Saturday, October 24, 2009

Originals vs Covers - Smells Like Teen Spirit

As I wrote in a previous post, this 'comparing originals and their covers,' might be a recurring theme on my blog. Here's post two!

In the autumn of '91, Nirvana released Nevermind. I listened to it nonstop for weeks. That likely forged the association I have between that album and the changing colour of trees. Every autumn, I seem to go on a Nevermind bender and this year I got to thinking about cover versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

But first, the original:

Fucking brilliant. Can't really say much else.

Now, on to the covers.

I was aware of a few before starting this post. Some I couldn't find videos for so they're being ignored. Just as well, as there are many I could find.

First up, one by Tori Amos:

How far did you make it through that? I got to 1.14. I am not a Tori Amos fan; in fact I find her music irritating. This included.

Next, one by Patti Smith:

I like Patti Smith and I like this version... but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Another one, by the Scala & Kolacny Brothers and a Belgian girls' choir:

Nice and haunting, epecially if you just listen and don't watch the video. Is it just me or is the conductor dude on the pretentious side?

And the nifty Paul Anka version:

Call me weird, but I think this is great. It's my favourite cover and I actually really like it but then... I actually like Paul Anka and have the album it's on... and there goes any credibility I might have had, lol.

When I plunked 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' into YouTube searchy thing, I found other cover versions that I'd never come across before!


This 'Turkish Britney Spears' version by someone called Safiye:

And only Britney herself could have butchered it worse.

Next, a cover by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:

A fun clip! Imagine that band in a drunken pub?! I like it; fun stuff!

And finally, the 'talented little shit' version:

Fucking hell! An excellent talent, fer shure. I hate talented little shits, lol.

My verdict: I love the original. Nothing else even comes close... ok, well maybe Paul Anka's version when I'm feeling cheesie (and that happens).

How about you?


  1. I hated the Paula Anka and the Tori Versions (even though I love Tori - this was hideous). I liked the choir but you're right, I had to close my eyes to block out the cunductor who looked like he was being garrotted.

    The orginal is still the best. I love these posts - great fun.

  2. None were a patch on the original, the only one I stuck with all the way through was the ukulele version, it was different but fun.....unlike the others.

  3. That song always reminds me of a sweaty, packed student pub in Leam. You might have been there, it was down by the train line but that's about as much as I can remember!

  4. OMG - I love this post.

    If you want to cover such a classic song you must be A) incredibly brave and self assured and B) you should try and do it VERY differently.

    I actually liked most of these versions, and who would ever have put together that Paul Anka version in their mind - I didn't see that style coming.

    My favourite was the choir actually - I wish my choir would do some "modern" stuff and play with it.

    The ukelele band were fabulous - trust Jools Holland to find them for his show - what a blast.

    Thanks marnie!


    Damn it. 3rd time writing this comment.

    Abbreviated version

    Cobain, angst and torment.
    Ukeleles good
    Cover version by Nirvana

  6. Oooooo, I love that one, Mog! I think better than Mr Bowie's version.

    I didn't know that you were in a choir, Ann! What kind of stuff do you sing?

  7. Hmmm! Strange. No comment box was showing yesterday when I was checking this out.

    Nobody can touch Nirvana and why would they even think they could. The only reason I like the Anka version is 'cause I like Jazz. It would just be better by somebody else. Oh, and the "Little Shit" ain't too bad either!

  8. Oh, no, I like Paul Anka and apparently, so did Michael Jackson.

    Great post.

  9. No views on Nirvana but there sure is many funny covers of it. I also think that Paul Anka-version is the best. It´s because his version is somehow nutty and bonkers and that fits to the original song as well. Besides Paul has great tan and he is actually enormously popular in Finland!

  10. So frustrating, every time you post something with a vid I can't comment on Avant browser. I have to use Google Chrome..... be perfectly honest....don't really like any of them.....with the exception of Patti Smith. The Ukelele guys are a hoot.

    The rest are dicks imo.... specially Paul Wanka. And as for the precocious little tosser.......