Song of the Day: Sliver by Nirvana

Stronger Than Anyone by godzilla23

Sliver” is a song by American grunge band Nirvana. It was originally released as a non-album single in 1990 by Sub Pop. DGC re-released the song to radio to support the release of the rarities compilation album Incesticide in 1992.


Mom and dad went to a show
They dropped me off at Grandpa Joe’s
I kicked and screamed, said please don’t go

Grandma take me home

Had to eat my dinner there
Mashed potatos and stuff like that
I couldn’t chew my meat too good

She said, well, don’t you start your crying
Go outside and ride your bike
That’s what I did, I killed my toe

After dinner, I had ice cream
I fell asleep and watched TV
I woke up in my mother’s arms

Grandma take me home
I wanna be alone


Nirvana member Kurt Cobain wrote the music to “Sliver” with Krist Novoselic and temporary drummer Dan Peters during a practice session. Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop had requested that Nirvana release another single. While the band selected the previously recorded “Dive” as the b-side, Cobain wanted to take advantage of a studio break by the group TAD in July 1990 to record the a-side. TAD frontman Tad Doyle disliked the idea, but producer Jack Endino talked him into it. During a one hour period, Nirvana recorded the basic tracks for “Sliver” using TAD’s equipment. Cobain completed writing the song’s lyrics just before it was recorded.

Nirvana biographer Everett True wrote a favorable review for Melody Maker—”Sure, the vocals are lazily throat splitting, the guitars belligerently grungy, the bass up and out of place . . . but check the melodies, damn fools, check the melodies. The only reason this isn’t ‘Single Of The Week’ is because three even mightier singles were released this week.”

This inspired the Weezer track “Heart Songs.” Weezer leeder Rivers Cuomo told Rolling Stone magazine about hearing this song for the first time: “I was working at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in the spring of ’91, and another cashier, Harold, said, ‘Hey, Rivers, I know something you might like. It’s called Nirvana.’ As soon as I heard ‘Mom and Dad went to a show,’ I immediately started dancing around. It was exactly how I felt, and they were putting it to music. It inspired me to do the same thing.” (thanks, Bertrand – Paris, France)

Music video

A music video was made for “Sliver” as promotion for Incesticide in March 1993. Directed by Kevin Kerslake, the video starts with Kurt Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain (who was an infant at the time) dancing to the opening bassline and the band in a small, cramped, junk room playing their instruments. Kurt sings to the camera and his movements change with the music, with Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl (though not having played drums during the recording session) in the background of the room. In between shots there are scenes of the baby and a Chim-Chim toy which had been given to Kurt by Shonen Knife as a present.


Origin Aberdeen, Washington, United States
Genres Alternative rock, grunge
Years active 1987–1994
Labels Sub Pop, DGC
Associated acts Fecal Matter, Melvins, Foo Fighters, Sweet 75, No WTO Combo, Eyes Adrift
Members Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Past members Aaron Burckhard
Dale Crover
Dave Foster
Chad Channing
Jason Everman
Dan Peters

image by godzilla23

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