When I choose a video for my Repeat Rotation Videos, I usually either choose a video I like or a video that I’ve recently discovered. Very occasionally I will go to YouTube and look through their Top Tracks charts and see what’s popular at the moment.
Today I looked at the Top Tracks for alternative rock, and was surprised to see every single track in the top 10 was an alternative rock song at least five years old. And most at least 10 years old.
So I decided to start of my day with the number one track on the chart. Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. A track that was released way back in 1991, and currently has over 287,000,000 views on YouTube.
‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is from Nirvana’s second album Nevermind. It’s the song the band is the most known for, and is still known as one of the greatest songs of all time.
Interestingly too, the late Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, said when he wrote the song he was trying to write the ultimate pop song. Obviously he definitely succeeded. After all, even now, decades after Nirvana no longer exists, and 21 years after Kurt Cobain died, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ still has the same impact it always had.
It’s a song about Generation X, and to some extent has become an anthem for that generation. Something that Cobain and the other members of Nirvana eventually became uncomfortable with.
Listen to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ in the video below. To me, though, I don’t think it matters what Cobain thought about the song. Because I think when musicians release songs, they take on a life of their own as they become important to the people who listen to them.
Instead I think it matters that it still holds up as an exceptionally good song — one of the best ever written, of course.
And if you have never listened to Nevermind, you really should. The entire album is superb.