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Happy 20th anniversary, Smells Like Teen Spirit

Happy 20th anniversary, Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Nirvana’s best known anthem ripens to be two decades old. Yesterday, Miley Cyrus’ rendition of that song came out top in a vote for worst cover song ever.

Twenty years ago, on this very day, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was first played on a Los Angeles indie radio station.

No one expected this song to do what it did.

Accompanying the deejay of the radio station at that time the song was played was Nirvana’s front man Kurt Cobain, who was mostly taciturn throughout, leaving the talking during the interview to his bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl.

The college radio deejay who pushed play to unleashed this aggressive, four-chord-powered anthem never imagined that it would change the direction and culture of music, even though his LA radio station was the first to play Guns ‘n’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction.

At that time, the music scene was saturated with the likes of Motley Crue – metal bands with big hair and skinny jeans and a well-worn reminder of the 80’s.

On Sept. 24, 1991, barely a month after Smells Like Teen Spirit’s debut, Nevermind, the full-length album featuring that song was released.

By December, the metal bands had disappeared from LA’s famous hang-outs.

Fast forward to today, reverence for Nirvana’s early anti-establishment stance has led fans to vote Miley Cyrus’┬árendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit as the worst cover song of all time.

(Yes, that chick of Hannah Montana fame who was born a year after Nevermind was released, said it was Nirvana who inspired her to be a performer.)

Rolling Stone magazine writes: “When she started singing this on tour earlier this year her popularity had dramatically plunged in America, and when the videos started hitting YouTube the comments were just vicious. Fairly or not, it seemed to embody everything that people dislike about her.”

Read the original articles here and here.

Watch Miley Cyrus’ massacre here.