What are Nirvana's biggest songs?

30 November 2023, 17:17

Nirvana in 1992: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.
Nirvana in 1992: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Picture: Gutchie Kojima/Shinko Music/Getty Images

Which of the iconic trio's songs have had the most streams and views online? Which singles sold the most in their lifetime? Radio X digs into Nirvana's stats...

Listen to this article

Loading audio...
Radio X

By Radio X

  1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit: release date 10th September 1991

    It comes as no surprise that Nirvana's landmark 1991 single - and the lead off track for the classic Nevermind album - is the trio's most popular song of all time. It wasn't their biggest hit in the UK - it made No 7, while Heart-Shaped Box was No 5 - but has since been certified four times Platinum in the UK. On Spotify, the song has had over 1.7 billion Spotify streams and 1.7 plays on YouTube. It's HUGE.

    Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

  2. Nirvana - Come As You Are: release date 3rd March 1992

    Issued as the second single from the Nevermind album, this heroic track went Top 10 in Britain and has been certified double Platinum by the BPI. On Spotify, Come As You Are has broken the 1 billion plays mark, while YouTube views are currently over 550 million.

    Nirvana - Come As You Are (Official Music Video)

  3. Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box: release date 30th August 1993

    The band's big comeback track after almost two years without new material, this single was Nirvana's biggest hit in the UK, peaking at No 5 in the chart. In physical terms, it didn't sell as well as its predecessors, only (!) being certified Gold, but in the digital age, it's notched up over 600 million Spotify plays and over 320 million YouTube views.

    Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box (Official Music Video)

    Read more on Nirvana

    How I Made... Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box video

  4. Nirvana - The Man Who Sold The World: release date 1st November 1994 (album)

    Former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing would play a copy of David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World album on cassette in the band's tour van. Kurt Cobain was surprised to discover the track was by the man who recorded Let's Dance and Modern Love. When the trio performed on MTV's popular Unplugged series in November 1993, the song was pressed into play and became one of the most repeated clips when Cobain died in April 1994. Despite never being released as a single, the song has enjoyed over 382 million Spotify streams and just under half a billion YouTube views.

    Nirvana - The Man Who Sold The World (MTV Unplugged)

  5. Nirvana - Lithium: release date 13th July 1992

    Kurt Cobain's musing on religion and mental health was released as the third single from Nevermind in the summer of 1992. Peaking at No 11 in the UK, Lithium was certified Platinum by the BPI; in the digital age, it's achieved over 260 million plays on YouTube and over 520 million streams on Spotify.

    Nirvana - Lithium (Official Music Video)

  6. Nirvana - In Bloom: release date 30th November 1992

    The final single to be taken from Nevermind (over a year after its initial release), In Bloom only just scraped into the UK Top 30, despite the fantastic 60s-themed video. The tune has over 270 streams on Spotify and over 160 million YouTube views.

    Nirvana - In Bloom (Official Music Video)

  7. Nirvana - Something In The Way: release date 24 September 1991 (album)

    The final track on Nevermind (unless you count the hidden track Endless Nameless on some CD copies of the album), this melancholic tale of homelessness is a favourite on streaming platforms, with over 380 million Spotify plays and over 52 million views on YouTube.

    Nirvana - Something In The Way (Audio)

  8. Nirvana - About A Girl: release date 15th June 1989

    An album track from the band's debut Bleach, About A Girl achieved more fame when it was included on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged session in November 1993. The song has over 133 million YouTube views and over 270 million streams on Spotify.

    Nirvana - About A Girl (MTV Unplugged)

  9. Nirvana - All Apologies: release date 6th December 1993

    The final song on the final album by Nirvana was another track that was included on the band's MTV Unplugged session. Issued at the end of 1993, it only made No 32 in the UK charts, but following Kurt Cobain's death, the song achieved a poignancy that was never intended by the musicians. All Apologies has over 190 million streams on Spotify and over 113 million YouTube views.

    Nirvana - All Apologies (MTV Unplugged)

  10. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Release date 1st November 1994

    The final track from Nirvana's MTV Unplugged session to appear on our list, this was Kurt Cobain's interpretation of an old blues classic made famous by the legendary Lead Belly. The climax of the TV session, it was another song that gained wider popularity in the years after Cobain's death. Nirvana's version was not released as a single, but the track has seen over 188 million Spotify plays and over 74 million YouTube views.

    Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Live On MTV Unplugged Unedited)