Relive Nirvana’s Grunge-Defining Performance of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on 'Top of the Pops' in 1991

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Submitted by karajayne on Sun, 02/20/2022 - 13:33

Relive Nirvana’s Grunge-Defining Performance of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on 'Top of the Pops' in 1991

Posted 20 Feb 2022
kurt
Kurt Cobain. Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc.

The blistering lead single from Nirvana’s second LP Nevermind was more than just a hit single, it was a cultural revolution, making it powerful enough to challenge institutions that had been around longer than the song’s creators; like British TV magnate Top of the Pops.

For decades, the TV show was a right of passage for any up and coming artists, however, it enforced a bizarre policy of making their musical guests – except the singer – mime their performances. Famous for never faking anything, not even enthusiasm, Nirvana refused to be a part of this show biz trickery.

Instead, proving what makes grunge as much a state of mind as it is a sound, the trio delivered a comically disobedient performance, throwing their instruments around in an exaggerated parody, while Cobain crooned the vocals in surreal and lounge-singer style. The attitude, intention and indeed the performance more or less define what grunge was all about. Enjoy below!

Nirvana | ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ [Top Of The Pops, 1991]

While we're here, remember the iconic official music video that arrived with mega-hit in 1991, and has now amassed over 1.4 billion views on YouTube,  below! 

Nirvana | 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

READ MORE: WATCH NIRVANA TEAR THROUGH ‘LOVE BUZZ’ LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT IN 1991. 

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