most-played nirvana chart revealed
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The chart includes both original tracks as well as the Seattle band’s cover versions of other artists’ songs such as David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World (No. 6), Love Buzz originally by Dutch group Shocking Blue (No. 14) and The Vaselines’ Molly’s Lips (No. 18).

Tracks from the band’s 1991 multi-platinum certified album Nevermind feature prominently with ten entries in the Top 20 and Smells Like Teen Spirit (a Top 10 single from September 1991) taking the top spot. The subsequent Nevermind singles Come as You Are and Lithium then take the No. 2 and No. 3 positions, respectively. In Bloom, a single released in the UK but not the US also makes an appearance at No. 5 in the chart.

Heart-Shaped Box, the lead single from the 1993 platinum album In Utero completes the top five (No. 4) and elsewhere there are surprising entries in the chart from cult fan favourite Aneurysm (No. 9) and also the graphic and visceral album track Territorial Pissings (No. 20).

Although their Nevermind album was critically acclaimed upon release, it was not recognised with any major award wins whilst Nirvana were still active. It has since gone on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, including over 1.8 million in the UK and 10 million in the USA.

The most-played Nirvana songs on UK radio and TV

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  • Smells Like Teen Spirit

    1991

  • Come As You Are

    1991

  • Lithium

    1991

  • Heart-Shaped Box

    1993

  • In Bloom

    1991

  • The Man Who Sold The World (MTV Unplugged)

    1993

  • All Apologies

    1993

  • About a Girl

    1989

  • Aneurysm

    1991

  • On A Plan

    1991

  • Drain You

    1991

  • Stay Away

    1991

  • Breed

    1991

  • Love Buzz

    1989

  • Serve The Servants

    1993

  • Lounge Act

    1991

  • Something In The Way

    1991

  • Molly’s Lips

    1990

  • Dumb

    1993

  • Territorial Pissings

    1991

*Chart compiled using PPL data from 2000 to 2016

Tim Silver, Head of Music Reporting Services at PPL said: “Kurt Cobain was one of the most visionary figures in music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He inspired countless young people all over the world to start learning an instrument and to have the confidence to begin writing their own music. On what would have been his 50th birthday, we are delighted to be able to honour him with a chart of the 20 most-played Nirvana songs on radio and TV. There’re a lot of their best-known tracks in there but also one or two curveballs too.”

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