A Google Search turns up lots of results that suggest Nirvana did the song "I Smell Sex And Candy" but according to Wikipedia It was done by Marcy Playground and the article doesn't mention Nirvana. Did Nirvana do a cover of this song and if so where? If not, is there a reason this misconception is popular?

  • Referencing a Google search is problematic, because everyone sees different results and they change over time. Might be better to link to the top few results as examples (after vetting that they say what you think they say).
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 16, 2013 at 15:12
  • 1
    I suspect this is the same phenomenon as every funny song being attributed to Weird Al.
    – Simon
    Dec 17, 2013 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


"Sex and Candy" came out in 1997. Kurt Cobain died in 1994. You can probably work it out from there. The misconseption exists simply because people think they sound alike.

Kurt Cobain died April 5, 1994 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain

Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground released November 4, 1997 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_Candy

  • The author clearly does not trust wikipedia, can you find better references?
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 16, 2013 at 16:40
  • This does not preclude Nirvana from having performed the song. A 1997 release date does not mean the song could have been written, and performed well before.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 16, 2013 at 17:59
  • 1
    What sounds alike?
    – user5582
    Dec 16, 2013 at 19:26

In an interview at songfacts Marcy Playground's John Wozniak says that

Yeah, where did I get the “sex and candy” part from? Well, I was dating a girl and she was going to Bryn Mawr College and it’s where my dad teaches. And I was probably 17 or something like that and she was like 18. I always liked the older girls. (laughs) But we were in her dorm room, and her roommate came in and she saw us there, and she was like, “Oh, it smells like sex and candy in here.” And I always remembered that. And that was back in the late ‘80s. And then when I was writing the song and I was coming up with all these weird disco-era references that I was making up, “platform double suede” and all that business, I was like, hey, let’s just throw in that phrase that’s been sticking in my head for the last 5 years or whatever. So I wrote that song in ’92, ’93, somewhere around there. And it didn’t really come out until ’97.

So according to the man who originally held the copyright claim the song wasn't recorded in a finished form until 1997. That makes it rather doubtful that Nirvana ever covered the song.

Additionally, all of the versions of "Sex and Candy" on youtube that are listed as being by Nirvana sound exactly like Marcy Playground's official video.

  • If he "wrote that song" in 1992 or 1993, the lyrics and music existed in 1992 or 1993. The copyright in the recording didn't exist until 1997, but the material necessary for a cover existed in 1992 or 1993.
    – user5582
    Dec 16, 2013 at 19:20
  • @Articuno That is true. However, I haven't found any evidence that Wozniak was performing the song anywhere and the band known as Marcy Playground didn't form until 1994. I have also read several Wozniak interviews where he talks about Nirvana not being an influence and he doesn't make any mention of meeting any member of Nirvana.
    – Legion600
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:21

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