A4D Wiki
"Big Cheese"
US picture sleeve
Song by Nirvana
from the album Bleach
Released November 1988
Format 7"
Recorded June–September 1988 at Reciprocal Recordings in Seattle, Washington
Genre Grunge
Length 3:43
Label Sub Pop
Songwriter(s) Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Producer Jack Endino
Singles chronology
Big Cheese
(November 1988)

"Big Cheese" is a song by the American rock band Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. It was released as the B-side to the band's first single, "Love Buzz" in November 1988. It was re-released as the 12th track on the reissue of their 1989 debut album, Bleach.


The song was first recorded in the studio in 1988 by Jack Endino at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, Washington, during the sessions for what became the band's first single, "Love Buzz". The sessions, which lasted four days over the span of several months, were the band's first with drummer Chad Channing. The band had originally intended on releasing another song recorded during the sessions, "Blandest," as the single's B-side, but Endino convinced Cobain to use "Big Cheese" instead.

Two live takes of the song were recorded during a video shoot at the television studio of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington on March 20, 1990. The full session, which also featured versions of the Bleach songs "School" and "Floyd the Barber", as well as the future Nevermind single "Lithium", was directed by Jon Snyder and engineered by Greg Babior. It featured a collage of background footage Cobain had taped from television.

The final live performance of "Big Cheese" was at the Melody Ballroom in Portland, Oregon on June 20, 1991.


"Love Buzz" was the first release in the Sub Pop Singles Club and was limited to 1000 numbered copies. A Sub Pop invoice indicates that 1200 sleeves were made, the other 200 having a red slash instead of a number.

Recording and release history

Demo and studio version

Date recorded

  • June-September, 1988


  • June-September, 1988


  • Jack Endino


  • Love Buzz
  • Bleach (1989)


  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass guitar)
  • Chad Channing (drums)

Live version

Date recorded

  • June 23, 1989


  • Rhino Records, Los Angeles, California, US


  • With the Lights Out (DVD) (2004)


  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass)
  • Chad Channing (drums)
  • Jason Everman (guitar)