Nirvana's ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ now as old as Kurt Cobain

Sept 10, 2018
  • By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is now as old as Kurt Cobain.

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The signature hit by the rock ’n’ roll band Nirvana was released on Sept. 10, 1991. It’s the opening track and lead single from the group’s second album, “Nevermind.” 

The song’s release 27 years ago heralded the grunge movement, which mixed alternative rock, punk and metal. It was Nirvana’s biggest hit and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song spent 20 weeks on the Hot 100 chart after its debut on Jan. 11, 1992.

The video of the song, filmed in a dingy gymnasium with cheerleaders and a janitor dancing with his mop, begins with a distinctive guitar lick. It vaulted the Seattle-based band to iconic status, as fans chanted the song’s lyrics, “A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido.”

Cobain, the lead singer of the group, struggled with heroin addiction and depression. He was found dead at his Seattle home on April 8, 1994, and the King County Coroner determined that Cobain died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head.

Cobain was 27.