"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a song by the American rock band Nirvana, written by the band's frontman, Kurt Cobain. The song was released in 1991 as the lead single from Nirvana's second album, "Nevermind," and it became one of the most successful and iconic songs of the 1990s.
Smells Like Teen Spirit
from the album 'Nevermind'
- Artist: Nirvana
- Release date: September 10, 1991
- Label: DGC
- Songwriter: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl
- Genre: Grunge, Alternative rock
- Key: C# Major
- BPM: 117
- Length: 5'02"
The song's title was inspired by a deodorant called "Teen Spirit" that Cobain's then-girlfriend Tobi Vail wore. Cobain thought the phrase "smells like Teen Spirit" would make a good title for a song because it was a phrase that was associated with the rebellion and counterculture of the time.
Tobi Vail was the girlfriend of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist of the American rock band Nirvana, during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Vail was a musician and zine writer, and she was a member of the punk band Bikini Kill. Vail and Cobain were part of the same music scene in Olympia, Washington, and they became romantically involved while they were both in their early 20s.
Cobain and Vail's relationship was tumultuous and often volatile, and it was characterized by intense passion and intense arguments. Cobain was known to be emotionally unstable and prone to depression, and Vail was often the target of his anger and frustration. Despite the challenges they faced, Vail and Cobain remained close and supported each other's artistic endeavors.
Vail is credited with influencing Cobain's music and lyrics, and she is often cited as an important figure in the development of Nirvana's sound. After Cobain's death in 1994, Vail continued to be involved in the music scene and has remained a respected figure in the punk and alternative music communities.
The arrangement of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" features a fast tempo and heavy use of distorted electric guitars, and it is characterized by its catchy, sing-along chorus. The song's lyrics, which were written by Cobain, are considered to be cryptic and open to interpretation. The song's chorus, which repeats the phrase "here we are now, entertain us," has been interpreted as a sarcastic commentary on the meaningless and superficial nature of mainstream entertainment.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" was released as a digital download and on CD, and it was also included on the "Nevermind" album, which was released by DGC Records in September 1991. The song became a hit and helped to popularize the alternative rock genre, and it has since been hailed as a rock classic.
Guitar tabs and guitar chords for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are widely available online, and the song has been covered by numerous artists in a variety of styles. It has also inspired countless guitar covers and has been featured in numerous movies, television shows, and video games.
The lyrics to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are often quoted and have become part of popular culture, and the song continues to be a fan favorite and a staple of rock radio.
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