‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, by Nirvana is one of the world’s most iconic songs ever. Kurt Cobain’s classic vocal captured the feeling of a generation and has continued to fuel angst-ridden teenagers with emotions that lead them to believe that their parents don’t understand them as much as Mr Cobain. Hey, we’ve all been there.
Cobain has said that the song gave Nirvana the crossover into mainstream and stated he was trying to write the “ultimate pop song”, which shows his genius as he managed to create one of the most popular pop songs in the last 3 decades. When describing the song to Rolling Stone magazine he said how they used The Pixies sense of dynamics, “being soft and quiet and then loud and hard.” This is easily connected to the soft verses that lead into that ever addictive chorus, that can only ever be screamed.
Released in 1991 on September 10 from album ‘Neverind’ it initially didn’t chart and only really had an impact on the bands fanbase at the time. After radio stations began playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on heavy rotation which lead to the songs being heard on these alternative stations and for young teens to rush out and purchase their own copy.
Dave Grohl, lead singer of Foo Fighters, way before the Foos were even an idea was Nirvana’s iconic drummer and his powerful drumming style is something that can be overshadowed by the legacy left behind by Cobain’s sad suicide.
But, when you get down to it and listen to the percussion it is easy to see how the song is given extra weight by Grohl. Often classed as the reason Nirvana eventually ‘made it’ his drumming is the perfect combination of power and precision. The track has so much force behind it, it hooks in whole generations. Right from the get-go ‘Teen Spirit” starts with a drum fill that is instantly recognisable. He doesn’t hold back, give the drum styling of Grohl a listens with this great isolated drum track.