“Smells Like Teen Spirit” has always been a goodie. Now it is an oldie. The song that played a large part in vanquishing hair metal was released 25 years ago Saturday.
That’s right. The song that rocketed Nirvana to fame and helped cement Seattle’s place in music history is a quarter-century old.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of those rare songs that worms its way into memory. Most 40-somethings can recall where they were the first time they heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I was sitting on a couch in Pullman.
Butch Vig, who produced “Nevermind” — on which “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the first track — told The Daily Beast that in addition to being a great album, the timing of its release was perfect.
“It was really good timing. Timing in art is so important because it’s a reflection of the culture, and you can’t predict it,” Vig said.
Nirvana turned out to be much bigger and important than a reflection of the early 1990s. Twenty-five years on, and the band is a part of our culture. It has been 22 years since Kurt Cobain killed himself. Yet Nirvana is an important band still influencing artists.