While the meaning of the lyrics of NIRVANA's breakthrough anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has been widely pondered, and the song's cultural context debated, little of substance has been written about the origins of the music, beyond noting some other songs bear certain resemblances. New evidence, in the form of a previously unknown NIRVANA concert recording from sheds light on Cobain's creative process and is the earliest known instance of Cobain strumming the song's opening F chord with its distinctive rhythm. The song begins with the instantly recognisable clean tone guitar riff implementing a rhythm which marks a distinct departure from Cobain's earlier compositions.
Joel Rose. Kurt Cobain in the studio with Nirvana in late This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action.
This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR. Nirvana was largely unknown outside of punk and indie rock circles in the Pacific Northwest.
But did you know these facts about the video itself? Amy Finnerty, a rookie MTV staffer who'd only recently joined the music programming department, campaigned for the channel to premiere the video. Two days before the shoot, the band handed out flyers asking fans to appear in the video, while the LA radio station KXLU also made an on-air casting call-out for extras.
The unexpected success of the song in late propelled Nirvana's album Nevermind to the top of the charts at the start ofan event often marked as the point where alternative rock entered the mainstream. Unlike their first hit, "Mr. Tambourine Man," members of the group itself were permitted to play on the recording rather than session musicians.
It is the opening track and lead single from the band's second album, Nevermindreleased on DGC Records. The unexpected success propelled Nevermind to the top of the charts at the start ofan event often marked as the point where grunge entered the mainstream. The song was dubbed an "anthem for apathetic kids" of Generation X  but the band grew uncomfortable with the attention it brought them.
Kurt Cobain, the band's frontman, wasn't usually very talkative during gigs; he mostly left the witty banter between songs to bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl. On that night, however, Cobain couldn't help himself. The band was currently mulling over major label offers, and was ultimately two weeks away from signing with DGC, a Geffen record imprint.
By Richard Gray for MailOnline. It has become an anthem for apathetic, angst-ridden teenagers everywhere and was the biggest hit for the rock band Nirvana during their short career. Now Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit has been named as the most iconic song ever made following a study that analysed the tracks most often singled out by critics.
For her turn at karaoke, this sweet, unassuming auntie chose Nirvana's breakout hit Smells Like Teen Spirit and she nailed the song right to the T. Thankfully for us her kickass performance was captured on video and it's making rounds online for all to witness. Not much is known about the mysterious rocker, but Najib Haziq - who posted the clip - said she's a friend from a homestay in Pulau Melayu, Malaysia.
No one has ever considered Nirvana the sunny song-of-the-summer kind of band. They were the brooding voice of an angsty generation—musicians who captured the pain and confusion of youth in the '90s. And "Smells Like Teen Spirit" became the anthem of an era of counter-culture teens horrified with the materialism of late 20th century popular culture. In fact, Kurt Cobain actually wrote "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in his own attempt at making a pop song, with a chorus that bassist Krist Novoselic once said "could have been him watching TV aghast at popular culture.