Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Love Buzz

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Pink Elephant

Robbie van Leeuwen


Robbie van Leeuwen

Acid rock, psychedelic rock

"Love Buzz" is a song by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue. It was written by Robbie van Leeuwen and first released on the group's 1969 album, At Home. The song was later covered by Nirvana, who released it as their debut single in 1988.


Nirvana cover version

American rock band Nirvana recorded a cover version of the song for its 1988 début single, released on Sub Pop in the USA.

Release and reception

It was the first single 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.

It was made single of the week in Sounds by John Robb, which was the first mention of the band in the UK press.

In a 1989 review for British music magazine Melody Maker, Everett True wrote, "Nirvana are beauty incarnate. A relentless two-chord garage beat which lays down some serious foundations for a sheer monster of a guitar to howl over. The volume control ain't been built yet which can do justice to this three-piece!" True also made "Love Buzz" joint-US Single of the Week. True also described Nirvana's "Love Buzz" single as a "Limited edition of 1,000; love songs for the psychotically disturbed".

A slightly different mix of the song would also appear on Nirvana's début album, Bleach. This version is missing a 10-second sound collage introduction put together by Kurt Cobain. "Love Buzz" was later released on Nirvana's Blew EP in the UK in December 1989. This was the song's first release in the UK after having been substituted by "Big Cheese" on the British release of the Bleach album.

Live versions

An intense, violent performance of the song, recorded in Dallas, Texas, can be seen on Nirvana's 1994 home video Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!, with another 1990 performance from Olympia on With the Lights Out, and another performance from 1991 on Live at the Paramount.


In 2012, a Dutch episode of Classic Recordings about Shocking Blue's album At Home featured a rare interview with guitar player Robbie van Leeuwen and clips of Nirvana's live performance of the song at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. Klaasje van der Wal was proud of the fact that Krist Novoselic once called him a bass god in a blog, while it was said that Van Leeuwen was informed about the Nirvana cover during a visit to Hilversum in the Netherlands. Apparently, he had listened to Bleach in a shop, returned it to his friend without having purchased the album and explained that he did not buy it because he thought the cover was inferior.

As the "Love Buzz" single was released in November 1988, Nirvana were announced in their first year of eligibility as being part of the 2014 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on December 17, 2013. In 2017, to mark what would have been Kurt Cobain's 50th birthday, the Phonographic Performance Limited released a list of the top twenty most played Nirvana songs on the TV and radio in the UK in which "Love Buzz" was ranked at number fourteen.

The Prodigy

The original Shocking Blue version was sampled for the song "Phoenix" by The Prodigy on their 2004 album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.

Lil' Kim

Elements of the original song were also sampled for the track "Kitty Box" by Lil' Kim, which featured on her 2005 album The Naked Truth.


The track has also been covered by Hatcham Social on its free EP Party, released in 2008. A club mix of "Love Buzz" was released on Saint Thomas Records in 2009 by the Dallas psychedelic band Lithium X-Mas as a CD single. The song was also sampled by the Danish rap group Malk De Koijn, in the song "5 øres ting" from the 2011 release "Toback to The Fromtime". British and German singer/songwriter Anika covered "Love Buzz" on her 2013 self-titled EP.


Love Buzz Wikipedia

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