A4D Wiki
UK picture disc
Song by Nirvana
Released July 13, 1992
Format CD single
Picture Disc
7-inch single
12-inch single
Recorded April 7, 1992 at Laundry Room Studios, Seattle
Genre Grunge
Length 3:03
Label DGC
Songwriter(s) Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Producer Barrett Jones
Singles chronology
(July 13, 1992)

"Curmudgeon" is a song by American rock band Nirvana. Written by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Dave Grohl, the song was first released as one of the B-sides to "Lithum". It was later re-released on the rarities box set With the Lights Out in 2004.

Background and Composition

At the beginning of April of 1992, the bands hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" had sold 1 million units in the United States and was certified platinum. Nirvana had returned to the studio to record three songs with producer Barrett Jones: "Return of the Rat", "Oh, the Guilt" and "Curmudgeon".

"Curmudgeon" was recorded at Laundry Room Studios in Seattle on April 7, 1992. In an interview with Jones he states that "Curmudgeon" was never even played by the band before and was recorded in two takes. Author Everett True stated "it was Dave Grohl's first chance to chance to show how he could contribute to the band in the studio".

According to Journalist Gillian G. Garr, she states that the song starts with a "wonderful droning guitar line" that continues throughout the song and features bawling vocals from Cobain. She also states that the squalling guitar work during the instrumental break of the song is what the band would later use for their third and final album In Utero.


"Curmudgeon" was released as the B-side to "Lithium", the third single from Nevermind, and was released on July 13, 1992. The cover photo of the single was created by Cobain, the single contained a sonogram of the musician's then-unborn child Frances Bean Cobain, as well as full lyrics for all the songs on Nevermind.

Cassette, CD, 12-inch vinyl, and British 12-inch vinyl picture disc editions included "Curmudgeon" and a live version of "Been a Son" (performed on Halloween the previous year) as another of the song B-sides. The British 7-inch and cassette featured only "Curmudgeon" as an extra track, while the UK CD release added a cover of the Wipers' "D-7".

Recording and release history

Studio versions

Date recorded

  • April 7, 1992


  • Laundry Room Studios, Seattle Washington, US


  • Barnett Jones


  • Lithium (1992)
  • Singles (1995)
  • With the Lights Out (2004)
  • Nevermind (deluxe) (2011)
  • Nevermind: The Singles (2011)


  • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
  • Krist Novoselic (bass guitar)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)