Yesterday, September 10, was the 25th anniversary of the grunge anthem, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The song, by Nirvana, was featured on the band’s second studio album, Nevermind. In honor of the anniversary, here are six facts about the only song most of the wannabe grunge kids who wear Nirvana merch can name, when you ask them about their favorite Nirvana song.
1. The song was first played on the radio in August 1991 and was later released as the lead single on the band’s album, Nevermind.
2. They reached certified platinum with the track and made it to number two on Rolling Stone’s list of best singles of the year. On Billboard singles chart, it hit number six and the same week Nevermind was listed as number one on its albums chart.
3. Butch Vig produced the song with Nirvana at Sound City recording studio in California in May of 1991.
4. Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of the Pixies and they influenced the vibe of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, he said: “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 times, I connected with that band so heavily that I should have been in that band – or at least a Pixies cover band. We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard”.
5. In August 1990, Kathleen Hanna, of the band Bikini Kill, and Cobain were hanging out when Hanna wrote “Kurt smells like teen spirit” in sharpie all over the wall of a motel. The slogan is what inspired the song’s title.
6. Dave Grohl, drummer of Nirvana and frontman of the Foo Fighters, thinks the song is overrated “I don’t think it’s the greatest single of all time, of course not. I don’t even think it’s the greatest Nirvana single”.
“It’s flattering anyone would think that and I’m honoured to be part of that little piece of history, but give me a fucking break, man. Listen to ‘Revolution’ by The Beatles or ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys, those are serious singles. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was a really great moment in time, but there’s better”.
Guess what? You can even listen to the song below. Happy anniversary!