|Come As You Are|
It was the band's second American Top 40 hit, reaching number thirty-two on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for "Come as You Are" was directed by Kevin Kerslake, who drew inspiration for it from the cover artwork of Nevermind. In 2004, Rolling Stone named it at #445 on its "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list and placed it at #452 in the 2010 reissue.
Cobain described the lyrics of "Come as You Are" as contradictory, and said the song was about "people and what they're expected to act like". Pointing to the line "Take your time, hurry up, choice is yours, don't be late", essayist Catherine J.Creswell writes that in Cobain's lyrics, "[p]hrases clump into strings of empty clichés whose own ostensible meaning is forced into contradictions or simple rhyme sound". In light of Cobain's 1994 suicide by self-inflicted gunshot-wound, Allmusic's Mark Deming suggests that "[h]earing Kurt Cobain sing 'And I swear that I don't have a gun' gives 'Come as You Are' a sting it was never meant to have when [Nevermind] was first released in 1991." Deming reasons that the "don't have a gun" lyric is "[Cobain's] attempt to reassure listeners that . . . his target is the world at large rather than the individuals in it, and that there was still room in this damaged world for everyone".
"Come as You Are" was one of the few songs Nirvana recorded onto the rehearsal tape the group sent to producer Butch Vig prior to the recording of Nevermind in 1991. The group recorded the song with Vig during album sessions at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in early 1991. Cobain recorded his guitar solo in two takes, as well as three takes of vocals, of which the first was used. Vig then asked Cobain to double track his vocals throughout the entire song. During the harmony overdub session, Cobain accidentally sang the phrase "And I don't have a gun" too early, appearing the fourth time he sings the word "memoria" after the guitar solo. He decided to keep the mistake in the final recording. Vig sampled Cobain singing "memoria" from the middle of the song and placed it in the background of the song near the end twice.