Normally, I prefer to put live clips on my video posts, but for Nirvana it would be sacrilege to show anything other than the Video That Destroyed Hair Metal and Saved Rock:
Really, that video is still so f*cking awesome, twenty years in. I remember exactly where I was when I first saw it. In my dorm room, a first-semester freshman at the UA, watching it on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before*. It was a beautiful shock to the senses. And it reshaped modern music, leading to what I think was the Second Golden Age of Rock n Roll** (the first Golden Age obviously being 1964 through 1969).
One confession, however. However great Nevermind was, my favorite Nirvana album is their follow-up, In Utero. I'm not really sure why, as it doesn't have a song with the sheer power and beauty of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Its a bit looser, a bit more ragged***. Kurt Cobain seems maybe like he's about to lose a little bit of himself (which, sadly, turned out to be the case). Maybe a combination of all those things. Regardless, its one of my favorites, and this song is a highlight:
Watching that clip and noting that he is now an major figure in rock in his own right with his band Foo Fighters, I had forgotten how freaking good Dave Grohl is behind the drums. He's a monster. And, one more for good measure (warning: there's an extended sonic freak-out "solo" in this clip that's going to leave you saying WTF? Still, pretty awesome :)):
* I had not yet learned about Pixies, Hüsker Dü, Black Flag, or any of the 80's hardcore bands. All of which are great.
** Specifically, the fall of 1991 through late 1996. Ten. Exile in Guyville. Siamese Dream. Slanted and Enchanted. Badmotorfinger. Odelay. (What's the Story) Morning Glory?. Achtung Baby. Out of Time. Dirt. Metallica. Use Your Illusion I and II. Ill Communication. Dookie. Hollywood Town Hall. Anodyne. Bee Thousand. The Downward Spiral. Weezer. ...And Out Come the Wolves. Under the Table and Dreaming. And those are just a couple of the more notable examples. There are many more. Here endeth the lesson.
*** It was produced by Steve Albini, after all.