Lithium by Nirvana (Happy Birthday, Kurt Cobain).

Kurt Cobain would have been 45 today. It’s still so hard to believe that we’re nearing twenty years since he left the world. I remember someone in a VH1 special talking about him once – saying something like, he’s just one of those rare people that we’re blessed to have been able to see. People like him don’t come along too often. And they were right.

Today Kurt continues to live on through fans all over the world who love him through his music. He was a unique soul who defined the grunge movement. He was the voice of a generation of Nirvana fans.

Lithium was released in July of 1992 from Nirvana’s second album, Nevermind. It went to #64 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #11 in the United Kingdom.

According to an interview from that same year, Kurt said the song is about a man who, after the death of his girlfriend, turns to religion “as a last resort to keep himself alive. To keep him from suicide”. He also stated that the narrative of Lithium was fictional but that he did incorporate some of his personal experiences with past relationships. During the time he wrote it, he was living with his friend who had born-again Christian parents. Kurt stated, “I’ve always felt that some people should have religion in their lives…That’s fine. If it’s going to save someone, it’s okay. And the person in ‘Lithium’ needed it.”

Happy Birthday, Kurt Cobain. We miss you.

Sunshine by Alice in Chains.

This song definitely had me fooled. I always liked it but I have no idea what it’s about. Apparently everyone else is in the same boat because not only is there a debate on its backstory, many people believe Staley wrote it about his father walking out on his family & how his mother dealt with it. Well, after finding no answers on Wikipedia, I went to the Facelift CD and looked at the writing credits…“Lyrics: Cantrell” Layne didn’t write it!!!! So now what is the song about????

Sunshine was released on August 21, 1990 (one day before Staley’s 23rd birthday) from their debut album, Facelift. Their second highest selling album to date, it was recorded between December 1989 and April 1990. It was never a single but seems to be one of the most popular among fans based on comments from the internet.

When I first listened to Alice in Chains I wasn’t quite used to Facelift except for “Man in the Box“. It was more hard rock and edgier compared to their songs, Down in a Hole and Rooster.  As I’ve gotten older I’m beginning to like it a lot more. Another great track from the album? Love Hate Love. Yes, Staley DID WRITE that one.

Sunshine, sweet love my labor. Don’t mind, I don’t care no more.

Would? by Alice in Chains.

Aside from Man in the Box, Would? is one of Alice in Chains’ most popular hits. It might even be more well-liked, even by people who don’t usually listen to this kind of rock. Something about the song seems to draw people in, whether they know about the band or not.

Would? was released in 1992 on the Singles movie soundtrack. The band also makes a cameo appearance in the movie. It was also included on their album, Dirt, which was released on September 29, 1992.  The song went to #6 on Billboard and the album was certified four times platinum by the RIAA. It was the band’s highest selling album to date.

Guitarist Jerry Cantrell wrote the song after the death of Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, who passed away in 1990.  In the liner notes of Music Bank (box set collection) he states, I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments.