I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a Nirvana fan. Yet, there’s something really captivating about Kurt Cobain’s brainchild “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The lyrics are nearly indecipherable. The melody, especially with the changing dynamics, is captivating. I think that Kurt Cobain captured the spirit of those young adults and teenagers at a particularly blasé period of time – the late ’80s/early ’90s.
Producer Butch Vig first heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in early 1991, on a boombox cassette recorded by bassist Krist Novoselic, drummer Dave Grohl and singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain in a barn in Tacoma, Washington. The fidelity was abysmal. Vig — about to work with Nirvana on their major-label debut, Nevermind — could not tell that the song would soon make underground Seattle rock the new mainstream and catapult Cobain, a troubled young man with strict indie-culture ethics, into megacelebrity. “I could sort of hear the ‘Hello, hello’ part and the chords,” Vig said years later. “But it was so indecipherable that I had no idea what to expect.” (more…)