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Why Did Kurt Cobain Dislike His Song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”?

Kurt Cobain was an American rock musician who rose to fame as the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for Nirvana. But even with his talent and great taste in music, this rock and roll star wasn’t always happy with his work. Cobain hates the song Smells Like Teen Spirit, which was written by him, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.

Kurt Cobain did not like the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” because he did not feel that it was superior to every other song that he had written, yet it seems to be the song everyone focused on. He even called it an embarrassment to play.

The Reason Behind Kurt Cobain’s Dislike for the Song

Kurt Cobain was one of the most iconic names in the music industry. His tragically short time in the spotlight still made a lasting impression on the world with classic tracks like the Smells Like Teen Spirit. This song remains to be the band’s signature song. Some people don’t even know any other Nirvana song except that.

In fact, Smells Like Teen Spirit was ranked as one of the best songs of all time. Unfortunately, Cobain did not feel the same way about his work that he had negative feelings towards the song.

Everyone has focused on that song so much. The reason it gets a big reaction is people have seen it on MTV a million times. It’s been pounded into their brains. I think there are so many other songs that I’ve written that are as good, if not better, than that song, like ‘Drain You.’ That’s definitely as good as ‘Teen Spirit.’ I love the lyrics, and I never get tired of playing it. Maybe if it was as big as ‘Teen Spirit,’ I wouldn’t like it as much.

Kurt Cobain

(Source: Vice)

Where Did the Title of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Come From?

The hit single Smells Like Teen Spirit was released in Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind which is responsible for the band’s rise to fame. The name of the song supposedly came from a graffiti Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill made in Cobain’s hotel room. She wrote Kurt smells like Teen Spirit in reference to the deodorant brand Cobain’s girlfriend wore at the time. On the other hand, Cobain had no idea what Hanna was talking about and misinterpreted the whole thing as a revolutionary catchphrase and named the song after it.

The song’s composition with the rest of the band was based on the title. According to Cobain, they attempted to develop the ultimate pop song and were heavily influenced by The Pixies.

The band did not expect that their album would hit triple platinum in less than a year, with Smells Like Teen Spirit as the significant factor in their success. The song served as the anthem for Generation X’s youth. They related to Cobain’s lyrics that were centered on the uncertainty of the world that surrounded them.

The song was later chosen by Rolling Stone as the 9th best song of all time and is still popular among newer generations who didn’t even know Nirvana, to begin with. (Source: Dictionary)

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