In Remembrance of Kurt Cobain: The Most Unique Nirvana Covers


Nineteen years ago today fans around the world got news Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain had taken his own life in his Seattle home. As the years have passed, fans, peers, and friends of the musician and his pioneering grunge band have paid their respects by covering the band’s material. Here now, from Patti Smith to Charles Bradley, are the most unique Nirvana covers by other.

Tori Amos
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Kurt Cobain approved of this slow, piano-driven version of the song that helped break punk. Amos was one of the first artists brave enough to attempt a cover.

In ’98, Weezer used to play secret club shows under the name “Goat Punishment,” with sets that often consisted of Nirvana covers. Their own energetic cover of the already frantic “Breed” gets messy in the best way.

Herbie Hancock
“All Apologies”
It’s already amazing that the jazz legend tackled this. His take on the In Utero track is pretty flawless.

Charles Bradley
“Stay Away”
The world knew Bradley could do a mean James Brown impression, but his Cobain? Even groovier.

Maxence Cyrin
The slowed-down, piano version gives a brand-new feel to the classic.

“Heart-Shaped Box”
Already one of the gloomiest singles from an angsty band, “Heart-Shaped Box” gets even more darkness from Amy Lee’s vocals.

Kevin Devine
“On a Plain”
Devine released an album of back-to-back covers of Nirvana’s major label debut Nevermind, which is as brave as it gets. His version of “On a Plain” is a definite highlight.

Patti Smith
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
The always unique Smith completes her cover with some spoken word and banjo.

“Come As You Are”
Scottish group Glasvegas makes the song’s melody even hazier as they float through a pretty superb version of “Come As You Are.”

Ben Gibbard
“All Apologies”
Gibbard’s sweet voice brings a softness to “All Apologies.” The fellow Washington native had also helped soundtrack the Kurt Cobain documentary About a Son.

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