Scentless Apprentice

Album: In Utero (1993)
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  • This song was inspired by the novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind, about a man born with an amazing sense of smell but no smell of his own. He was an apprentice in a perfume shop and becomes a murderer of young girls for their scent. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Wellington, New Zealand
  • A nine-minute version appears on Nirvana's With The Lights Out compilation.
  • This song is credited to all three members of the band. As Kurt Cobain said in interviews around the time In Utero was released, Dave Grohl came up with the drum beat and the guitar riff for the song. All three members worked to refine the song and Kurt wrote the lyrics. Cobain also said he preferred having input from the other two to take the pressure off of him to come up with all the songs. He said he was looking forward to more collaboration like that in the future, a collaboration that sadly never came to fruition. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD
  • Kurt Cobain said in an interview that when Dave Grohl first brought this song to him, he didn't think it was very good, but he decided to go along with it so he wouldn't hurt Grohl's feelings. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Gettysburg, PA
  • Grohl told Mojo magazine January 2010: "One of my favorite lines in a Nirvana song - which is f--king dark and which I didn't realize the weight of until I sat in my house in Seattle playing the first mixes of In Utero is the line on 'Scentless Apprentice' where Kurt sings, 'You can't fire me because I quit.' If there's one line in any song that gives me the chills it's that one. Maybe all those things that people wrote about him painted him into a corner that he couldn't get out of."

Comments: 29

  • Anna from Seattle, WaTo be honest, I couldn't care less who did what and who was influenced by who to what in this case. You can't possibly watch this song live and not get any feelings from it or about it as far as Nirvana themselves go. It is more than lyrics, it's a chemistry thing so it makes sense all were involved. I don't think it was a mistake this song was chosen for a certain acting out session the went on for approx. 10 minutes that is labeled a "Guitar Solo" (???) by Youtube and even members of other bands at Rio in '93.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjSeriously??? Motley Crue got a vote for best album of the CENTURY? I don't even think they could have won a "best album of the 80's".
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjUh, Pearl Jam were into the beatles, to a lesser extent
  • Johnny from Pittsburgh, Paok, first off nirvana was indeed a pop group, just because they came from seattle like the rest of those led zeppelin wannabes doesn't make them grunge. kurt was extremely influenced by the beatles, the knack and cheap trick as well as black flag, mdc, fang and other punk bands. they had more melody than anyone out at the time. they also knocked michael jackson off of the pop charts. chad channing did play drums on in bloom, lithium and polly but those versions did not show up on the released version of nevermind they were recorded at smart studios. the version of polly that was recorded there was used but dave grohl re-tracked the drums and did backing vocals. and finally, dave grohl, chris or krist novoselic and kurt cobain are all credited as writers on smells like teen spirit and scentless apprentice whether they wrote whatever part or whatever lyric that's the way it is. anyway, they were the best band of all the seattle s--t because they had the balls to actually embrace the beatles, where every other band was rebelling against them.
  • Mike from Hillsborough, NjThis song was used on an episode of the TV show "Lost." It plays on the character Jack's (Matthew Fox) radio in his car during the third season finale called "Through The Looking Glass." Nirvana's awesome!
  • Daniel from Sydney, Australiaer, for the record, teen spirit was cleaned up by butch vig. Vig transformed it into the pop mainstream version thats known today.

    Dave grohl wrote more songs. they werent recorded, but they included one called pocketwatch or something to that effect.

    to jer in canada: "what the hell do you consider pop music, exactly"
    SLTS is POP music. do not be mislead, it isnt grunge or metal.

    to james in walnut creek: "Scentless Apprentice is the only song written by all the members of nirvana".
    Yes, Scentless was the only credited song to all 3 members, however they had more of an input than 1 song into the band. for many of the songs the music was written together and cobain did the vocals.

    to whoever said grohl wrote teen spirit: grohl is directly quoted as saying he doesnt think kurt meant anything of the lyrics when he wrote them just before recording. so stfu.

    -back to scentless. best song ever, best drum beat ive heard in a song.
  • Leela from Balimore, Mdthe greatest drum beat EVER!!
  • Echo from Normalville, MaThey credit Chad on the inside sleeve of the muddy banks of the wishkah for Polly and Breed. The electric version of polly sounds really cool,'s just one of those songs where it can go electric or acoustic and sound great
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cachad indeed DID play on polly. read any really good source on nevermind and believe me you will find this out for yourselves. about four or five months before the commencing of the Nevermind recordings, Nirvana (with Channing) laid down some basic tracks with Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Wisconsin. among these was polly, in which channing's only part was to hit the drum cymbal. Once the Nevermind sessions began, Nirvana realized that all the song needed was kurt's vocal and a backup, explaining grohl. the music could not be improved upon, so they left it. Channing is uncredited in the album sleeve.
  • Sam from Portsmouth, VaThe reason why most Nirvana tracks are only credited to Kurt is because some people don't usally call drums music because no matter what way u hit a snare it is always the same note. In this track both Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl wrote all the guitar music and if you can tell the solo is very Dave Grohlish.
  • Henk from New York, MtChad Channing did NOT play on Polly. He did when it was first recorded, but his drum track was cut and Dave Grohl did the crashes. So it's an all Dave Grohl album. You can even hear the difference; Channings cymbals are way more grungy (like Bleach) than the ones (Zildjian) that Dave uses.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaChad actually did play on "Polly" on Nevermind. The song was taken from the Wisconsin sessions the band had done about four months before recording the bulk of Nevermind. They couldn't get it any better, so they stuck with that. So, to think about it this way, In Utero is the only Nirvana record in which there is only one drummer (besides Unplugged).
  • Joe from Lockport, IlChad Cahnning did not do any drumming whatsoever on Nevermind. Although Polly was recorded when Chad was in the band, the cymbal strike was added later by Dave. I think Chad did drum on two or three songs on Incesticide, though.
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaOn the With the Lights Out liner notes, it says that every Nirvana song was written solely by Kurt Cobain except for Scentless Apprentice. For Teen Spirit, Kurt wrote all the lyrics and came up with the riff, but Dave added the drum beat and it was Krist's idea to slow down the verses, which is why you will often see all three of them credited on the song. Hope that clears up the confusion.
  • Mario from Riverside, CaThis song is way cool. Hearing it live only increases its potency. If anyone gots a rockin system this song is definitely made for that, especially the live versions.
  • Stephen from Calgary, CanadaSmells Like Teen Spirit was indeed written by the three of them. I don't think Dave contributed anything to any of their lyrics, he was more on the music side of things.
  • Jer from London, Canada"POLLISHED POP ALBUM!!" Nevermind, a polished pop album! what the hell do you consider pop music, exactly, Jesse in atlanta, GA
  • Jesse from Atlanta, GaMan you guys have it all messed up aside from the fact that this was Kurt's favorite album (and mine). Steve Albini is on record saying "the band was great - Geffen Records were complete asses". The reason this album is so great is beacuse 1) Nirvana was a better live band until Albini put so many microphones to record all the angles of sound, Kurt's vocals, etc, 2) It sounds like Nirvana is in the ROOM with you, 3) The songs are so potent and non-polished: you can't help but love the raw, brute force of every song, and 4) It was their last studio effort - their best. Not a compilation of B-Sides (Incesticide), not a $500.00 LP with black and white art work (Bleach), and not a polished pop album (achem, Nevermind). I love all their albums, but In Utero proves their abilities to push the boundaries of studio recordings to capture that "live essence" and "Unplugged" shows that they had a true passion for music.
  • Jason from Eberdeen, WaN-O-V-O-S-E-L-I-C
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaChanning was only on one song on Nevermind, and it was Polly, where the only drumming is the cymbal part before the chorus. The rest is Dave. You can tell because of how different it sounds from Bleach. dave pounded the skins a lot harder than Chad. Scentless Apprentice: coolest Nirvana riff ever.
  • Rob from Castaic, Caand the only Nirvana song to have been written only by Grohl was the B-Side Marigold.
  • Rob from Castaic, Camy personal favorite is Bleach, and Scentless Apprentice is a kickass song. But Smells Like Teen Spirit is credited to have been written by Cobain, Novaselic, AND Chad Channing who was the drummer when the song was originally written. The first album where all drumming was done by Grohl was in fact In Utero. Channing did Bleach and half of Nevermind. Grohl did the rest of Nevermind. Incesticide was a cd full of covers and B-Sides so Channing and Grohl both played on that album too.
  • Noname from Elmira, Canadaok. Nevermind is their "best" album in utero is my personal favorite. Cobain wrote ALL their songs except of scentless apprentice which was written by all three cause all three read the damn book. Furthermore to writing all the lyircs cobain wrote all the music of the guitar and drum. Novoselic wrote the basslines. and yes it is the immigrant song, a kick ass zeppelin tune.
  • Edwin from Costa Mesa, CaIn Utero was named the second best album of the century by Spin Magazine... Motley Crue got first I think...
  • The Jorge from Hell, Otheractually smells like teen spirit was written by grohl. and no, bleach is the best nirvana album ever, i reccomend it.
  • Kurt from Downers Grove, IlThat's immigrant song, not immigration song.
  • Alatriel from Lothlorien, Otheractually smells like teen spirit was also written by all the guys in the band-cobain, noveselic, and grohl. so there.
  • James from Walnut Creek, CaScentless Apprentice is the only song written by all the members of nirvana, and the riff was inspiried by led zeppelin's immigration song.
  • Tanya from Encinitas, CaIn Utero is the best nirvana album ever
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