Kurt Cobain, the singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the guitarist and frontman of grunge icons Nirvana, is arguably one of the most influential musicians in the history of alternative music.
Forming the band with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987, Cobain and Nirvana birthed a new sub-genre of rock music and enjoyed immediate success from it. After going through a succession of different drummers before settling on Dave Grohl, Nirvana went on to record three studio albums in three-and-a-half frantic years and have subsequently sold well over 100million records worldwide.
Following the meteoric rise of Nirvana, it’s easy to forget that ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, arguably the band’s most well-known song, was the track that propelled them into the mainstream. Used as the opening track and lead single from the band’s second album, Nevermind, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was later described by Cobain as his attempt to write in the style of Pixies.
“I was trying to write the ultimate pop song,” Cobain once said. “I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it. When I heard the Pixies for the first time, 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.”
In the years following Cobain’s 1994 untimely death and the end of Nirvana, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ became the one song that signified the legacy left behind by the band’s frontman. Cobain’s raspy, aggressive and uncompromising vocals led to song to chart success but it his delicate delivery of “hello” which pieces everything together.
Remembering Cobain’s brilliant work, we’ve unearthed a wonderful video which triumphs his wonderful vocal range. Enjoy: