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For the novel and film, see Baise-moi.
"Rape Me"
Single by Nirvana
from the album In Utero
B-side "Moist Vagina"
Released December 1993
Format CD
Recorded February 1993 at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Genre Grunge
Length 2:49
Label DGC
Writer(s) Kurt Cobain
Producer Steve Albini
Nirvana singles chronology
"Heart-Shaped Box"
(1993)
"All Apologies"/"Rape Me"
(1993)
"Pennyroyal Tea"
(1994)

"Rape Me" is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana, written by frontman Kurt Cobain. The song was released as the second single from Nirvana's third album In Utero in 1993, packaged as a double A-side along with "All Apologies".

Contents

Background and recording

"Rape Me" was written by Kurt Cobain on an acoustic guitar around the time the band's second album, Nevermind, was being mixed in 1991.[1] Nirvana first performed the song live that year, although Cobain had not yet written lyrics for the bridge section.[2]

Nirvana had wanted to play "Rape Me" during its performance at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. While MTV initially told the band they could play any song it wanted, it later insisted that the group play "Smells Like Teen Spirit" instead. Hours before the show, Nirvana refused to play. However, due to concerns that the network could boycott other artists on the group's label if they refused to play the show, Nirvana ultimately settled on performing its then-latest single "Lithium". At the start of the performance, Cobain started playing and singing "Rape Me" instead; he said he did so "just to give [MTV] a little heart palpitation". Panicked, MTV was moments away from switching from the live performance to a commercial when the band segued into "Lithium".[3]

Nirvana first recorded "Rape Me" during two-day demo sessions with producer Jack Endino in Seattle, Washington in October 1992. Two takes of the song were recorded; the first was instrumental, while the second featured lead vocals by Cobain and backing vocals by drummer Dave Grohl. Cobain was holding his then-infant daughter in his lap when he recorded his vocals, and she can be heard crying on the demo.[4]

In February 1993, Nirvana travelled to Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, to record its third album In Utero with producer Steve Albini. The band recorded the music for "Rape Me" on February 15.[5] The following day, Cobain completed his vocals for the album during a reported six-hour session.[6]

Music and lyrics

Kurt Cobain conceived "Rape Me" as a life-affirming anti-rape song. He told Spin, "It's like she's saying, 'Rape me, go ahead, rape me, beat me. You'll never kill me. I'll survive this and I'm gonna fucking rape you one of these days and you won't even know it.'"[7]

Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad stated that "Rape Me" seemed to deal with Cobain's distaste of the media's coverage on his personal life. While Cobain said the song was written long before his troubles with drug addiction became public, he agreed that the song could be viewed in that light.[8]

Other versions

A live version of "Rape Me", recorded on Saturday Night Live on September 25, 1993, appears on the compilation album, Saturday Night Live: The Musical Performances, Volume 2, and on the DVD, Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Music, Volume 4.

Two versions of the song appear on the 2004 Nirvana box set, With the Lights Out: a solo acoustic home demo, and the 1992 studio version. Both versions also appear on the 2005 compilation album, Sliver: The Best of the Box.

The song was renamed "Waif Me" for Wal-Mart and Kmart stores, which found the actual title too controversial.[9]

Charts

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 58
French SNEP Singles Chart 20
Irish Singles Chart 20
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 20
UK Singles Chart 32

Accolades

  • Ranked #90 in Kerrang!'s "100 Greatest Rock Tracks Ever" (1999). [10]
  • Ranked #10 in NME's "Top 20 Nirvana Songs" (2004).

References

  • Azerrad, Michael. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday, 1994. ISBN 0-385-47199-8
  • Cross, Charles. Heavier Than Heaven. Hyperion, 2001. ISBN 0-7868-6505-9
  • Gaar, Gillian G. In Utero. Continuum, 2006. ISBN 0-8264-1776-0

Notes

  1. ^ Azerrad, p. 323
  2. ^ Gaar, p. 19
  3. ^ Azerrad, p. 276-77
  4. ^ Gaar, p. 19-20
  5. ^ Gaar, p. 56
  6. ^ Gaar, p. 61
  7. ^ Stone, Darcey. "Smashing Their Heads On That Punk Rock". Spin. October 1993.
  8. ^ Azerrad, p. 322–23
  9. ^ Schinder, Scott and Andy Schwartz. Icons of Rock Volume 2. Greenwood, 2007. 608.
  10. ^ Kerrang! magazine, issue 746, April 17th 1999.







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