Smells Like Teen Spirit – Wikipedia

1991 unmarried by Nirvana

1991 single by Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit “ is a song by american rock set Nirvana. It is the opening path and lead single from the dance band ‘s second album, Nevermind ( 1991 ), released on DGC Records. The unexpected success of the song propelled Nevermind to the clear of several albums charts at the start of 1992, an consequence frequently marked as the degree when dirt entered the mainstream. [ 1 ]

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was Nirvana ‘s biggest hit in most countries, charting high on music industry charts around the universe in 1991 and 1992, including topping the charts of Belgium, France, New Zealand and Spain. The birdcall garnered far-flung critical acclaim, including topping the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics ‘ pate. The song was dubbed an “ anthem for apathetic kids ” of Generation X, but Nirvana grew uncomfortable with the attention it brought them. In the years since Kurt Cobain ‘s death, listeners and critics have continued to praise “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” as one of the greatest songs of all time. The music television for the birdcall is based on the concept of a high school pep rally which ends in chaos and riot, inspired by Jonathan Kaplan ‘s 1979 film Over the Edge and the Ramones ‘ film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. It won two MTV Video Music Awards, and was in heavy rotation on music television receiver. In subsequent years Amy Finnerty, once of MTV ‘s program department, claimed the television “ changed the stallion look of MTV ” by giving the channel “ a whole modern coevals to sell to ”. In 2000, the Guinness World Records named “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” the “ Most play Video ” on MTV Europe. “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘s list of The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2001, the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) ranked the song at number 80 on their Songs of the Century list. In 2002, NME ranked the song the number two on its tilt of “ 100 Greatest Singles of All Time ”, while Kerrang! ranked it at number one on its list of the “ 100 Greatest Singles of All Time ”. [ 2 ] In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” fifth on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. [ 3 ] In 2017, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame .

Writing [edit ]

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was one of several songs written following Nirvana ‘s foremost recording sessions with producer Butch Vig in 1990. Singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain began writing it a few weeks before recording their moment album, Nevermind, in 1991. [ 4 ] He said it was an attempt to write a song in the style of the Pixies, a band he admired :

I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it. When I heard the Pixies for the first base time, I connected with that band sol heavily that I should have been in that band—or at least a Pixies screen dance band. We used their sense of dynamics, being balmy and quiet and then loudly and hard. [ 5 ]

When Cobain presented the birdcall to his bandmates, it comprised equitable the chief guitar flick and the refrain vocal melody. [ 6 ] [ 7 ] Cobain said the riff was “ clichéd ”, similar to a flick by Boston or the Richard Berry sung “ Louie Louie “. [ 5 ] Bassist Krist Novoselic dismissed it as “ pathetic ” ; in response, Cobain made the band play it for an hour and a one-half. [ 5 ] Eventually, Novoselic began playing it more lento, inspiring drummer Dave Grohl to create the drum beat, [ 8 ] which drew from disco artists like The Gap Band. [ 9 ] As a result, it is the entirely birdcall on Nevermind to credit rating all three band members as writers. [ 10 ] The title derives from a phrase written on Cobain ‘s wall by his ally Kathleen Hanna, singer of the carouse grrrl band Bikini Kill : “ Kurt smells like Teen Spirit. ” [ 11 ] [ 12 ] Hanna meant that Cobain smelled like the deodorant Teen Spirit, which she and Tobi Vail, his then-girlfriend, had discovered during a trip to the grocery store. [ 13 ] Cobain said he was unaware of the deodorant until months after the one was released, and had interpreted it as a rotatory motto, as they had been discussing anarchism and hood rock. [ 14 ]

Recording [edit ]

prior to the album record, the band sent Vig demonstration for songs including “ adolescent Spirit ”. While the sound was distorted due to the band play at a volume, Vig felt it had promise. [ 15 ] Vig and the band recorded “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in May 1991. [ 16 ] Vig suggested changes to the agreement, including moving a guitar ad lib to the chorus and shortening the refrain. [ 17 ] The ring recorded the basic traverse in three takes, and used the second fill. [ 7 ] Vig corrected some time errors created by Cobain switching between his guitar effects pedals. Cobain recorded only three vocal music takes ; according to Vig, “ I was golden to ever get Kurt to do four takes. ” [ 18 ]

composition [edit ]

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (

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)Nevermind. The sample illustrates the change in dynamics from verse to pre-chorus and chorus. sample of “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” from Nirvana ‘s 1991 album. The sample illustrates the change in dynamics from poetry to pre-chorus and chorus .

Problems playing this file? See media help.

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” is a dirt, [ 19 ] alternate rock candy, [ 20 ] and hard rock song. [ 21 ] It was recorded in the original key of F minor and follows a Fm-B♭m–A♭–D♭ harmonize progression, [ 22 ] with the main guitar riff constructed from four power chords played in a syncopate sixteenth note strum by Cobain. [ 23 ] The guitar chords were double tracked to create a “ more herculean ” heavy. [ 24 ] The chords occasionally lapse into suspended chord voicings as a leave of Cobain playing the bed four strings of the guitar for the thickness of voice. [ 23 ] The riff resembles that of Boston ‘s 1976 stumble “ More Than a Feeling “, [ 6 ] though it is not identical. [ 22 ] Cobain said : “ ‘Teen Spirit ‘ was such a clichéd riff. It was indeed close up to a Boston riff or The Kingsmen ‘s ‘ Louie, Louie ‘. ” [ 5 ] According to Dave Grohl, he use cram perplex from the birdcall The Gap Band ‘s “ early in the Morning “ during intro. [ 25 ] During the verses, Cobain used a Small Clone effect pedal point to add a refrain effect. “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” uses a “ slightly conventional formal structure ” consisting of four-, eight-, and twelve-bar sections, including an eight-bar verse, an eight-bar pre-chorus, and a twelve-bar chorus. [ 26 ] Musicologist Graeme Downes, who led the band the Verlaines, says that “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” illustrates developing magnetic declination. [ 27 ] Elements of the structure are marked with shifts in volume and dynamics, moving from quiet to loud several times. This structure of “ quiet verses with rickety, chorused guitar, followed by big, loudly hard-core -inspired choruses ” became an option rock template. [ 28 ] During the verses, the band maintains the lapp chord progression as the chorus. Cobain plays a two-note guitar line over Novoselic ‘s root-note one-eighth note bassline, which outlines the harmonize progression. Approaching the chorus, Cobain begins to play the same two notes on every beat of the measure and repeats the give voice “ Hello ”. [ 22 ] Following the inaugural and second choruses, Cobain simultaneously sings the word “ Yay ” and performs a unison flex on his guitar. [ 29 ] After the second base chorus, Cobain plays a 16-bar guitar solo restating his outspoken tune from the poetry and pre-chorus. [ 26 ] During the close up abstain, Cobain sings “ A denial ” repeatedly ; his voice becomes strained from the pull of yelling. [ 24 ]

Release and reception [edit ]

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was released to radio on August 27, 1991. On September 10, it was released as the precede single from Nevermind, Nirvana ‘s major label debut on DGC Records. The sung did not initially chart, and it sold well only in regions of the United States with an established Nirvana fanbase. [ 30 ] The single was intended to be a base-building alternative rock cut from the album, and was not expected to be a hit ; the follow-up “ Come as You Are “ was planned as the single that could cross over to mainstream radio formats. however, campus and modern rock radio stations placed “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” on dense rotation. Danny Goldberg of Nirvana ‘s management firm Gold Mountain said : “ none of us heard it as a crossing song, but the populace hear it and it was instantaneous … They heard it on alternative radio receiver, and then they rushed out like lemmings to buy it. ” [ 31 ] The video received its earth premiere on MTV ‘s late-night alternative rock course of study 120 Minutes and proved so democratic that the channel began to air it during its regular day rotation. [ 32 ] MTV added the video to its “ Buzz Bin ” selection in October, where it stayed until mid-December. By the end of the year, the sung, music video recording, and the Nevermind album had become hits. “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” and Nevermind became a rare cross-format phenomenon, reaching all the major rock radio formats including advanced rock, hard rock, album rock ‘n’ roll, and college radio. [ 33 ] “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was besides a critical and commercial success. It topped the 1991 Village Voice “ Pazz & Jop “ and Melody Maker year-end polls and reached number two on Rolling Stone’s list of best singles of the year. The one ailing at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart the lapp week that Nevermind reached phone number one on the albums chart. [ 34 ] “ Teen Spirit ” hit act one on the Modern Rock Tracks graph and has been certified platinum ( one million copies shipped ) by the Recording Industry Association of America. [ 35 ] however, many american Top 40 stations were reluctant to play the song in regular rotation and restricted it to night-time gambling. [ 36 ] The individual was besides successful in other countries. In the United Kingdom, “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” reached number seven and charted for 184 weeks. [ 37 ] The birdcall was nominated for two Grammy Awards : Best intemperate Rock Performance with Vocal and Best Rock Song. [ 38 ] Entertainment Weekly would later name Nirvana ‘s loss to Eric Clapton in the Best Rock Song category as one of the 10 biggest upsets in Grammy history. [ 39 ] Outside the United States, the song topped the charts of Belgium, France, New Zealand, and Spain. It charted within the top five of several european countries and reached count five in Australia. It appeared on respective year-end charts, including number 10 in New Zealand, issue 17 in Belgium and Germany, and phone number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end Chart. [ 40 ] In the wake of Nirvana ‘s success, Michael Azerrad wrote in a 1992 Rolling Stone article : “ ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit ‘ is an anthem for ( or is it against ? ) the ‘Why Ask Why ? ‘ generation. Just do n’t call Cobain a spokesman for a coevals. ” [ 41 ] Nevertheless, the music press awarded the song an “ anthem-of-a-generation ” status, placing Cobain as a loath spokesman for Generation X. [ 42 ] The New York Times wrote that “ ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit ‘ could be this generation ‘s adaptation of the Sex Pistols ‘ 1976 single, ‘ Anarchy in the U.K. ‘, if it were n’t for the bitter sarcasm that pervades its title … as Nirvana knows only besides good, adolescent spirit is routinely bottled, shrink-wrapped and sold ”. [ 43 ] Nirvana grew uncomfortable with the sung ‘s success and, in subsequently concerts, much excluded it from the set list. [ 44 ] Prior to the release of the isthmus ‘s 1993 follow-up album In Utero, Novoselic remarked, “ If it was n’t for ‘Teen Spirit ‘ I do n’t know how Nevermind would have done … There are no ‘Teen Spirits ‘ on In Utero. ” [ 45 ] Cobain said in 1994, “ I inactive like playing ‘Teen Spirit ‘, but it ‘s about an overplus to play it … Everyone has focused on that birdcall so much. ” [ 5 ]

bequest [edit ]

Dubbed an “ hymn for apathetic kids ” of Generation X, [ 46 ] [ 47 ] in the years following Cobain ‘s 1994 suicide and Nirvana ‘s separation “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” has continued to garner critical acclaim, and is much listed as one of the greatest songs of all time. It was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘s tilt of “ The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll “ in 1997. [ 48 ] In 2000, VH1 rated the song at number forty-one on its “ 100 Greatest Rock Songs ” tilt, [ 49 ] while MTV and Rolling Stone ranked it third on their joint list of the “ 100 Greatest Pop Songs ”. [ 50 ] The Recording Industry Association of America placed “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” at number eighty on their 2001 “ Songs of the Century “ number. [ 51 ] In 2002, NME awarded the song the number two spot on its list of “ 100 Greatest Singles of All Time ”, [ 52 ] with Kerrang! ranking it at number one on its own list of the “ 100 Greatest Singles of All Time ”. [ 2 ] VH1 placed “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” at count one on its number of “ 100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years ” in 2003, [ 53 ] while that same year, the song came third base in a Q poll of the “ 1001 Best Songs Ever ”. [ 54 ] In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” fifth on its list of “ The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time “. [ 55 ] The sung was placed at count six in NME ‘s “ Global Best Song Ever Poll ” in 2005. [ 56 ] In the 2006 VH1 UK poll The Nation’s Favourite Lyric, the line “ I feel unintelligent and catching / here we are now, entertain us ” was ranked the third-favorite lyric by over 13,000 voters. [ 57 ] VH1 placed “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” at number one on its list of the “ 100 Greatest Songs Of The ’90s ” in 2007, [ 58 ] while Rolling Stone ranked it number ten on its list of “ The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time ”. [ 59 ] In 2009, the song was voted phone number one for the one-third time in a row on the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time in Australia [ 60 ] ( it was first place previously in 1991 [ 61 ] and 1998 ). [ 62 ] That year, VH1 ranked the song one-seventh on its list of the “ 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs ”. [ 63 ] Despite previously proposing in its 2006 entry for Nevermind on “ The all-time 100 Albums ” that “ ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit ‘ … may be the album ‘s worst song ”, [ 64 ] Time magazine late included it on its list of “ The all-time 100 Songs ” in 2011. [ 65 ] That same year, “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” kept its count nine ranking on Rolling Stone ‘s update list of “ The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ”, [ 66 ] while in 2019, the magazine ranked it at number one in its list of “ 50 Best Songs of the Nineties ”. [ 67 ] NME placed the sung at number two on its list of the “ 100 Best Tracks Of The ’90s ” in 2012, [ 68 ] and at number one on its tilt of “ The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ” in 2014. [ 69 ] In 2015, the sung was besides named the most iconic song of all time according to a study by Goldsmith ‘s College, which analysed respective songs featured in numerous ‘all-time best ‘ lists, using analytic software to compare their key, BPM, chord variety show, lyrical contented, timbral diverseness, and sonic discrepancy – the result of which designated the style to this sung. [ 70 ] In 2017, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. [ 71 ] “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was rereleased as a express edition 7-inch vinyl individual in December 2011. In an try to emulate a successful 2009 Facebook campaign to promote Rage Against the Machine ‘s song “ Killing in the name “, an on-line campaign was launched to promote “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” to 2011 Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart in protest at the dealings of The X Factor television series with the children ‘s charity Rhythmix. [ 72 ] A exchangeable campaign was besides launched in Ireland to get the track to 2011 Christmas numeral one in the irish Singles Chart. [ 73 ] The campaign resulted in the birdcall reaching count 11 on the UK Singles Chart, selling 30,000 copies. [ 74 ] According to Nielsen Music ‘s year-end report for 2019, “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was the most-played song of the ten on mainstream rock radio with 145,000 spins. All of the songs in the top 10 were from the 1990s. [ 75 ] In June 2021, “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” became lone the second sung from the 1990s to reach 1 billion streams on the Spotify platform. [ 76 ] [ 77 ]

Lyrics and interpretation [edit ]

The lyrics to “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” were frequently unmanageable for listeners to decipher, both due to their nonsense and because of Cobain ‘s slurred, guttural whistle voice. This trouble was compounded by the fact that the Nevermind album liner notes did not include any lyrics for the songs aside from selected lyric fragments. This incomprehensibility contributed to the early resistance from radio stations towards adding the sung to their playlists ; one Geffen promoter recalled that people from rock radio told her, “ We ca n’t play this. I ca n’t understand what the ridicule is saying. ” [ 78 ] MTV went a far as to prepare a interpretation of the video that included the lyrics running across the bed of the screen, which they aired when the video recording was added to their heavy rotation schedule. [ 32 ] The lyrics for the album—and some from earlier or alternate versions of the songs—were later released with the lining notes of the “ Lithium “ single in 1992. american english rock critic Dave Marsh noted comments by magnetic disk jockeys of the meter that the song was “ the ‘ Louie Louie ‘ of the nineties ” and wrote, “ Like ‘Louie ‘, alone more thus, ‘Teen Spirit ‘ reveals its secrets reluctantly and then often incoherently. ” [ 79 ] Marsh, trying to decipher the lyrics, felt after reading the correct lyrics from the song ‘s sail music that “ what I imagined was quite a morsel better ( at least, more gratifying ) than what Nirvana actually sang ”, and added, “ Worst of all, I ‘m not certain that I know more about [ the meaning of ] ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit ‘ now than before I plunked down for the official version of the facts. ” [ 80 ] The reserve Teen Spirit: The Stories Behind Every Nirvana Song describes “ adolescent Spirit ” as “ a typically cloudy Cobain exploration of entail and meaninglessness ”. [ 81 ] Azerrad plays upon the juxtaposition of Cobain ‘s contradictory lyrics ( such as “ It ‘s playfulness to lose and to pretend ” ) and states “ the point that emerges is n’t fair the conflict of two opposing ideas, but the confusion and wrath that the dispute produces in the narrator—he ‘s angry that he ‘s confuse ”. Azerrad ‘s conclusion is that the song is “ alternately a sarcastic reaction to the idea of actually having a revolution, yet it besides embraces the estimate ”. additionally, the “ famously obscure couplet ” — ” A mulatto, an albino / A mosquito, my libido ” —is, according to Azerrad, “ nothing more than two pairs of opposites, a funny story way of saying the narrator is very aroused ”. [ 82 ] In Heavier Than Heaven, Charles R. Cross ‘ biography of Cobain, Cross argues that the song is a citation to Cobain ‘s relationship with ex-girlfriend Tobi Vail. Cross cites the line “ She ‘s over-bored and self-assured ” and states the birdcall “ could not have been about anyone else ”. traverse backs up his argument with lyrics which were deliver in earlier drafts, such as “ Who will be the King & Queen of the outcasted [ sic ] teens ”. [ 83 ] [ 84 ] “ adolescent Spirit ” is widely interpreted as a adolescent revolution anthem, an interpretation reinforced by the music video recording. [ 44 ] In an interview conducted the day Nevermind was released, Cobain stated the birdcall was about his friends, explaining, “ We still feel as if we ‘re teenagers because we do n’t follow the guidelines of what ‘s expected of us to be adults … It besides has kind of a adolescent revolutionist theme. ” [ 10 ] In Michael Azerrad ‘s biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Cobain said he felt a duty “ to describe what I felt about my surroundings and my generation and people my senesce ”. [ 14 ] He besides said, “ The entire sung is made up of at odds ideas … It ‘s just making fun of the remember of having a revolution. But it ‘s a dainty think. ” [ 82 ] As Cobain did more interviews, he changed his explanation of the song and rarely gave specifics about the meaning. [ 10 ] Grohl stated he does not believe the song has any message, and said, “ merely seeing Kurt write the lyrics to a song five minutes before he first sings them, you precisely kind of discovery it a small morsel difficult to believe that the song has a distribute to say about something. You need syllables to fill up this space or you need something that rhymes. ” [ 85 ]

music television [edit ]

announcement from the band encouraging people to participate in the make of the music video for “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” . The Fender Mustang guitar played by Kurt Cobain in the “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” music video. The music television for “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was the first base for film director Samuel Bayer. Bayer believed he was hired because his trial spin was so hapless the band anticipated his production would be “ kindling ” and “ not corporate ”. [ 24 ] The video is based on the concept of a school concert which ends in anarchy and orgy, inspired by Jonathan Kaplan ‘s 1979 film Over the Edge and the Ramones ‘ film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. [ 86 ] It had an estimated budget between $ 30,000 and $ 50,000. [ 87 ]

The video recording was filmed on August 17, 1991 [ 88 ] on Stage 6 of GMT Studios in Culver City. The music video features Nirvana play at a pep rally in a high school gymnasium to an consultation of apathetic students on bleachers, and cheerleaders wearing black dresses with the Circle-A anarchist symbol. The video recording features an appearance by Burton C. Bell, late known as frontman of heavy metallic element band Fear Factory. [ 89 ] Occasionally, the scene cuts to a janitor ( played by Tony De La Rosa ) wearing a dark blue blue jump suit and dancing with a push sweep manage. The television ends with the students destroying the hardening and the band ‘s gear. The discontented was genuine ; the extras that filled the bleachers had been forced to stay seated through numerous replays of the sung for an stallion afternoon of filming. Cobain convinced Bayer to allow the extras to mosh, and the laid became a scene of chaos. “ Once the kids came out dancing they barely said ‘fuck you ‘, because they were so banal of his bullshit throughout the day ”, Cobain said. [ 90 ] Cobain disliked Bayer ‘s concluding edit and oversaw a re-edit of the video recording, creating the final interpretation. [ 37 ] One of Cobain ‘s major additions was the penultimate shot, a close-up of his face after it had been obscured for most of the video. [ 90 ] Another major change involved two sequences of a principal standing adjacent to a loudspeaker and getting sprayed with confetti, and a teacher dressed like a nerd dance to the song with a “ dunce ” cap before being tied to a basketball hoop perch. Cobain had the principal ‘s footage entirely removed deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as most of the teacher ‘s footage, digression from the ending scene which shows the teacher tied to the pole as the janitor sweeps the floor nearby. [ 91 ] Bayer said that unlike subsequent artists he worked with, Cobain was not bootless, and was more interest that “ the video had something that was rightfully about what they were about ”. [ 86 ] Like the song itself, the music video for “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” received incontrovertible reviews. Rolling Stone writer David Fricke described the video recording as looking like “ the greatest gig you could always imagine ”. [ 24 ] In addition to a number-one place in the singles category, “ adolescent Spirit ” besides topped the music video recording category in the Village Voice ‘s 1991 “ Pazz & Jop ” poll. [ 92 ] The video won Nirvana the Best New Artist and Best Alternative Group awards at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, [ 93 ] and in 2000 the Guinness World Records named “ adolescent Spirit ” the Most Played Video on MTV Europe. [ 94 ] In subsequent years Amy Finnerty, once of MTV ‘s Programming department, claimed the video “ changed the entire look of MTV ” by giving them “ a hale newfangled generation to sell to ”. [ 24 ] Rolling Stone placed the music television for “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” at phone number two on their 1993 number of “ The 100 Top Music Videos ”. [ 95 ] MTV ranked the birdcall ‘s music television at number three on its “ 100 Greatest music Videos Ever Made ” list in 1999. [ 96 ] VH1 placed the debut of the “ adolescent Spirit ” video recording at number eighteen on its 2000 list of “ 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Moments on television ”, noting that it made alternative rock “ a commercial and pop culture pull ”. [ 97 ] In 2001, VH1 named it the fourth greatest television. [ 98 ] The video was parodied in “ Weird Al ” Yankovic ‘s music video for “ Smells Like Nirvana “ [ 99 ] and in Bob Sinclar ‘s 2006 music video for “ Rock This Party ( Everybody Dance immediately ) “. [ citation needed ] By December 25, 2019, the video recording had been viewed 1 billion times on YouTube. [ 100 ]

bouncy performances [edit ]

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (live) (

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)From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996). The band performs the song at a faster tempo than the studio recording. sample of “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” by Nirvana, from the live album ( 1996 ). The band performs the song at a faster tempo than the studio apartment record .

Problems playing this file? See media help.

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was first performed live on April 17, 1991 at the oklahoma Hotel in Seattle, Washington. [ 101 ] The performance is featured on the DVD of the 2004 box set With the Lights Out, while shorter clips are included on the Classic Albums’ Nevermind DVD, american samoa well as the documentary film Hype!. As the song ‘s lyrics had not yet been entirely written, there are noteworthy differences between it and the final version. For model, the first performance started with “ Come come out of the closet and play, make up the rules ” rather of the eventual open of “ Load up on guns, bring your friends ”. A read of the earlier version appears on With the Lights Out and again on Sliver: The Best of the Box. A alike early on hot performance of the sung is found in the objective 1991: The Year Punk Broke, filmed during a 1991 summer tour in Europe with Sonic Youth. [ citation needed ] Nirvana often altered the song ‘s lyrics and tempo for live performances. Some live performances of the song had the line “ our little group has constantly been ” changed to “ our small tribe has always been ”, which can be heard on the 1996 live album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah. Rolling Stone remarked that the Wishkah version of “ Teen Spirit ” “ [ found ] Cobain ‘s guitar reel outside the sung ‘s melodic boundaries and sparking modern liveliness in that closely played-out hit ”. [ 102 ] A luminary alternate performance of “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” occurred on BBC ‘s Top of the Pops in 1991, during which the band refused to mime to the pre-recorded backing cut and Cobain whistle in a intentionally low voice and altered numerous lyrics in the sung ( for exercise, “ Load up on guns, bring your friends ” became “ Load up on drugs, kill your friends ” ). Cobain late said he was trying to sound like early Smiths frontman Morrissey. [ 103 ] When Top of the Pops was cancelled in 2006, The Observer listed Nirvana ‘s operation of “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” as the third greatest in the express ‘s history. [ 104 ] This performance can be found on the 1994 home video Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!. [ 105 ]

Parodies and covers [edit ]

“ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” has inspired a few parodies. “ wyrd Al ” Yankovic parodied the song in 1992 with “ Smells Like Nirvana “, a song about Nirvana itself. Cobain promptly gave license, but asked, “ It ‘s not about food, is it ? ” Yankovic answered, “ No, it ‘s about how cipher can understand your lyrics. ” Upon hearing the parody, Cobain and his ring members laughed hysterically. Yankovic has said Cobain told him he realized that Nirvana had “ made it ” when he heard the parody. [ 106 ] In 1995, the queercore dance band Pansy Division recorded a parody of the song called “ Smells Like Queer Spirit ” for its Pile Up album. Pansy Division guitarist Jon Ginoli insisted that his ring ‘s version of the song was not a parody but “ an affectionate protection ”. [ 27 ] Tori Amos recorded the song and released it in 1992 on her “ Crucify “ EP unmarried. Dave Grohl commented on the Amos cover of the song in 1996, saying it was “ pretty hilarious ”. [ 107 ] The song has been covered in films. In the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge!, it was sung during the “ Can Can ” setting introducing the titular cabaret. [ 108 ] In the 2011 film The Muppets and its soundtrack, one of the acts of the Muppet Telethon involves Rowlf the Dog, Link Hogthrob, Sam Eagle, and Beaker performing the sung as a barbershop quartet, where unwilling limited guest Jack Black accuses them of “ ruining one of the greatest songs of all clock time ”. [ 109 ] [ 110 ] A cover of the song, by the ring Think Up Anger with Malia J, was featured in one of the trailers for the 2015 film The Gallows, [ 111 ] equally well as in the opening credits sequence of the 2021 film Black Widow. [ 112 ] In the 2015 film Pan, a version of the song is sung by Blackbeard ( Hugh Jackman ) and the miners when Peter ( Levi Miller ) first arrives in Neverland. [ 113 ]

Formats and racetrack list [edit ]

All lyrics are written by Kurt Cobain, except “ Smells Like Teen Spirit ” ( Cobain, Grohl, Novoselic ) ; all music is composed by Nirvana, except “ Drain You “ ( Cobain ) .

US 7″ single (DGCS7-19050) [ Discogs 1 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Even in His Youth”PU – 3:03

US/Australian/Australasian cassette single (DGCCS-19050) [ Discogs 2 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Even in His Youth”PU – 3:03

US & Australian CD single (DGCDS-21673) [ Discogs 3 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Even in His Youth”PU – 4:20 3:03
  3. “Aneurysm”PU – 4:447
UK 7″ single (DGCS 5) [ Discogs 4 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Drain You” – 3:43

UK 12″ single (DGCT 5) [ Discogs 5 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 5:00
  2. “Drain You” – 3:43
  3. “Even in His Youth”PU – 4:20 3:03
  • Features album version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

UK picture disc 12″ single (DGCTP 5) [ Discogs 6 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 5:00
  2. “Drain You” – 3:43
  3. “Aneurysm”PU – 4:447
  • Features album version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

UK CD single (DGCTD 5) [ Discogs 7 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Drain You” – 3:434
  3. “Even in His Youth”PU – 4:20 3:03
  4. “Aneurysm”PU – 4:447
  • Features LP version of “Drain You”.[note 1]

Promo editions ( US ) [edit ]

Yellow 12″ single (PRO-A-4314) [ Discogs 8 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 4:308
  2. “Even in His Youth”PU – 4:20 3:03
  3. “Aneurysm”PU – 4:447

White-labeled 12″ single (PRO-A-4365) [ Discogs 9 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 5:01
  • Features album version of title song on both sides.

Cassette single (4066) [ Discogs 10 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – 5:00
  • Features album version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

CD single (PRO-CD-4308) [ Discogs 11 ]

  1. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”Edit – 4:308
  2. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”LP – 5:05[note 2]

Personnel [edit ]

Nirvana
Technical personnel

  • Butch Vig – producer, engineer
  • Craig Montgomery – production and engineering on “Even in His Youth”dagger and “Aneurysm”double-dagger
  • Andy Wallace – mixing

* Uncredited function.
dagger Appears in all release formats, except for UK 7 ” and some promos.
double-dagger Paired with the track “ even in His youth ” on candle and promo 12 ” alone ; besides individually on UK 12 ” ( picture phonograph record ) .

Charts [edit ]

Certifications [edit ]

bibliography [edit ]

  • Azerrad, Michael. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday, 1994. ISBN 0-385-47199-8
  • Classic Albums: Nirvana – Nevermind [DVD]. Isis Productions, 2004.
  • Berkenstadt, Jim; Cross, Charles. Classic Rock Albums: Nevermind. Nirvana. Schirmer, 1998. ISBN 0-02-864775-0
  • Crisafulli, Chuck. Teen Spirit: The Stories Behind Every Nirvana Song. Carlton, 1996. ISBN 0-684-83356-5
  • Cross, Charles R. Heavier Than Heaven. Hyperion, 2001. ISBN 0-7868-6505-9
  • Marsh, Dave. Louie Louie. Hyperion, 1993. ISBN 1-56282-865-7
  • Rooksby, Rikki. Inside Classic Rock Tracks. Backbeat, 2001. ISBN 0-87930-654-8
  • Starr, Larry; Waterman, Christopher. American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MTV. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-19-510854-X

Notes [edit ]

  1. ^ At least as indicated on the back of sleeve and inside the disk .
  2. ^ This “ LP version ” of the racetrack is 4–5 seconds longer than the album one. Probably a misprint or silence .

References [edit ]

Discogs releases [edit ]

far reading [edit ]

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