About a Girl (2:46)

Cover of MTV Unplugged in New York

From MTV Unplugged in New York and 457 other releases

“About a Girl” was written after Kurt Cobain spent an entire afternoon listening to Meet The Beatles! repeatedly.[1] At the time, Cobain was trying to conceal his pop songwriting instincts, and he was reluctant to include the song on Bleach for fear of alienating the band’s then-exclusively grunge fan base. In a 1993 Rolling Stone interview with David Fricke, he explained:

“Even to put “About a Girl” on Bleach was a risk. I was heavily into pop, I really liked R.E.M., and I was into all kinds of old ‘60s stuff. But there was a lot of pressure within that social scene, the underground — like the kind of thing you get in high school. And to put a jangly R.E.M. type of pop song on a grunge record, in that scene, was risky.” [2]

However, Bleach producer Jack Endino was excited about the song, and even saw it as a potential single. Years later, Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana’s 1991 breakthrough album Nevermind, would cite “About a Girl” as the first hint that there was more to Nirvana than grunge. “Everyone talks about Kurt’s love affair with… the whole punk scene, but he was also a huge Beatles fan, and the more time we spent together the more obvious their influence on his songwriting became,” Vig told the NME in 2004.

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