I’m always intrigued by bands and artists whose music alters the musical landscape, taking music in a whole new direction. In my view, Nirvana is one of those bands. Before them, no one sounded like they did; after they came on the scene, more bands started sounding like them. That’s how you know a band is making a mark—not by selling records, but by influencing those who come after.
Nirvana epitomizes the “grunge rock” movement that came out of Seattle in the 1990s and basically reshaped the sound of alternative rock. Even now, decades later, I’m personally intrigued by Kurt Cobain’s innovative songwriting, and I often find myself asking, “How did he come up with that?” He was a genius whose end came far too soon.
Since this month marks 18 years since Kurt Cobain’s death, I thought it fitting for this Rock Rewind to highlight Nirvana’s breakout hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” (The fact that a song with a title like that could make such a splash—that alone says something about the music.) This is a captivating moment in music history. Just for fun, when you’re watching the video, take a look at the drummer. It’s David Grohl, now the frontman for another successful alt-rock band Foo Fighters. He’s young and clean shaven, but just as wild-haired as ever.