This week we are taking Nirvana “Lithium” for a spin. In a little over a week we will be getting treated to the 30th Anniversary release of Nevermind so I felt it would be a great time to dig into one of my favorite Nirvana tracks from the album. It is insane to me that it has been 30 years since we first seen that janitor and cheerleaders dancing around as Kurt, Krist and Dave thrash through “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Although never reaching the popularity of the lead single, Lithium was the third single from Nevermind and did reach the Billboard Top 100 in ’92. For me, it was always my favorite track off Nevermind.
The classic Nirvana song “Lithium” checks all the boxes of a classic rock song with its introspective verses combined with the primal screams of the chorus. “Lithium” is one of the best examples Loud-Quiet-Loud format that the Pixies got us all started on. For me Nirvana “Lithium” is one of the best examples of how Kurt Cobain could add subtle bits of humor in his lyrics without ever shying away from the overlying dark theme of the song.
Nirvana Lithium Song Meaning
Like most good songs and song writers we have to dig a bit deeper to discover what the song means to us and a lot of times there can be multiple interpretations. For me, the song is about a here a man who is grieving over the death / loss of his wife or girlfriend and is able to finds solace in religion. Take a close look of some of the lyrics “Sunday morning is every day for all I care,” / “Light my candles in a daze/ Cause I’ve found God,”. The verse of “I’m not gonna crack” is an indication of his ability to withstand the hardship.
Appreciation for the Drumming on Nirvana Lithium
I will say that for the first I do not know how many times listening to “Lithium” I was only infatuated with the guitar and bass from the track. So simple and yet so powerful. During all this time the drums were there but I never payed them much mind. After several spins of the record I came to the same realization that most of the world probably already knew, Dave Grohl can play the hell out of that drum kit.
Check out the Nirvana Nevermind 30th Anniversary Deluxe Vinyl
For the video this week I picked the performance of Nirvana “Lithium” from the 1992 Live at Reading Festival.
Nirvana “Nevermind” Original Track List
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
- “In Bloom”
- “Come as You Are”
- “Territorial Pissings”
- “Drain You”
- “Lounge Act”
- “Stay Away”
- “On a Plain”
- “Something in the Way”