"Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Classic Or Dud?

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An old question but a goodie. Maura wrote on NYLPM about how age has not withered SLTS, nor the years condemned. But what about the rest of you? How does it work for you now - nostalgia fest, living piece of pop greatness, irritant, museum piece? Does it have anything to tell us anymore?

Tom, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

It tells me that Kurt Kobain knew how to write blazing punk-pop. It's one of those songs I don't think will ever bore me.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Oh, Maura nailed it. That opening... wow.

Josh, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

well, sorry to interrupt while everyone's sucking each other's dicks here, but here comes the loud, odious voice of dissent. "smells like teen spirit" means nothing to me now (assuming that it actually *does* mean something) and it meant nothing to me then: indeed, i believe in order for it to mean anything to you now, it had to have meant something to you then: i don't think there are too many late converts to nirvana, though i could be wrong.

oh, sure, if it's on the radio, i'll do some mock-rocking out with the quiet-to-LOUD part (just where did they discover *that* particular dynamic?) but that's only if there's someone else in the car and i can amuse them. as far as i'm concerned, the opening is the litmus test: it either grabs you or it doesn't. it's a nice touch going from the acoustic strum to the plugged-in BURST -- credit for the dynamics, again -- but that's all it is for me, and all nirvana has *ever* been for me: the pixies sans the fun.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Gosh, the first time I heard the song I had just turned 15, and I'd never even heard of the Pixies (or basically any alternative music at all..I thought the kids who listened to the Cure and Depeche Mode were a bunch of losers), all I knew about punk I learned from Disney movies (in which the punk kids didn't like the heavy metal kids -- I considered myself a heavy metal kid but my mom wouldn't let me grow my hair long. But then, even the skaters with the firehose and Fugazi patches on their backpacks were heavy metal kids as far as I knew). This was what, the second or third month of my first year of high school, the most impressionable time in any person's life if you believe the tv shows. The coolest thing about my high school is that every friday, during lunch, we had a PA set up and guys from the high school radio station would play music, these guys were almost all heshers and mostly what you would hear was like Metallica and Slayer and Primus and Exodus and stuff. Well, one of them decided to play "Smells Like Teen Spirit", I don't even think I was paying any attention until the loud part, but I had never heard anything like that, especially the way it was sung. I remember turning to a friend of mine who was in a band and new more about music than I did, and asking him if he knew what this was. He said something like, "Nirvana...haven't you heard them before? They're better than Metallica!" This was right after the black album so I was inclined to agree. Anyway, I went to another friend of mine who knew more about music than me -- this guy was like 6'5" and hung out with a bunch of strange, older kids -- and asked him if he had the Nirvana album. He said he did but that he liked their first album, "Bleach" much better. One day in class he played me "Negative Creep" on his headphones and it was the most alien, incredible thing I'd ever heard. I ended up getting Nevermind for Christmas. Unless "Unsung" by Helmet counts (which I think came before, or maybe not), "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the first short-haired rock and roll I and many others my age had ever heard. Then I remember seeing the video for "100%" by Sonic Youth and laughing at how short and unfinished it sounded, and how the guitar solo was nothing but noise, and how they were dressed just like the skaters at my school. But that was the beginning of something for me, no question.

About whether the song still holds up, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. I mean, I get nostalgic when I hear a fucking BUSH song on the radio these days. I don't own Nevermind anymore, I only have "Lounge Act" on mp3, but everytime "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes on the radio I turn it up. It's probably like whatever "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was to my dad, which is kind of pathetic. But my question is, if "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" of its generation, does that make "Baby, One More Time" the "Sugar, Sugar" of its generation?

Kris P. Dickchopper, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Speaking as a late convert to Nirvana (being too young for pop when grunge was huge, I don't think I ever heard them until after Kurt Cobain killed himself), I can say that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is still the greatest rock and roll song of the last ten years -- it destroys anything else released since. And as far as ripping off the Pixies goes... theft makes great music. Fine, Nirvana was in its way a cheap knock-off of the Pixies. So? The Rolling Stones were in their way a cheap knock-off of American rythym and blues. The Sex Pistols were in their way cheap knock-offs of the New York Dolls (who in turn wanted to be the Rolling Stones). And the Pixies hardly came about in a vacuum; they were very much a product of hardcore and indie rock. What *ought* to be far more heinous than stealing from Frank Black is lifting "Smells Like Teen Spirit"'s riff wholesale from a Boston song (ugh). But Nirvana pulls it off with such style I hardly notice, and when I do, I don't care.

And by the way, how much *fun* were the Pixies? When I think fun music, I think something like Wilson Pickett, or Basement Jaxx, not "Where is My Mind", or even the goofy surf instrumentals.

Greg Ferguson, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Jesus, Solinger, you woke up grumpy today. Good for you, it means nothing to you. Do you have to be such a stinker about it, though?

Josh, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Oh, and what's more: I think all the Pixies comparisons are just force of habit by now. Mostly trumpeted by Pixies fans who are disgruntled because the Pixies never became popular.

Josh, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

greg: true, everything takes something from someone else. very few acts are wholly original. yes, the rolling stones stole from blues, but, on the other hand, michael bolton stole from otis redding. it's not the rip-off that's the problem: it's the fact that i think nirvana did very little with the rip-off.

as far as fun music goes, sure, the pixies aren't clarence carter or abba, but listen to "debaser" and tell me that's not the sound of a band having a good time.

josh: sorry, i didn't know you were so sensitive, but you do like indie, so i should've known better. anyhow, the pixies comparison became force of habit because it's true, mainly. kurt cobain calling "smells like teen spirit" a pixies rip only helped things.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I hate Nirvana AND the Pixies. Can we stop bitching about each other's dicks, as Fred oh so nicely put it, and move on?

Anyhow, I think that if you liked the song then, you'll like it now. If you hated the song then, you'll hate it now. I'd sooner listen to Jeremy than Smells Like Teen Spirit, but that's me. As for Tom's actual questions:

1) It never actually worked for me, as I said, but I'll consider it a museum piece for a period in history upon which chart music was at its lowest point ever, and a band like Nirvana could actually have a hit.

2) It never had anything to tell us. It's a fairly nonsensical song sung in a mush mouth fashion.

There ya go. Your mileage may vary.

Ally Kearney, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Ally: if the song has anything to "tell" us (a criterion I'm dubious to adopt anyway), it's certainly not through the lyrics _alone_.

Josh, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The point is, and it's a point I've made a fair few times, that it was the winter of 1991 and really, there were better (more exciting, thrilling, interesting, new) things going on than a kid who'd realised the studio came with a volume knob. It doesn't matter that those things ended up in fucking dreadful Paul Van Dyk trance nonsense any more than it matters that Nirvana ended up in Creed (say). Good work Fred. Good work Kurt for that matter, since SLTS is still a decent pop tune.

Tom, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

The point is, you can bang your head to it alot better than you can to most anything else they played on Headbanger's Ball. The complete and total goodness of headbanging must not gestalt for Fred. I guess this is obvious. He thinks Zeppelin rock, after all.

What none of you have brought up is how fucking godhead Leif Garrett is singing the song on the last Melvins album. I can play it alongside "I Was Made For Dancing" and it stands up fine, and that's all you can ask of a song.

Otis Wheeler, Wednesday, 25 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Led Zepplin are not about rock, they're about being Vikings and having bustles in your hedgerows and goin' on down to the Misty Mountain. Jeez. I thought that was established years ago.

Anyhow, Josh: The question was not "What does Nirvana's fans and their response tell us anymore?", it was what does the song tell us. It was never a song about anything. It is, of course, much like how the Smiths are supposedly about being depressed and ridiculous, yet I find their songs funny and I bet Morrissey does too. I don't think Kurt Cobain was trying to tell us anything; I think he was trying to make a headbangers song. Which he succeeded to do. The only reason it "means" anything today besides the fact that it marked a successful headbangers song is because the man is dead. Cf Double Fantasy.

Ally, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I don't think that's true at all. You sound as if you're expecting all of the Meaning to come from the lyrics, which is almost never the case.

Josh, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Uh-oh - I think we've got another meaning = feeling conversation coming up here. Nearly all pop songs, like nearly all dreams, mean nothing. What is it that Kurt is telling us smells like teen spirit? I actually think the meaning of the lyrics in Smells are bloody obvious (though not the mulado and albino bits). "With the lights out its less dangerous, here we are now - entertain us" - not really much depth there.

Any meaning which can be garnered from the song which is outside the lyrics is wholly personal. Indeed the majority of meaning from most songs garnered from the lyrics is pretty much personal too. We're reading outside the text after all.

Nevertheless - that intro. Those quiet bits. Those noisy bits. Its Moshpit 101 and should be praised for that.

Pete, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

It's not all wholly personal. The _sounds_ have culturally-viable meanings attached to them, just as the words do. You don't play "Teen Spirit" for your grandmother, do you?

Josh, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Why wouldn't you play Teen Spirit for your grandmother? You're assuming your grandmother is exactly like my grandmother who is exactly like Tom's grandmother who is exactly like Fred's granmother, etc. The point is, different people attach different things to different objects and just because you feel that the "sound of the song" has a "cultural meaning" doesn't mean *I* do. I think the "sound of the song's" cultural meaning is "it's fun to rip off other bands for profit". Which is fine by me, but not fine by you as you have attached a completely different "cultural meaning" to the sound of the song.

ANYTHING to do with culture will invariably be interepreted a million different ways by a million different people and you trying to attach a hard and fast, cut and dry, black and white universal "cultural meaning" to the way Smells Like Teen Spirit sounds isn't going to win any debate.

If it means something to you, fan-fuckin-tastic. It doesn't to me, as I come from a completely different background. Got it? Good. End of semi-rant.

Ally, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Actually, I probably *could* play it at my grandmother. Alas, she is dead.

Re: my own feelings. After having heard about it for a bit, I was introduced to it at KLA in UCLA mid-September 1991. Thought it was all right. Grew on me more with time, but not being a huge Pixies fan at that point either I didn't have an opinion on that subject. If anything I was bemused by the Police comparisons. Which are sort of accurate.

I think Kris' description suits it best. Very much an of-a-time of-a-place it-is-everywhere phenomenon that effortlessly calls back said time upon initial hearing. Haven't bothered playing it, that album or anything by them in years. The kid on the cover is what, ten now?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

But Tom:

What could those "better moments" in the winter of 1991 have possibly meant to a fifteen year old suburban kid for whom the nearest EIGHTEEN AND OVER club was 30 miles away? Other than in urban areas with lots of twentysomethings (a demographic which in this country hardly even existed before dot-communism), it's hardly a mystery why thump thump knob- twiddle never had much currency to us, other than the arena friendly bits (and I mean sports arenas, not rock arenas). Moshing IS a kind of dancing; Nirvana WAS a new thing insofar as now any kid who wanted to be a punk or a metalhead could be one without picking up a skateboard or lighting a joint, they just had to buy the CD. The sound was tremendously empowering in that way, something hardcore techno (or early post rock, or whatever you're referring to) could NEVER have been to us, even if there was a way for us to hear any of it. Again, I sound like R Meltzer describing the fucking Beatles, so I'll just stop.

Kris P. Divashriek, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That's not the point I was making, Ally. You can shove all the "what's the meaning of this song" under the rug of individual taste (hmm, sounds like a bad Rush lyric), but what I meant was that there are other things in the song for people to find meaningful - the fact that you looked for meaning in the lyrics, apparently, and found none, doesn't preclude meaning "residing" elsewhere.

Josh, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Well, so what, Kris? It's not so bad to sound like Meltzer, since you're RIGHT.

Josh, Thursday, 26 October 2000 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I always wheel out this particular story-ette whenever the whole Nirvana debate comes around.

Around 2 years ago, Mary-Ann-Hobbes on her Radio 1 Breezeblock show played Smells Like Teen Spirit (this was when it still went out fairly early and had more listeners that now), and was inundated for the remainder of the show from people desperate to find out what this tune was, and when it was coming out.

Apparently that night they had the most calls and email they have ever received.

Chewshabadoo, Thursday, 2 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

That song is crap and it was never any good. Except that it marked the beginning of the end for Kurtis who eventually felt too guilty for selling out and he offed himself. Unless Courtney did it... "Bleach" was a better record, "Smells Like..." is a commercial piece of crap and everyone got what they deserve.

Nate Ernst, Thursday, 2 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i too hear at least as much police than pixies. the effect of listening to the pixies is *nothing* like the effect of nirvana.

i was a 12-year-old rock critic zeppelin/doors/hendrix fan who thought rock was dead. i mean, r.e.m. was fine and dandy in a beatles way but they didn't really *rock.* and i'd seen punk and alternative rock and commercial industrial music on citylimits, the muchmusic alternative show, but who really listened to that? (smart, arty, and unhappy college students who wore black, from what tv told me.) some of it may have grown on me with more regular exposure. (i didn't really have disposable income or parents willing to buy pop albums).

i'd already read the glowing reviews of _nevermind_ and was eager to hear it. when i heard "teen spirit" on the local rock station it seemed like rock was really renewed: something genuinely fresh was here with as much raw emotion as any classic stuff. i dubbed the album from a friend and liked it quite a bit for a while. it seemed burned-out and bummed in a way none of my dubbed albums were. guitar teachers despised them.

it didn't take too long -- soon after everyone else liked them actually -- before i turned against them for lacking musical depth (i'm still not sure how much of this was motivated by musical snobbery and how much by genuine boredom -- a bit of both, i think). i hung onto my soundgarden tape in an unfortunately reactionary move. i know i still felt something when i heard the nirvana songs on the radio.

3 years later, after i'd been listening to college radio and had got into the sex pistols and sonic youth and had turned against zeppelin for being bloated etc (and was at a more appropriately angsty age), the _unplugged_ videos started playing and seemed immediately evocative and touching. i got _in utero_ and _unplugged_ for christmas and they remained among my most played albums for at least a year.

maybe 4 years after that, i picked up a used cassette copy of _nevermind_. i liked it in a sad-pop way for a while.

now: _nevermind_ is ok. i listen to it now and then. my main issue is the production, which really weakens it. with better production, actually, it could possibly be as good or better than _in utero_. its strengths are melody and lyrics. i agree the "teen spirit" (or other) lyrics aren't that obscure. i thought the "mulatto" and "albino" bits are about not fitting in and standing out in an obvious way. "teen spirit" is a decent tune. boston stole the riff from "louie louie." _in utero_ and _unplugged_ are still powerful.

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 4 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Most overrated song of all time.

Sometimes, I believe that I'm the only person in the world that's ever hated Nirvana.....oh well. Grunge was a load of old bollocks. Oh, he's dead. That wasn't very responible!

R.S. Rediffusion, Friday, 10 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i was only 10 or 11 when nevermind was released, so needless to say i missed out on the grunge years and in 1995 whenit was all over and i was 14 i heard the song on the radio(the live version)and that song is responsible for opening the flood gates of rock music i listen to now. That one simple song was God at one time. If you play that record backwards, you'd probably hear a little of God's voice on there. many people have their own opinions about nirvana and the quote legendary song unquote and i may have not lived the grunge- lifestyle back when that seen was cool to be apart of, but i just know that that was the first rock song i ever liked and that song is why i am who i am today. any song that changes a person's perception on the world in general is a legend to that person i believe. i agree when nirvana haters blame nirvana for shit like 3 eye blind or any of the sick noise from ska,pop. grunge was a one time thing, whether it comes back or not i don't know . but i know this i will be right in the front row this time.

casey, Tuesday, 21 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

that song was the most famous song we ever wrote and yet so simple i thought Kurt was a musical genious

Krist Noveselic, Tuesday, 28 November 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I do think it is a really good song. You might think it means nothing, but it shows a lot about a teen generation.

Carlos Galicia, Saturday, 2 December 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I listened to that song (and Nevermind) so much between the age of 14- 15, it doesnt do anything to me anymore..I think Nirvana had better and more heartfelt songs...but SLTS is still a classic...Ive listened to Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" to the point where I cant bear it anymore but is it a bad song...FUCK NO!!!...Nirvana were probably the last great rock band ..the people who say that they didnt mean anything are probably the same people who say the Sex Pistols were just a novelty shock band...Go listen to yer hand- wringing and oh-so-sincere Pearl Jam albums

Michael Bourke, Monday, 4 December 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Well, to start off i would like to say that SLTS is one of the finest rock tunes i've ever heard, and since hearing the rest of their stuff, I still have not found another band who can rival Nirvana's sheer emotion and intensity. And, what is all of this bullshit about "meaning" from the lyrics, or song, come on, listen to it, grunge is certainly not about bringing a message across through lyrics-listen to Rage Against The Machine(another awesome band) if that's what you're looking for. Grunge is about raw emotion, anger, depression, angst being conveyed through the medium of the music, the lyrics are just there to complete the song, maybe so that the artist can add a bit of a personal touch. SLTS was revolutionary stuff and has Nirvana have proven to be one of the most influential bands of the modern rock era, that fact no-one can deny. As for the various people out there who claim that Nirvana are simply a Pixies copy, where are you guys coming from? Having heard all of the Pixies albums (i am a fan of theirs too) as well as the whole Nirvana collection, i honestly cannot understand how Kurt could have "copied" the pixies. Sure, they were an influence, but hey, every band is influenced by some or other predecessor in creating their style. As far as i can see, Nirvana is about as original as any other great band out there, i see no evidence of stealing songs whatsoever. Fact remains, Nirvana rose from the ranks of punk and metal and created a whole new musical style,which has influenced a whole generation of musicians, and if the pixies had done it first, they would be the ones that we would be debating about now, wouldn't they? Nirvana FOREVER, man!

Jon, Sunday, 17 December 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Time will, for better or worse, render SLTS in the cannon. However I could never endorse that particular song or album to anyone hoping to get a crash course in the music of the time. And that's not just 'coz the Sonic Youth and Pixies were so much more diverse and artistically impressive. Kurt was a hero to some, but he ain't a hero to me.

Jimmy Mod, Monday, 18 December 2000 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
SLTS is a great song. Who cares if it was influenced by the pixies. The Clash were directly influenced by the Sex Pistols, but they still wrote better music. It's o.k to like something that's popular. And there is meaning in the lyrics, it's just not spelled out for you. Besides, the lyrics are just as confusing as any pixies song (debaser!!!). I do not think that SLTS is Nirvana's greatest song, but it is definately one of their best.

chard, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Smells like... Tori Amos is even better. Do you know the cover she did? It's a b-side on some single of her (Crucify?).

Alexandra, Sunday, 14 January 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I never liked Nirvana. but I always liked this song!

So I think this song could be considered as a classic. but nirvana isn't.


Ludo, Monday, 15 January 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Classic, but a useless one. An empty gesture, a "Hotel California" for the 1990s.

o.munoz, Thursday, 18 January 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

A song that still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. That feeling has never diminished over all these years. Apart from Nirvana none of the grunge scene meant anything to me, Pearl Jam are one of the dullest bands ever. Yet Nirvana transcended any musical fashion and wrote classic songs. The John Lennon of my generation (IMHO).

Andy, Tuesday, 30 January 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

It doesn't say much eh.... Tom? Its a classic that will never get old, if you don't like send me some stick but I don't think I'm wrong. so uh......get bent. Hee hee!!!! C-ya

Bucko, Friday, 9 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Who the f**k are you! Get with Maura..... Rock On

Bucko, Friday, 9 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I still can't believe this topic is brought back from the dead naerly every week. Especially since this song was ARSE!

Phil Paterson, Saturday, 10 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

More than a Feeling -- enough said.

Nicole, Saturday, 10 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Although this is my favourite song of all time and is the best rock song of all time if you read the inside of the nirvana album'on the muddy banks of wishkah' it states that all songs written by kurt cobain except 'anuerysm' 'scentless apprentice' and 'SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT.'so it is a classic but who wrote it?

Scott Williams, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Courtney Love.

Ally, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I recorded it backward on a 4-track one time, and there are hidden messages..."say yes to me" and "i hate you"...I think!

james e l, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Most records played backwards sound to me like Indian music (or at least my idea of what Indian music is), but Indian music played backwards (or at least "Within You Without You", the closest thing to Indian music that me and my buddy had handy to play on his backwards-spinning turntable) doesn't sound like regular pop, it just sounds even weirder.

Patrick, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I just watched Kurt & Courtney, it's the greatest documentary I've ever seen, and there's no Nirvana music in it. I'm somehow able to hate Nirvana at the same time as I love them. It's the same with most hippies.

Otis Wheeler, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm starting to think Otis is secretly a hippie. He wears bell bottoms and puts on patchouli oil in his spare time, and goes to sweat lodges to find himself.

Ally, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm a hippie gangsta, yo, but I still resent these accusations. Even waking up from a blackout, I didn't have to go looking for myself, I knew I was right there. My clothes were another story, unfortunately.

Otis Wheeler, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Irritating. I have heard it far too many times over the last decade.

Nick Greenfield, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Kurt died, why? listening to this track again is a good start. It's angry, it's unfocused, it's successful, it's pop, whether it likes it or not. The music came from Kurt's effort to reconcile two opposing aspects of his life (take your pick), his talent and his career, it's their friction in this song that makes it memorable. His talent was undeniable, it was in his blood, in his brain (early recordings suggest this.) However it came out: anger or apathy, he had the ability to tap these currents and by-pass his brain, express undiluted emotion. But the career was beyond his control, impotent to affect it, he shambled through everything but still ended up at the top of the charts. SLTS stands out cause it succinctly says all you need to know about Nirvana's paradox, being a successful band and confused young people, the power of their position and their incoherence. Words fail Kurt, but the feedback and screams resonate with the frustrated generation who don't even know what's got them so wound up, he delivers a fresh answer to the questions indie music had on the tip of their tongue throughout the 80's - aaaaaaarrrrrggggggh. That's the punchline, not his death. We knew he was '4-real' when he said 'I feel stupid [on stage]'. He never did resolve the disparity between his personal and public life, though the music bridged this gap he probably never heard it like we did - we can relate, empathise for a full three minutes, but then it's over. I've yet to hear a track, this honest, at number one.

K-reg, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

*nirvana is simply shit. grow up and listen to the records. i liked 'em as a kid and even stood by that pile of bullshit into my early 20s. but now i can say in hindsight that it's a lot of overblown, mind-numbing crap*

maybe you need to be on the I Hate Music site, will post url later...

dr x o'skeleton, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

even I'll admit I'm a bit tired of Nirvana, but that does'nt really take away from their genuine influence.

xgurggleglgllg (xgurggleglgllg), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Jena (JenaP), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

moscow nights--that might be the most asinine, superficial, missing the point post i have ever read.

cheshire05, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:50 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Nirvana were not a one-hit wonder.

fandango (fandango), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's funny 'cuz the "indie" scene declared "we won"! after "Nevermind".

xgurggleglgllg (xgurggleglgllg), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 10:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I enjoyed megan's analysis upthread, but it would do good to remember that the essence of this tune is So Dumb It's Smart. A 4 chord riff plus a 2-note guitar bit, just like Boredom by the Buzzcocks, but even more basic than that. Much hilarity when Kurt fucks up said 2 note solo on TOTP, along with singing in a silly voice rather than his usual paintstripping howl. The lyrics are deliberate nonsense except for the satirical plea: 'entertain us'. It's punk rock, my friends, on a par with Subway Sect's Nobody's Scared, but this time everybody bought in. Talk about victim of your own success....

dr x o'skeleton, Tuesday, 24 January 2006 12:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

people looking to cash in on thermal underwear


Heard this song the other day. Still great.

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Tuesday, 24 January 2006 14:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

Retuned to a major key...


illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:26 (nine months ago) Permalink


marcos, Friday, 5 January 2018 17:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

Sounds like Better Than Ezra :)

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:29 (nine months ago) Permalink

It sounds even more like Boston this way.

Buttery males (Dan Peterson), Friday, 5 January 2018 17:58 (nine months ago) Permalink

The bounce underneath the verses sounds like No Doubt

louise ck (milo z), Friday, 5 January 2018 18:35 (nine months ago) Permalink

i thought this been done before, found this which definitely doesn't sound like it's been sprinkled with magic catchy dust. Any passing music theorists care to explain?


Here comes the phantom menace (ledge), Friday, 5 January 2018 19:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

that rabbit hole took an interesting turn


niels, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:18 (nine months ago) Permalink

oh hell yeah i love that subgenre of pitchshifted pop songs where all the notes are the same

flappy bird, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:23 (nine months ago) Permalink

my coworkers have nowhere near the appreciation for this subgenre than I do. (speaker privileges have just been revoked)

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 5 January 2018 19:47 (nine months ago) Permalink


niels, Friday, 5 January 2018 19:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

Drop that Rick Astley track down to A and you'd have Joy Division.

2018 has to be better (snoball), Friday, 5 January 2018 20:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

Finally watched "Teen Sprite" today. Smiled from start to finish--loved it. I don't know enough about chords and stuff to know if it is indeed a transposition or if it's a wholesale remake and not really what it claims to be. But it's close enough to get me thinking the obvious, how different history would been if that had been put out instead. (And I realize some people will consider that notion silly, and will say that history would have proceeded no differently at all.)

clemenza, Saturday, 6 January 2018 01:50 (nine months ago) Permalink

alternative reality William S. Burroughs: "There's something wrong with that boy. He smiles for no reason."

2018 has to be better (snoball), Saturday, 6 January 2018 11:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

teen sprite gets an A

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 11:44 (nine months ago) Permalink

in some weird way, it finally sounds as the ultimate pixies rip off song he was trying to write

tonga, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:18 (nine months ago) Permalink

I might be stepping in it but I'm pretty sure it's mostly a careful recreation, not pitchshifting

Simon H., Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:23 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yup definitely not a simple major chords transposition but the result is really fun/good!

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:27 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yeah parts of it sound recreated but the vocal seems genuine

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:38 (nine months ago) Permalink

Albeit pitchshifted

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

I have to imagine a ton of practicing / rehearsing has to go into something like that, when you’re confounding your own expectations at almost every interval

El Tomboto, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:45 (nine months ago) Permalink

I love this song. Don't know how they did this without an isolated vocal. Will try to dissect it with my guitar teacher next week and figure out what they did.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 6 January 2018 18:18 (nine months ago) Permalink

the vocals are obviously the originals pitch shifted, the stems for SLTS are easily accessible

flappy bird, Saturday, 6 January 2018 22:26 (nine months ago) Permalink

any song in a Guitar Hero type game has its stems readily available on the internet

flappy bird, Saturday, 6 January 2018 22:28 (nine months ago) Permalink


BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Saturday, 6 January 2018 23:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

it starts off kind of cool but once the verse starts going it doesn't really sound convincing. i think it's a little like SNL, sometimes the ideas people come up with are really only good enough to last 15 seconds or so but you can always count on people wanting to waste time on the internet

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 6 January 2018 23:20 (nine months ago) Permalink


ftw i prefer the Abigail version

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 6 January 2018 23:20 (nine months ago) Permalink

nothing will ever top this


flappy bird, Saturday, 6 January 2018 23:58 (nine months ago) Permalink


calstars, Sunday, 7 January 2018 16:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

the vocals are obviously the originals pitch shifted, the stems for SLTS are easily accessible

I dunno, I think it's the work of a (talented) soundalike. Some of the phrasing is off, in particular on "oh well, whatever, never mind".

The Rick Astley track is kind of awesome. It's interesting how its monochromaticism imposes a sort of minimal techno vibe on one of SAW's frothiest confections.

Vast Halo, Sunday, 7 January 2018 19:54 (nine months ago) Permalink

feel like this has to be posted here now


#TeamHailing (imago), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:01 (nine months ago) Permalink

flappy bird that video is sooooo funny i laughed like a dork for the entire video.

this merits a listen imo:


budo jeru, Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

doesn't quite achieve the heights of "imagine" / "jump" mash up (essential btw), but it's p good

budo jeru, Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

I dunno, I think it's the work of a (talented) soundalike. Some of the phrasing is off, in particular on "oh well, whatever, never mind".

― Vast Halo

no, those are absolutely the original vocals. the phrasing and delivery throughout the song is identical. it sounds like there could be some doubling on the "hello, hello" parts, but these are the original vocals. i agree "oh well whatever nevermind" sounds strange, that might've been punched in or doubled. but largely the vocals are the originals, i can say with certainty. i can also say with certainty upon further listening that everything else (except the drums) is a complete recreation.

flappy bird, Sunday, 7 January 2018 22:16 (nine months ago) Permalink

totally agree with flappy

kolakube (Ross), Sunday, 7 January 2018 22:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

apparently the guy kept the drums, *re-recorded the guitar parts*, and then pitch-shifted the vocals to match

i am not the guy fwiw. i got that from another board

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 7 January 2018 23:41 (nine months ago) Permalink


flappy bird, Monday, 8 January 2018 00:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

was really weird when Foo Fighters performed the Never Gonna Give You Up/Teen Spirit mash-up with Astley a few times last year


ufo, Monday, 8 January 2018 01:13 (nine months ago) Permalink

Slow start to the year, it seems!

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Monday, 8 January 2018 16:59 (nine months ago) Permalink

BTW, I'm 14 and I've only recently become a Nirvana fan (and no, it wasn't because of YKYR :P). It's safe to say that Nirvana hasn't lost any meaning over the years.

going "awwww" at this classic crut post

mh, Monday, 8 January 2018 18:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

re: Cicieraga, I strongly considered nominating "T.I.M.E." in the tracks poll

Simon H., Monday, 8 January 2018 18:14 (nine months ago) Permalink

wow, that Jump/Imagine is spectacular!!

niels, Monday, 8 January 2018 19:36 (nine months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Ghrol makes this song what it is

calstars, Saturday, 21 July 2018 22:15 (two months ago) Permalink

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