Lithium – The Polyphonic Spree

The cult of Kurt lives on to this day. It’s such a long time after the bands 15 minutes were up and just like you can get disco versions of The Sex Pistols (I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before) or Ozzy Osbourne covering The Bee Gees (let us never speak of that again) Nirvana are part of the pop culture skyline.

“I’m so happy because today I’ve found my friends, they’re in my head, I’m so ugly, but that’s okay, ’cause so are you, we’ve broken our mirrors, Sunday morning is everyday for all I care and I’m not scared. light my candles in a daze ’cause I’ve found god”

Their outsider status was never worn more knowingly or more ironically than on their single Lithium. Lyrics from a conditioned medicated brain spill from Kurt’s mouth telling the world of judgey onlookers exactly what they want to hear. This is correction therapy made song. It’s purposefully constrained, contained and saccharine and yet that seething chorus of affirmative affrimation is anticipated the whole verse long.

The Polyphonic Spree covering this song and taking away the thrash of the mosh may be an elaborate exercise in missing the point of the original entirely. This is like wearing Guerinca as a T-Shirt because you like horses.

That’s sort of the genius of it too. Kurt rode a real Trojan horse into the hit parade with this song (and his band to be honest) and for a cult of white robed hippies to turn that song into a grubby glee alike for the grandchildren of Woodstock casualties is kind of perfect.

There’s a deviance behind the smiling faces of the Spree. They’re a bit sinister in quite how joyous they are. I ain’t drinking that Kool-Aid but I might have a bit of a dance.

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5 thoughts on “Lithium – The Polyphonic Spree

  1. Always loved Nirvana’s Lithium, so to speak, but haven’t heard this one! Shall do later, sounds mental and you sold it you me on the line “This is like wearing Guernica as a T-Shirt because you like horses.”

    Liked by 1 person

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