Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ Info, Lyrics And Review

nirvana-bleach-001-1_LRG

Bleach was the first studio album from the critically acclaimed Seattle-based punk-rock band, Nirvana and was released in 1989 through Sub Pop.  ‘Love Buzz’, the debut single from the album was released in November 1988. The album was initially named ‘Too Many Humans’ but later changed to ‘Bleach’ following an inspiration sighted by Nirvana’s frontman,  Kurt Cobain from an AIDS poster advising Heroin users to bleach their needles ‘Bleach Your Works’. The album cover was shot by Cobain’s previous girlfriend, Tracey Mander. ‘Bleach’ was released in June 1989 while the production work started in between December 1988 to January 1989. Given the fact Sub Pop was a label that was heavily endorsed by the grunge culture, Nirvana faced pressure in having to produce a grunge based record. The record was however stripped down to sound like Aerosmith whilst keeping the grunge sounds in most of the tracks. ‘Floyd The Barber’, ‘Downer’ and ‘Paper Cuts’ features drum work by Dale Cover, Nirvana’s previous drummer who was eventually fired from the band. After Chad Channing joined Nirvana, attempts were made to re-record the tracks but the group settled with remixing the version recorded with Cover in the final production of Bleach.

Bleach originally consisted of 14 tracks but ‘Big Long Now’ was taken out before the album release, which experienced 7 months delay from the finalised recording time. The album was recorded with Seattle-based producer, Jack Endino at the cost of $606.17. However, due to lack of funds, the cost of the album was paid by Jason Everman, a guitarist and Cover’s friend who was extremely fascinated by Nirvana’s first production. Everman was credited as the guitarist on the album even when he didn’t contribute to the musical elements. Sub Pop did not oversized the album’s promotion but it remained as a steady seller for the label. However, after Nirvana’s meteoric success with their second studio album, Nevermind, Bleach was rereleased in 1992 by Geffan Records and remained as Sub Pop’s best seller till date.

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain who assumed the moniker Kurdt Cobain on this album has on many occasion expressed his dissatisfaction with the label for lack of promotion from their side for Bleach. Having said so, he also told media that he wasn’t bothered at Bleach’s sales figure because he was pressurised to produce an album and most of the lyrics were written on the previous night before the recording.

Nirvana was formed by frontman Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen in 1987. Nirvana had a long succession of drummers until 1990 where they settled for Dave Grohl from Scream. Cobain was frustrated with many of Nirvana’s earlier drummers for the lack of commitment they presented to the band’s development often missing rehearsals and in most part was not convinced that Nirvana will ever make it big. Kurt Cobain manage to achieve the sounds with Chad Channing in the early days of its popularity within the Seattle underground scene but however Channing was later fired because his drumming percussion did not live up to Cobain’s expectation. Dave Grohl was the longest drummer of Nirvana as he was with the band until it was disband following Cobain’s death in 1994.

Track Listings:

Blew
Floyd The Barber
About A Girl
School
Love Buzz
Paper Cuts
Negative Creep
Scoff
Swap Meet
Mr. Moustache
Sifting
Big Cheese
Downer

Album’s credits:

Kurdt Cobain – Vocals/Guitar (credited as Kurdt on Bleach)
Krist Novoselic – Bass (credited as Chris on Bleach)
Chad Channing – Drums

Label: Sub Pop
Producer: Jack Endino
Bleach Cover: Tracy Mander
Song Writing: Kurdt Cobain except where mentioned below *

 

Honourable Mentions:

Dale Cover on Drums for Flyod The Barber, Paper Cuts and Downer
Charles Peterson on Photography
Lisa Orth on designs
Jane Higgins on execution
Jason Everman cost on behalf of Nirvana, mentioned on the album sleeve as one of the guitarist on Bleach

Bleach

Single:  Love Buzz
Release: November 1988
Album Release: June 1989
Rereleased:  1992

2009 rereleased consisted of

Molly’s Lips (Eugene Kelly, Francis McKee)
Dive (Kurt/Krist)
Spank Thru
Been A Son, Sappy

 

BLEW

If you wouldn’t mind I would like to blew
If you wouldn’t mind I would like to loose
If you wouldn’t care I would like to leave
If you wouldn’t mind I would like to breathe

Is there another reason for your stain
Could you believe who we knew was stress or strain?
Here is another word that rhymes with shame

If you wouldn’t mind I would like to blew
If you wouldn’t mind I would like to loose
If you wouldn’t care I would like to leave
If you wouldn’t mind I would like to breathe

[x2]
Is there another reason for your stain
Could you believe who we knew was stress or strain?
Here is another word that rhymes with shame

[x8]
You could do anything

FLOYD THE BARBER

Bell on door clanks – come on in
Floyd observes my hairy chin
Sit down (in the) chair, don’t be afraid
Steamed hot towel on my face

I’m ashamed [x3]

Barney ties me to the chair
I can’t see, I’m really scared
Floyd breathes hard, I hear a zip
Pee-Pee pressed against my lips

I was shamed [x3]

I sense others in the room
Opie Aunt Bee, I presume
They take turns and cut me up
I die smothered in Andy’s clutch

I was shamed [x3]

 

ABOUT A GIRL

I need an easy friend
I do with an ear to lend
I don’t think you fit this shoe
I do won’t you have a clue

I’ll take advantage while
You hang me out to dry
But I can’t see you every night 
Free

I do

I’m standing in your line
I do hope you have the time
I do pick a number too
I do keep a date with you

I’ll take advantage while
You hang me out to dry
But I can’t see you every night 
Free

I need an easy friend
I do with an ear to lend
I do think you fit this shoe
I do won’t you have a clue

I’ll take advantage while
You hang me out to dry
But I can’t see you every night
No, I can’t see you every night
Free

I do … [x4]

SCHOOL

[x4]
Won’t you believe it
It’s just my luck

[x3]
No recess

[x4]
Won’t you believe it
It’s just my luck

[x3]
No recess

[x8]
You’re in high school again

[x7]
No recess

 

LOVE BUZZ (COVER OF ORIGINAL BLUE)  (Robbie van Leeuwen), 

 

Would you believe me when I tell you

You are the queen of my heart
Please don’t deceive me when I hurt you
Just ain’t the way it seems

[x4]
Can you feel my love buzz?

Would you believe me when I do you
You are the queen of my heart
Please don’t deceive me when I hurt you
Just ain’t the way it seems

[x4]
Can you feel my love buzz?

PAPER CUTS

When I’m feeling tired
She pushed food through the door
And I crawl towards the crack of light
Sometimes I can’t find my way

Newspapers spread around
Soaking all that they can
A cleaning is due again
– a good hosing down

The lady whom I feel maternal love for
Cannot look me in the eyes
But I see hers and they are blue
And they cock and twitch and masturbate!

I said so [x3]
Nirvana [x6]

Black windows of paint
I scratched with my nails
I see others just like me
Why do they not try to escape?

They bring out the older ones
They point in my way
They come with a flash of light
And take my family away

And very later I have learned 
To accept some friends of ridicule
My whole existence is for your amusement
And that is why I’m here with you!

To take
Me with 
You’re right

Nirvana [x8]

NEGATIVE CREEP

This is out of our reach [x3]

and it’s grown
This is getting to be [x3]
drone
I’m a negative creep [x3]
and I’m stoned!
I’m a negative creep [x3]
and I’m … [x2]

Daddy’s little girl ain’t a girl no more [x6]

This is out of our range [x3]
and it’s crude
This is getting to be [x3]
like drone
I’m a negative creep [x3]
and I’m stoned!
I’m a negative creep [x3]
and I’m … [x2]

Daddy’s little girl ain’t a girl no more [x6]

Fuck! Yeah! 
Drone! 
Stoned!

Daddy’s little girl ain’t a girl no more [x14]

SCOFF  

In my eyes, I’m not lazy
In my face, It’s not over
In your room, I’m not older
In your eyes, I’m not worth it
Gimme back my alcohol [x7]

Heal a million, kill a million [x3]

In my eyes, I’m not lazy
In my face, It’s not over
In your room, I’m not older
In your eyes, I’m not worth it
Gimme back my alcohol [x7]

Heal a million, kill a million [x3]

In my eyes, I’m not lazy
In my face, It’s not over
In your room, I’m not older
In your eyes, I’m not worth it
Gimme back my alcohol [x7]

Heal a million, kill a million [x3]

SWAP MEET
[x3]
They lead a lifetime that is comfortable
They travel far to keep their stomachs full
They make their living off of arts and crafts
The kind with seashells, driftwood and burlap
They make a deal when they come to town
The Sunday swap meet is a battle ground
She loves him more than he will ever know
He loves her more than he will ever show

Keeps his cigarettes close to his heart
Keeps her photographs close to her heart
Keeps the bitterness close to the heart


Mr. MOUSTACHE
Fill me in on your new vision
Wake me up with indecision
Help me trust your might and wisdom
Yes I eat cow – I am not proud

Show me how you question, question
Lead the way to my temptations
Take my hand and keep it clean
Yes I eat cow – I am not proud

Is he in an easychair?
Oversized rock
I don’t like you anyway
Seal it in a box [alt: Silver metal box]

I’m new [x2]

Fill me in on your new vision
Wake me up with indecision
Help me trust your might and wisdom
Yes I eat cow – I am not proud

Show me how you question, question
Lead the way to my temptations
Take my hand and keep it clean
Yes I eat cow – I am not proud

Is he in an easychair?
Oversized rock
I don’t like you anyway
Seal it in a box [alt: Silver metal box]

[x2]
I’m new
I’m you

Aaaahh!

SIFTING
Afraid – to grade
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Cross, self loss
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Wet your bed
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Some fear none
Wouldn’t it be fun?

Your eyes …
Teacher said,
Your eyes … 
Teacher said,
Your eyes …
Teacher said,
Preacher said

“Don’t have nothing for you” [x7]

Spell the smell
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Search for church
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Wet your bed
Wouldn’t it be fun?
Cold in coals
Wouldn’t it be fun?

Your eyes …
Teacher said,
Your eyes … 
Teacher said,
Your eyes … 
Preacher said [x2]

“Don’t have nothing for you” [x7]

“Don’t have nothing for you” [x9]

 

BIG CHEESE  (Kurtdt/Chris) 

Big cheese – make me

Mine says, “Go (to) the office”
Big cheese – make me
Mine says, “One that stays”

Black is black, straight back
Need more enemies
Show you all what a man is
Need more ememies

Big lies – make my
Mine says “Go (to) the office”
Big cheese – make me
Message? What is it?

Black is black, straight back
Need more enemies
She is glue, how are you?

Big cheese – make me
Mine says “Go (to) the office”
Big cheese – make me
Message? What is it?

Black is black, straight back
Need more enemies
She is glue, how are you?

Black is black, straight back
Need more enemies
Sure you are, but what am I?
Need more enemies

She is glue, how are you?
Need more enemies
Sure you are, but what am I?

DOWNER
Portray sincerity
Act out of loyalty
Defend every country
Wish away the pain
Hand out lobotomies
To save little families
Surrealistic fantasy
Bland, boring pain!

Hold me down in restitution
Living out your date with fusion
Is the whole fleece shun in master?
Don’t feel guilty, master writing

Somebody said that they’re not much like I am, I know I can
Make enough of the words as you go along, I sing then some

Sickening pessimist hypocrite master
Conservative Communist apocalyptic bastard
Thank you dear God for putting me on this Earth
I feel very privileged in debt for my thirst!

Hold me down in restitution
Living out your date with fusion
Is the whole fleece shun in master?
Don’t feel guilty, master writing

Somebody said that they’re not much like I am, I know I can
Make enough of the words as you go along, I sing then some

 

2009 Release

SPANK THRU

And as the soft pretentious mountains
Glisten in the light of the trees
And the flowers sing in D minor
And the birds fly happily

We’ll be together once again my love
I need you back, oh baby baby

I can’t explain just why we lost it from the start
living without you girl you’ll only break my heart …

I can feel it, I can hold it
I can bend it – I can shape it and/or mold it
I can cut it, I can taste it – I can spank it, I can beat it ejacu-late it … Aah!
I’ve been lookin for day Glo – Always hearing the same ole’
Sticky boredom with a book –
I can make it do things you wouldn’t think it ever could

BEEN A SON

She should have stayed away from friends
She should have had more time to spend
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns

She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son

She should have stood out in the crowd
She should have made her mother proud
She should have fallen on her stance
She should have had another chance

[x2]
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son

She should have stayed away from friends
She should have had more time to spend
She should have died when she was born
She should have worn the crown of thorns

She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son
She should have – been a son


MOLLY’S LIPS

(originally by The Vaselines)

[x3]
She said
She’d take me anywhere
She’d take me anywhere
As long as she stays with me

She said
She’d take me anywhere
She’d take me anywhere
As long as I stayed clean

Kiss kiss Molly’s lips [x4 and x8 in the end]

SAPPY (LATE VERSION)

And if you save yourself
You will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
And you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
And you’ll think you’re happy now

You’re really in a laundry room
You’re really in a laundry room
The clue just came to you, oh

And if you cut yourself (Alt: And if you kill yourself)
You will think you’re happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
Then you’ll make him happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll cover you with grass
Then you’ll think you’re happy now

You’re really in a laundry room
You’re really in a laundry room
The clue that came to you, oh

You’re really in a laundry room
You’re really in a laundry room
The clue that came to you, oh

And if you fool yourself
You will make him happy
He’ll keep you in a jar
Then you’ll think you’re happy
He’ll give you breathing holes
Then you will seem happy
You’ll wallow in his shit
Then you’ll think you’re happy now

You’re really in a laundry room
You’re really in a laundry room
You’re really in a laundry room
The clue that came to you, oh

 

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