On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Nirvana – All Apologies (1994)
” All Apologies” is a song by American rock band Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist, Kurt Cobain. It is the 12th and final song on the band’s third and final studio album, , released in September 1993. On December 6, 1993, it was released as the second single as a double A-side with the song, ” Rape Me”.
We’re staying in the US today but leaving California to return to Aberdeen in Washington. It is a second appearance on the our list from Nirvana who last appeared in 1991 with Smells Like Teen Spirit. That hugely popular song came from their phenomenal album, Nevermind. Three years on and Nirvana have released a third studio album, In Utero, in 1993 and 1001 Songs have lifted the track All Apologies which was released as a single in late 1993.
All Apologies was written by Kurt Cobain and dedicated to his wife, Courtney Love, and their young daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. Despite the image of Cobain as struggling with fame and drugs, All Apologies is said to tap into happy and positive moods. The song contains peculiar imagery, typical of Cobain, but he makes reference to being married and buried which may suggest a long marriage, or at least I hope so. The song closes with repetition of “All in all is all we are” which centres on the idea of existence, perhaps of family unity and contentment. One thing Kurt Cobain wasn’t was easy to read.
The In Utero album was brave and critically acclaimed, a complete contrast to the more chart friendly Nevermind. It was more in line with what Nirvana wanted their sound to be and remains a terrific album. I like the album version of All Apologies but the song became magnificent in 1993 when Cobain performed it as part of the Unplugged in New York live show. 1994, of course, marked the end of Nirvana with Kurt Cobain sadly committing suicide in April of that year. He was just 27 years old but became a music legend whose memory endures to this day.
Favourite songs so far: