A song about embracing individuality, the lyrics of Nirvana’s 1992 hit “Come As You Are” have become an anthem for people seeking authenticity and freedom from societal expectations. The emotional intensity of Kurt Cobain’s vocal delivery and the thought-provoking lyrics of this song created a connection that resonated with many listeners.
The music video for this song has also become iconic, capturing the angst and desperation of the early grunge movement. The distorted guitars and evocative imagery in the clip reflect the dark, emotional undercurrent of this period.
This song was the second single released from Nirvana’s highly influential album, Nevermind. The band’s frontman, Kurt Cobain, was known for his thought-provoking lyrics and emotional performances, and this song helped to further solidify their place in the music industry as a pioneer of the alternative genre.
The song came under some controversy due to its similarity to a Killing Joke song called “Eighties.” Despite this, Nirvana chose to release the track as their second single because it was more commercially viable than their first release, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Killing Joke later filed a claim against Nirvana, but it was thrown out after Cobain’s death.
The phrase “come as you are” may have been inspired by a hotel motto in Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. According to Nirvana expert Charles R. Cross, the lyric could refer to the Morck Hotel, which had a sign that read, “Come as you are, and we’ll take care of the rest.” The hotel was frequented by Cobain during his homelessness era.