Courtney Love says Nirvana should have made ‘In Bloom’ the lead single from ‘Nevermind’

“I’m not really a fan of the idea that it all ‘could have’ been that different,” she said

Courtney Love has given her first bespoke interview on Nirvana’s 1991 album ‘Nevermind’, talking candidly about the genre-defining grunge release in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times on Friday (September 24), Love – who was married to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from 1992 until his death in 1994 – said she was “very firmly in the club that says ‘In Bloom’ should have been the first single from the album”, rather than ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

The latter was minted as a single on September 10, 1991, with ‘In Bloom’ serving as its final single the following November (‘Come As You Are’ and ‘Lithium’ filled the gaps in March and July of ’92, respectively). ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is largely heralded as Nirvana’s breakout hit, skyrocketing the band to international stardom.


Love told the Times that she believes Nirvana’s unprecedented rise to fame would not have been so intense had the band chosen ‘In Bloom’ as the lead single from ‘Nevermind’.

“I’m not really a fan of the idea that it all ‘could have’ been that different,” she said, “but ‘In Bloom’ might have shifted things. He might have survived had somebody else [gone first]. Like Eddie Vedder, somebody who had good infrastructure.”

Love also told the publication that ‘In Bloom’ was a better track overall, saying it “had no shtick”. She continued: “Although that drum fill is fantastic in ‘Teen Spirit’, there was a little of a K Records shtick.

“I recently saw the lyric ‘Who will be the king and queen of the outcasted teens’ [from an early ‘Teen Spirit’ draft] and there was a bit of the K Records vibe to that too. I am really fond of the ‘outcasted teens’ line. I found his bad grammar, like my own, fetching.”

Earlier this week, Nirvana announced a special 30th anniversary reissue of ‘Nevermind’ available in a range of physical and digital packages. BBC Music also celebrated the album’s anniversary with a new documentary film, When Nirvana Came To Britain, as well as a series of special programmes.


Speaking to NME for a track-by-track retrospective of ‘Nevermind’, drummer (and current Foo Fighters leader) Dave Grohl said Nirvana were writing “new song after new song every day”, adding: “Of course, no-one had any psychic foresight to imagine that [Teen Spirit] would go on to do what it did. We just fuckin’ rocked it in a little rehearsal space that was like a barn.”

A wide range of artists have also praised ‘Nevermind’ for being particularly influential, including Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Manics’ James Dean Bradfield, Sigrid and Biffy Clyro.

In NME’s original 9/10 review of the album, writer Steve Lamacq said: “Nirvana have made an LP which is not only better than anything they’ve done before, it’ll stand up as a new reference point for the future post-hardcore generation.”

Love’s own band, Hole, released their landmark debut album, ‘Pretty On The Inside’, on September 17, 1991 – just a week before ‘Nevermind’. The frontwoman is set to celebrate the record’s 30th anniversary at an art exhibition in October.

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