February 3, 2023

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Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is rather more than a track. It was — and stays — considered one of music’s defining moments of the fashionable period and continues to search out itself on nearly each all-time “better of” lists. (Identical goes for the album it comes from, Nevermind, which ranked Prime 10 on Consequence’s Best Albums of All Time checklist.) When launched in 1991, “Spirit” reworked greater than our airwaves — it reworked tradition and society itself because it blasted onto the scene and thrust grunge into the mainstream. These relentless drums that open the monitor, so loudly performed by David Grohl that no mics had been wanted within the studio; that defining guitar thrash and indelible raging voice of Kurt Cobain, who barely took greater than three takes; and naturally, that mesmerizing music video that performed in an limitless loop on MTV.

And the person behind all of it within the studio was legendary producer Butch Vig. As considered one of Vig’s first excessive profile gigs, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” reworked him as a lot because it did Nirvana. He went on to provide a number of the most iconic albums of the time, together with these by Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth. And oh sure, Vig additionally discovered time to start out Rubbish, amassing and limitless string of hits of his personal. (That band’s Shirley Manson was a current visitor on The Story Behind the Music.)

On this newest episode, Vig joins host Peter Csathy to debate how he helped Nirvana catch magic in a bottle with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” revealing what it was like working with Cobain in studio. It’s a uncommon and interesting dialogue on one of the crucial monumental releases in music historical past with one of many few folks within the room when it was made.

Later within the episode, Vig additionally focus on his current work with Rubbish and Silversun Pickups, two different current friends on TSBTS.

Hearken to Butch Vig reveal the historical past of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” above. Then, be sure to like, evaluate, and subscribe to The Story Behind the Music to maintain up with all the brand new episodes within the new yr. You can even observe the Consequence Podcast Community for updates on all our collection, and take a look at host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Artistic Media.

Nevermind followers may see the enduring art work represented in Legends merch assortment on the Consequence Store, together with T-shirts, tote luggage, and posters. Test it out now, or through the use of the Purchase Now buttons forward.

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