Incesticide is a compilation album by the American rock band Nirvana. It consists of their 1990 non-album single "Sliver", B-sides, demos, outtakes, covers, and radio broadcast recordings.

The album was released on December 14, 1992, in Europe, and December 15, 1992, in the United States. It eventually reached number 39 on the Billboard 200.

Compilation album by
ReleasedDecember 14, 1992
Nirvana chronology
In Utero


Early in 1992, Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop contacted Gary Gersh, who had previously signed Nirvana to Geffen Records, to inform him that Sub Pop still had a number of unreleased early Nirvana recordings in their possession.[1] The band had originally intended to release the material via Sub Pop and cynically called it Cash Cow. However, Sub Pop could not match Geffen's distribution network, and the band felt that getting the material maximum exposure was important.[2] Sub Pop sold the recordings to Geffen for "a six-figure amount" on the condition that the band would create and approve the release of an album by Christmas 1992.[1]

At the time, the majority of the material on Incesticide was circulating within fan communities (albeit in lower quality). It was widely reported in the music press that the band wanted to offer fans a higher-quality alternative. In the book Cobain Unseen, Charles R. Cross writes that Kurt Cobain agreed to the release of this compilation because he was allowed complete control over the album's artwork.

Since the songs were recorded in different sessions and some were recorded when Nirvana did not have a stable formation, the album includes recordings by four different drummers: Chad Channing, Dan Peters, Dale Crover, and Dave Grohl.


Previously unreleased

  • The songs "Hairspray Queen", "Aero Zeppelin", and "Big Long Now" were officially unreleased at the time, as well as the versions of "Been a Son", "Aneurysm", and "(New Wave) Polly", which are different from the versions previously released on the Blew EP, the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single, and the Nevermind record, respectively.
  • "Downer" appears on the CD version of Nirvana's 1989 debut album Bleach but was only included from the 1992 reissue onwards.

Previously released

  • "Dive" and "Sliver" were released on the "Sliver" single in 1990. "Dive" was also previously released on The Grunge Years compilation album in 1991.
  • "Stain" was released on the Blew EP in 1989.
  • The three cover songs, "Turnaround" (Devo), "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun" (The Vaselines) were released on the Hormoaning EP in 1992, which was only released in Japan and Australia.
  • "Mexican Seafood" appeared on the 1989 Teriyaki Asthma Volume 1 compilation.
  • "Beeswax" appeared on the 1991 Kill Rock Stars compilation album.

Artwork and packaging

The cover art was painted by Cobain,[3] who is credited as Kurdt Kobain in the liner notes.[4] The rubber duck seen on the album's back cover also belonged to Cobain. The front cover prominently displays a poppy, hinting at Cobain's struggle with heroin addiction.

The first several pressings of the album contained liner notes written by Cobain, including a statement decrying homophobia, racism and misogyny:[5]

If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us—leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records.

Versions of the album containing the liner notes by Cobain could be found at record stores as late as 1998. Initial copies in the U.S. and Canada also contained a Parental Advisory label.[6]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[7]
Blender3/5 stars[8]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[9]
Entertainment WeeklyB[10]
NME7/10 / 3/10[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[14]
Select3/5 medals[15]
The Village VoiceA−[12]

The album received generally positive reviews. "Nobody really wants a Hatful of Hollow-type assortment of Peel/Goodier sessions, b-sides, demos and obscurities in the place of a proper studio album," observed Andrew Perry in Select. "But, hell, wouldn't you try and put an end to the consumer madness going on in your name? And harvest some of the money for yourself? Anyway, people might start talking about the music again…"[15] In a review for AllMusic, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the song "Aneurysm" was "perhaps the greatest single song the group ever recorded".[16]

Commercial performance

Incesticide was released on December 14, 1992 in the United Kingdom, and on December 15, 1992 in the United States.[17] The record label, Geffen, decided against heavily promoting the album, possibly to avoid a "Nirvana burnout" as the band had released Nevermind and four singles in the preceding fifteen months.[18] Despite this lack of promotion and being a collection of old and new material, Incesticide debuted at number 51 in the Billboard 200 and sold 500,000 copies in two months.[19] The album is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. On November 23, 2012, Incesticide was re-released on vinyl as a limited two LP 45 RPM edition for its 20th anniversary.[20]

Track listing

All tracks written by Kurt Cobain except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."Dive"Cobain, Krist Novoselic"Sliver" single and The Grunge Years3:55
2."Sliver"Cobain, Novoselic"Sliver" single2:16
3."Stain"Cobain, NovoselicBlew EP2:40
4."Been a Son"Cobain, NovoselicPreviously unreleased1:55
5."Turnaround"Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald CasaleHormoaning EP2:19
6."Molly's Lips"Eugene Kelly, Frances McKeeHormoaning EP1:54
7."Son of a Gun"Eugene Kelly, Frances McKeeHormoaning EP2:48
8."(New Wave) Polly"Cobain, Novoselic, Dave GrohlPreviously unreleased1:48
9."Beeswax" Kill Rock Stars2:50
10."Downer"Cobain, NovoselicBleach, most reissues from April 1992 onward1:43
11."Mexican Seafood" Teriyaki Asthma Volume 11:55
12."Hairspray Queen"Cobain, NovoselicPreviously unreleased4:13
13."Aero Zeppelin"Cobain, NovoselicPreviously unreleased4:41
14."Big Long Now"Cobain, NovoselicPreviously unreleased5:03
15."Aneurysm"Cobain, Novoselic, GrohlPreviously unreleased4:35


All sessions:

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (January 23, 1988)
Nirvana's first studio demo tape.
Songs: "Beeswax", "Downer", "Mexican Seafood", "Hairspray Queen" and "Aero Zeppelin"

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (December 1988 – January 1989)
The Bleach recording sessions.
Song: "Big Long Now"

Seattle, WA: Music Source Studios (September 1989)
The Blew EP recording sessions.
Song: "Stain"

Madison, WI: Smart Studios (April 2, 1990 – April 6, 1990)
The sessions for the planned second Sub Pop album.
Song: "Dive"

  • Chad Channing – drums
  • Butch Vig – producer

Seattle, WA: Reciprocal Recording Studios (July 11, 1990)
The "Sliver" Sub Pop single session.
Song: "Sliver"

  • Dan Peters – drums
  • Jack Endino – producer, engineer

London, England: Maida Vale Studio 3 (October 21, 1990)
The 1990 BBC session for John Peel.
Songs: "Turnaround", "Molly's Lips" and "Son of a Gun"

London, England: Maida Vale Studio 4 (November 9, 1991)
The 1991 BBC session for Mark Goodier.
Songs: "Been a Son", "(New Wave) Polly" and "Aneurysm"

  • Dave Grohl – drums
  • Miti Adhikari – producer
  • John Taylor – engineer



Chart (1992/93) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 22
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[22] 10
Canadian Albums (RPM)[23] 21
European Top 100 Albums (Music & Media)[24] 17
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 31
Finnish Albums (The Official Finnish Charts)[26] 16
French Albums SNEP)[27] 28
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[28] 40
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[29] 50
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 23
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[31] 27
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 18
UK Albums (OCC)[33] 14
US Billboard 200[34] 39
Chart (1995) Peak
US Top Catalog Albums (Billboard)[35] 43


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[36] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[37] Gold 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,400,000[39]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b Goldberg, Danny (2008). Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business. Penguin Books. p. 214. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  2. ^ St. Thomas, Kurt; Smith, Troy (2004). Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects. Macmillan Publishers. p. 154. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  3. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 295
  4. ^ Incesticide liner notes
  5. ^ Allman, Kevin (February 9, 1993). "The Dark Side of Kurt Cobain" (PDF). The Advocate (622). pp. 35–43. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "Incesticide - Americas". Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Incesticide at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 February 2005.
  8. ^ [1] Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press.
  10. ^ Browne, David (18 December 2017). "Incesticide". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  11. ^ Lewis, Angela (12 September 2005). "Nirvana: Incesticide - 12/12/92". NME. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 26, 1993). "Consumer Guide: Nirvana: Incesticide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 21 December 2011. Relevant portion posted in a revised version at "Nirvana: Incesticide > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  13. ^ Alden, Grant (January 21, 1993). "Recordings: Nirvana Incesticide > Album Review". Rolling Stone (648). Archived from the original on September 18, 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2005.
  14. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. p. 589.
  15. ^ a b Select, January 1993
  16. ^ Nirvana - Incesticide - AllMusic review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  17. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 357–358
  18. ^ Azerrad, 1994. p. 296
  19. ^ Cross, p. 269
  20. ^ "RECORD STORE DAY - SpecialRelease". Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  21. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  22. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Nirvana Top Albums/CDs positions (26 - 190)". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  24. ^ "Eurochart Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. January 30, 1993. p. 42. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  25. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  26. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2003). Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd. ISBN 951-1-21053-X.
  27. ^ (The user has to select "Nirvana" from the drop down list) "InfoDisc : Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  28. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  29. ^ Album Chart-Book Complete Edition 1970-2005. Orikonmāketingupuromōshon (2006). ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  30. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  31. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  32. ^ " – Nirvana – Incesticide". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  33. ^ "Nirvana | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Nirvana Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  35. ^ "Nirvana Chart History (Top Catalog Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide". Music Canada.
  37. ^ "French album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Incesticide in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  39. ^ Ask Billboard: Rihanna's (Quirky) Record in the Hot 100's Top 10 With 'Needed Me' Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – Nirvana – Incesticide". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 


  • Azerrad, Michael. Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday, 1994. ISBN 0-385-47199-8
  • Cross, Charles. Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain. Hyperion, 2001. ISBN 0-7868-8402-9

External links

Aneurysm (song)

"Aneurysm" is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana. Two studio versions have been released, and a live version from the album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah was released as a promotional single in 1996.

Been a Son

"Been a Son" is a song by American rock band Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist, Kurt Cobain. It was originally released on the Blew EP in December 1989. A second studio version appears on the compilation album Incesticide, released in December 1992.

The song has been certified Gold by the IFPI Danmark.


"Blew" is the title of a song and EP released by American rock band Nirvana.

Candy / Molly's Lips

"Candy"/"Molly's Lips" is a vinyl-only split-single from the American rock bands The Fluid and Nirvana. It was released in January 1991 on Sub Pop records and includes two live tracks: "Candy" by The Fluid; and "Molly's Lips", a cover of a song by The Vaselines, performed by Nirvana.

Chad Channing

Chad Channing (born January 31, 1967) is an American musician who is best known for being the drummer of the band Nirvana from 1988 until 1990, during which time they recorded and released their debut album Bleach. He currently sings and plays bass in the band Before Cars.

Dale Crover

Dale Crover (born October 23, 1967) is an American rock musician. Crover is best known as the drummer for the Melvins. He's also been the drummer for Men of Porn, Shrinebuilder, Crystal Fairy, and, for a brief time, Nirvana. He is also guitarist and vocalist for Altamont. He has also toured with Fantômas (filling in for Dave Lombardo), Off!, and Redd Kross.

Dying for It

Dying for It is the second release by Glasgow alternative rock group The Vaselines, like its predecessor an extended play single. The EP was later included on their career retrospective collection The Way of the Vaselines: A Complete History. "Teenage Superstars" was later included as the fourth track on their debut album Dum-Dum in 1989.

Alternative rock figurehead Kurt Cobain listed the "Dying for It" single as his fourth favorite 'album' ever. His band Nirvana covered "Molly's Lips," named in tribute to well-known Scottish television personality Molly Weir, as well as a song from the earlier Vaselines EP, on their 1992 Compilation Incesticide. They also performed "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" (original song name "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam") for their MTV Unplugged in New York concert.

Eugene Kelly

Eugene Kelly (born 1965) is a Scottish musician who is a member of the group The Vaselines, a founding member of the now disbanded Eugenius and has had a number of solo releases.

Eugene Kelly formed The Vaselines in Glasgow, Scotland in 1986 with Frances McKee and was a member until 1989 when the band split up the week their first and only full-length album, Dum-Dum, was released. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana was a big fan of the band, covering three of their songs. Molly's Lips and Son Of A Gun were included on their album, Incesticide. Nirvana also covered The Vaselines song Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam on their album, MTV Unplugged in New York.

In 1990, Kelly formed Captain America but was forced to change the name after Marvel Comics, who owned the trademark of the superhero name, threatened them with legal action. The band then became known as Eugenius. He has had a number of collaborations with Evan Dando of The Lemonheads and in 2003 Eugene released a solo album, Man Alive. In 1991 Kelly was reunited with McKee as the Vaselines to support Nirvana in a one-off gig at Edinburgh.In 2006, he toured with Isobel Campbell, replacing Mark Lanegan when performing songs from Ballad of the Broken Seas and supporting Mogwai and The Lemonheads in Europe.

In the summer of 2006, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee took to the stage to perform a set of The Vaselines songs, as part of a joint tour to promote their individual solo albums. This led to The Vaselines reforming (minus the old rhythm section) on the April 24, 2008 for a charity show for the Malawi Orphan Support group at Glasgow's MONO venue.

Since 2008, The Vaselines have continued to perform around the world, with members of Belle & Sebastian supporting their live set. On May 5, 2009, Sub Pop released Enter the Vaselines. A deluxe-edition reissue of the 1992 Sub Pop release, it includes remastered versions of the band’s two EPs, album, as well as demos and live recordings from 1986 and 1988.

Kelly features prominently in the 2017 documentary Teenage Superstars, which covers the formation of The Vaselines, their influence on Nirvana and Eugenius.


Hormoaning is an EP by the American rock band Nirvana. It was released on February 5, 1992 through DGC Records and Geffen Records. It was released in Australia and Japan only, during the band's tour there.

Insecticide (disambiguation)

Insecticide is a chemical used to control insects

Insecticide may refer to:

Insecticide (video game), a 2008 story-driven action-adventure game by Crackpot Entertainment and published by Gamecock Media Group for the Nintendo DS and Windows.

List of songs recorded by Nirvana

Nirvana was an American rock band formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987, with drummer Dave Grohl joining the band in 1990. Though their brief run ended following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, Nirvana has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era.

The band recorded three studio albums; Bleach, Nevermind and In Utero, with other songs available on live albums, compilations, extended plays (EPs), singles and reissues. Other songs have surfaced or are known to exist but have not been released officially.

Nevermind Tribute

NEVERMIND TRIBUTE is a tribute album by Japanese rock artists released on April 4, 2012, to celebrate 20th anniversary of Nirvana's masterpiece album "Nevermind".

Nirvana (band)

Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. It was founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting and best-known being Dave Grohl, who joined in 1990. Though the band dissolved in 1994 after the death of Cobain, their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture.

In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records, Nirvana found unexpected worldwide success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from the band's second album Nevermind (1991), which has now been ranked as one of the greatest songs in the history of rock music. Nevermind has also been called one of the greatest albums of all time and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Nirvana's sudden success widely popularized alternative rock and grunge, and Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana considered the "flagship band" of Generation X. After touring heavily and releasing Incesticide (1992) and Hormoaning (1992), Nirvana's third studio album, In Utero (1993), was released to critical acclaim. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and featured an abrasive, less mainstream sound and challenged the group's audience and has since sold over 15 million copies worldwide. In Utero would be Nirvana's last studio album in their active career. Nirvana's active career ended following the death of Cobain in 1994, but many various posthumous releases have been issued since, overseen by Novoselic, Grohl, and Cobain's widow Courtney Love. The posthumous release MTV Unplugged in New York won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

Overall, Nirvana has received twelve awards from twenty-five nominations winning an American Music Award, Brit Award, Grammy Award, seven MTV Video Music Awards and two NME Awards Since its debut, the band has sold over 25 million records in the United States alone, and over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Nirvana has also been ranked as one of the greatest music artists of all time with Rolling Stone placing them at number 27 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004, and at number 30 on their updated list in 2011. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, in its first year of eligibility.

Nirvana discography

The discography of Nirvana, an Aberdeen, Washington-based American rock band, consists of three studio albums, twenty-one singles, three live albums, two extended plays, four compilation albums, and two box sets.

Nirvana was formed in 1987 by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, with the position of drummer being filled by various musicians. The band released its debut album, Bleach, in 1989 on independent label Sub Pop. After being joined by final drummer Dave Grohl and signing to Geffen Records subsidiary DGC Records, the band released its second studio album, Nevermind, which became one of the best selling alternative albums of the 1990s and popularized the Seattle grunge movement and alternative music. The band's third album, In Utero, was also a commercial and critical success, though it did not match the sales precedent set by Nevermind—as the members of the band expected. Nirvana disbanded in 1994 after the death of Cobain; since then several posthumous releases have been issued from the band, which once resulted in a legal conflict between Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and the surviving members of the band over the release of the song "You Know You're Right". In 2006, Love sold a significant share of the rights to Cobain's song catalog to Primary Wave Music Publishing. Since its debut, the band has sold 27.6 million albums in the United States alone, and over 75 million records worldwide.

Polly (Nirvana song)

"Polly" is a song by the American alternative rock band Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain. It is the sixth song on their second album Nevermind, released in September 1991.

Sliver (song)

"Sliver" is a song by American rock band Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain. It was originally released as a non-album single in 1990 by the band's then record label, Sub Pop. The same recording was re-released by DGC on the compilation album Incesticide in December 1992, and a music video for the song was released to promote the album.

Son of a Gun (EP)

Son of A Gun is the debut extended play single by Glasgow alternative rock group The Vaselines. The title-song of this EP came to a wider audience after a Nirvana Peel session version of it, along with "Molly's Lips", was released on their compilation album Incesticide. "You Think You're A Man" is a cover of a song written by the cult-film actor Divine, while the other two were written by Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly.

Studio albums
Live albums
Compilation albums
Box sets
Extended plays
Split singles
Other songs

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