I f you were around back in the late 80s or early 90s, you probably remember a popular line of deodorant named Teen Spirit; that is, unless your name was Kurt Cobain. As poetic as the name sounds, Smells Like Teen Spirit is a reference to Mennen's woman underarm product. The clinic, instead of providing abortions to expecting teenagers, was actually an pro-life center that encouraged girls to keep their babies, claiming they'd end up in hell otherwise.
Joel Rose. Kurt Cobain in the studio with Nirvana in late This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action.
You either had to be part of a fairly small subculture of music fans or a professional on the business side of the music industry to have heard of Nirvana before the autumn of In just a few short months, a group that was a complete nonentity to the mainstream music-buying public would become the most important rock band on earth. They heard it on alternative radio and then they rushed out like lemmings to buy it.
Template:Use mdy dates. Template:Infobox song. It is the opening track and lead single from the band's second album, Nevermindreleased on DGC Records.
For starters, the author of the song Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain did not know what the term "teen spirit" meant when he used it as the title; he thought it was an arcane anti-establishment motto, when in fact it was the name of a mildly popular deodorant aimed at young females. In this sense, the song resembles the Beatles' Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds: the public at the time, quite naturally, thought the song was about LSD, the public's favorite drug, while John Lennon always insisted that it was actually an innocent tune inspired by one of his son Julian's drawings. The fact that the dreamy song alludes to such phantasmagoric entities as "newspaper taxis" and "plasticine porters with looking-glass ties" has led many observers to believe that Lennon was not being on the level here.
This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR. Nirvana was largely unknown outside of punk and indie rock circles in the Pacific Northwest.
But things could have ended in a very different kind of infamy for the Nirvana frontman, whose own teenage years were marred by intense fantasies of violence. Now, 22 years on, no other song electrifies quite like it. Its release in September sparked a revolution. Generation X, the newspapers called them, as if apathy was something new.
Written by Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl and produced by Butch Vig, the song uses a verse-chorus form where the main four-chord riff is used during the intro and chorus to create an alternating loud and quiet dynamic. The sound of the song as Cobain admitted is modeled after the sound of the Pixies. He explained:.