‘Love Buzz,’ The Cover That Launched Nirvana’s Recording Career

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Shocking Blue.

Shocking Blue.

As the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rolls out its new list of nominees, and we all nod our heads in agreement about the inclusion of Nirvana, check out the single they released in 1988, a cover of “Love Buzz” by the Dutch group Shocking Blue.

To be eligible for inclusion into the Rock Hall, artists need to have recorded and “officially” released a single or album 25 years ago. Sub Pop released Nirvana’s version of “Love Buzz” in 1988 and later on Bleachtheir debut album.

Shocking Blue’s version, it seems, was never a single; it appeared on their 1969 album At Home. Nirvana took the song down a whole-step and gave it the rock treatment. The rest is history. Shocking Blue is perhaps best known in this country for their top-selling 1970 hit “Venus,” which later became a Platinum-selling single by Bananarama in 1986.

Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Link Wray, the Zombies, Hall and Oates and The Replacements received their first nominations this year. Returning nominees include Kiss, LL Cool J, N.W.A., Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, The Meters, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Chic. (Check out the Hartford Courant’s gallery of 2014 nominees.)


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