So here we have a matchup of two bands that couldn't be much less like each other. It's hard to disentangle Nirvana from the memory of grunge (of which they're one of few representatives in the bracket) and the story of Cobain and his suicide to really hear the song anew. For all the noise they make, Nirvana's always been able to find the melody, as they do here (and as their Unplugged set made more obvious to the world). Perhaps the song is now more of an epitaph for Cobain than it is a song at all.
Both Cobain and Kate Bush withdrew from the stage in their own ways and were more often than not, especially later in their careers, reluctant performers. The Internet tells us that Bush is "the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts and the first female artist ever to enter the album chart at number-one, as well as the first (and to date, only) female artist to have top five albums in the UK charts in five successive decades," which is an insane statistic. Both inspire obsessive fandom that has not faded with Cobain's suicide and Bush's long disappearance from live performance until 2014. In the committee's view, neither of these songs seem likely to make it through to the elite 8 on their own merits, but we've been wrong before in our prognostications.
Still, there's a stark decision to be had here: "All Apologies" is more apparently personal than "This Woman's Work" and much less (apparently, again—all we can do is track the evidence of artifice, not really knowing) theatrical. The two videos make this more obvious, since the one we've linked is the Unplugged version: the original dulls that read a bit. "This Woman's Work" starts out in third-person, almost, until the I implicates herself in the action. "All Apologies" is first-person almost to a fault, separating and separating from the you implicated in the song: "I wish I was like you / Easily amused / Find my nest of salt / Everything's my fault / I take all the blame."
This doesn't feel quite like Nirvana's tournament, though it's hard to say exactly why; perhaps it's because they push on the definition of what college rock is. We know that, yet they asserted themselves in the bracket anyway. And now they're here, they don't plan to leave unless forced. Still we think this might be an opening for a Kate Bush upset.
For more discussion of these songs, you may want to read our previous coverage of "This Woman's Work" and of "All Apologies."
(6) Kate Bush, "This Woman's Work"
(3) Nirvana, "All Apologies"
FINAL SCORE: KATE BUSH 87, NIRVANA 64