Radio Friendly Unit Shifter Lyrics - Nirvana

Review The Song (20)



(this is kind of like a guitar in the beggining)
ummmmmmm....
I was just wondering....
do you like me?
(whisper-guiter stops here)

Use just once and destroy
Invasion of our piracy
Afterbirth of a nation
Starve without your skeleton key

I love you for what I am not
I did not want what I have got
A blanket acne'ed with cigarette burns
Speak at once while taking turns

What is what i need
What is wrong with me
What is what i need

i'm nothing to do with what you think
If you ever think at all
Bi-polar opposites attract
All of a sudden my water broke

I love you for what I am not
I did not want what I have got
A blanket acne'ed with cigarette burns
Second-rate third degree burns

what is what i need
What is wrong with me
What do I think I think

hate your enemies
Save, save your friends
Find, find your place
Spin, spin the truth

what is what i need
What is wrong with me
what is what i need
What do I think I think

Use just once and destroy
Invasion of our piracy
Afterbirth of a nation
Starve without your skeleton key


What is wrong with me
what is what i need (x2)
What do I think i think

What is wrong with me
what is what i need (x2)
What do I think i think






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Thanks to Alex for submitting Radio Friendly Unit Shifter Lyrics.
Its irony | Reviewer: Not important | 1/7/14

The title of the song is ironic. Its not "radio friendly" because it had no swearing. Its a 'joke' name because it launches an assault of feedback onto the listener. Certainly not radio friendly under most people's definition. Unit shifter is there to 'prove' people will buy anything.

In utero is an album explaining Nirvana's big success. Although the band wanted success, they wanted it on their own terms. Listen to the rest of in utero with this in mind, and you'll understand. Nevermind was not how they wanted their fame... Teenage angst has paid off well, but now I'm bored and old.

emphaty | Reviewer: anonymous | 4/29/13

All the guys trying to explain what it means on kurt's live. In Utero isn't as close to Kurt's live as many people think. He wasn't depressed guy, well he had selfdestructive vein, yes, but I figure him like a happy guy who did what he wanted. And we know that the vein I said won. But let him quietly. Don't be trying all the time to explain how Kurt's live was, we already know pefectly... Just listen...

Acned with cigarette burns | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/11/13

That line obviously refers to heroin.
Junkies nodding out with a cigarette burning holes in their blanket.

It is also noted that some scumbag journalist went through Kurt's bins.
He found a blanket with holes and thus the junkie 'legend' was cast in stone

Great song. Fuck I wish Kurt was alive. I never met the guy, but I miss him

Bi-Polar .. | Reviewer: Tom Brett | 7/28/11

"Bi-polar opposites attract"

Interesting point of being Bi-Polar there.
Bi-Polar is a mental illness.

"Radio-friendly" = song written for radio purposes. no need to blip out swears etc.

"unit shifter" sells loads.

I love that tounge in cheeck piss take
of the industry. title says it all.

Definitely a shot at the industry | Reviewer: hubcitymadman | 6/3/11

The title is a dead giveaway that he is criticizing the music industry with this song. There are definitely some off-topic lines integrated into the work, but it is obvious that his disgust with the industry was the message he was trying to deliver with this song. The "hate your enemies, save your friends" part is also a coming to grips with reality, not that it necessarily contradicts the whole "Come As You Are" theme. We all just need to find our places in life and "spin the truth" as he says. That's life.

not even a review | Reviewer: Brian | 12/25/10

I just want to figure one thing out - it's been bugging me for ages. 'Second rate third degree burns'. That seems to be the official transcribed lyrics. I'm pretty sure he sings 'Second rate but you're the first'.

Can anyone clear this up? x

DUH | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/31/10

This song is just Kurt being tongue in cheek about the music industry. 'Nevermind' is the perfect example of a radio friendly unit shifter; it's radio-friendly and sold A LOT (shifted units). 'In Utero' was quite the contrary. Most of this song is like any Nirvana song, there's a backbone meaning that certain lines reference (Use just once and destroy/invasion of our piracy, what is what I need) but then there are individual phrases that have their own meanings, not necessarily relating to the song at all (i love you for what I am not/i did not want what i had got). This song is just full of little contradictions and cheeky phrases like any other Nirvana song.

@maple | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/28/10

Just because the text says "as an old enemy" it doesn't mean its about enemies. It says "as a friend, as an old enemy" more precisely, which can be interpreted in more ways cause also frenemies exist. Friends that mean a lot to you but who you never get close enough to. It can be about an old friendship.

response to maple | Reviewer: thomas | 8/16/10

where's the proof they also said the same for teen spirit.Top 2 mainstream songs by nirvana.Good choice.No proof what so ever.I also read the forum of the guy who said he wrote both songs and gave it to kurt in '86 while in canada.i know i know.I mean come on really just because he wrote a 2 page essay on how he did the whole thing u expect me to believe it.the guy only told RANDOM people on the internet about it and has no proof as well.Its so easy to contact krist on his seattle blog for crying out loud.I'm going to go vomit now.goodbye.

opposite of Come As You Are | Reviewer: Maple | 7/4/10

no one here has spotted the obvious is that one line of this song is the opposite of a line from Come As You Are, arguably Nirvana's biggest 'radio friendly' song. (Cobain did not write the lyrics to it, btw) The line in Come As You Are is 'come as you are, as an old enemy,', the message is that you should forgive your enemies. In this song he says the opposite: 'hate your enemies'. It is like he regrets the peace and love message of the earlier song, and now dismisses it as a commercial sell out. He's trying to absolve himself with this RFUS song. 'Blanket acned with cigarette burns' means that something that you seek refuge in, a security blanket, can also be your demise, your self immolation.Commercial success was his security blanket,but the success blanket turned out to be ugly, threatening and risky.Three addictions are referenced. Syringe, cigarette, and security blanket. 'Invasion of our piracy' references his desire to 'speak the truth' which was that he didn't write Come As You Are, and his success with pirated lyrics had invaded his security, replacing it with insecurity. Insecurity has driven him to addictions.

radio friendly unit shifter meaning | Reviewer: five | 5/9/10

"use just once and destroy" - this is what the bag containing insulin syringes used for heroin say. kurdt was making an inside junkie reference.

Other lyrics are plays on words - invasion of our piracy (big time labels exploiting punk rock)

the chorus is pretty much about his inability to be happy and wondering what to do about it - "what is what i need?"

The dude was probably pretty scatterbrained and junked out when he wrote this, its still brilliant and comes from the mind of a poet...

J8J8J89J | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/4/10

"While you are debating the meaning or lack thereof, interpreting lyrics in regards to sexual function, etc., I am wondering why the title is being ignored. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter. That's what Kurt had become, correct? The success was an invasion of piracy."

Its supposed to be ironic. The song is very gritty and grungy and raw sounding so its called Radio Friendly Unit Shifter.

Also what the fuck is invasion of piracy.


Context? | Reviewer: John | 2/1/10

While you are debating the meaning or lack thereof, interpreting lyrics in regards to sexual function, etc., I am wondering why the title is being ignored. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter. That's what Kurt had become, correct? The success was an invasion of piracy. Bi-polar opposites - like those who love art for its substance and those who love marketable products and image - were brought together, and for some reason, Kurt's water broke. He gave birth to a flood of creativity. Is success what he needs? He doesn't know. Maybe he wishes he could just find joy in simple things. However, he cannot let go of his opinions about mainstream culture - an unprincipled mass that must categorize and judge everything and everyone in the simplest terms possible - a group of people who starve without said "skeleton key." Seems pretty clear to me. But hey, it's art.

If there's one thing I've noticed about great artists, they tend to tell the masses that their work means whatever people want it to mean. It also seems to me that these people (David Lynch, for example) have very specific messages in mind. However, they want people to work for them. Only those who truly seek are rewarded. This, my friends, is the purpose of art in our existence.

~ Just my two cents.

nooneknows... | Reviewer: SKYBREAKAH | 12/24/09

This song certainly does have meaning and it is only ignorance that would allow you to think it doesn't. Even if Kurt says that he wrote them in 5 minutes. Even if Kurt himself didnt see a meaning in it. It's called automatic writing. In psychology it can be used as a tool to access your subconscious and express it. This song, like others using the automatic writing process, absolutely have meaning however difficult it may be to decipher and can mean different things to different people. Like most Nirvana songs it is a beautiful psychological journey through the conscious and subconscious of a man living in a different reality. As we all do...

Radio Friendly Unit Shifter | Reviewer: Sugarx | 8/15/09

Hot sunny day sitting on the broken chair in kitchen and listening an old radio translations with smoking bad smokes. No more to understand this song. Radio wispering, ripping ears, cut your brain. You falling in nirvana without drugs.
Things may be your friends if you are completely lonely.
An old dusty shifter is an element of punk. Symbolizes mixer swithes. Kurdt just write what he think for ever.


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