Come as You Are (3:39)

Cover of Nevermind

From Nevermind and 288 other releases

“Come as You Are” is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana, written by frontman Kurt Cobain. It is the third song on (and second single from) the band’s second album Nevermind (1991). It was the album’s second most successful single, and the band’s second American Top 40 hit in 1992. After its release as a single in March 1992, “Come as You Are” peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100; it was the band’s second and last American Top 40 hit. The single stayed on the chart for 18 weeks. The song also reached number three on the Billboard Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts.

It was also one of the few new songs Nirvana recorded onto a rehearsal tape the group sent to producer Butch Vig prior to the recording of Nevermind in 1991. The group recorded the song with Vig during album sessions at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in early 1991. “Come as You Are” was selected as the second single from the album; it was anticipated that the album’s first single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, would be a “base-building alternative cut”, while “Come as You Are” would be able to cross over into other radio formats. However, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became a surprise hit and boosted the band’s popularity.

The song’s prominent line “And I swear that I don’t have a gun” has also been interpreted to mean that Cobain “had nothing to hide from anyone.” Cobain was known for writing using heavy metaphor in his lyrics, allowing fans to decide what the words meant to them.

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