "Nirvana Ultimate Mix". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
- "Nirvana - Bleach". John McFerrin Music Reviews. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- "Nirvana: Bleach [Deluxe Edition]". Pitchfork Reviews. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- Richardson, Mark. "Happy Birthday, Kurt". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "The Hit List: 20 Great Nirvana Songs Picked by the Stars". Kerrang!. No. 709. July 25, 1998. p. 49. Retrieved July 21, 2019.