Nirvana‘s iconic video for the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is closing in on a new milestone: one billion views on YouTube. At press time the clip has been viewed 992,872,169 times. The single made its radio debut on August 27th, 1991, with the video arriving a few weeks later on MTV. The clip appeared on YouTube for the first time in 2009.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the opening cut and first single from Nirvana’s breakthrough second album, Nevermind, which went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide. The LP became one of the most successful and influential of all time.
Three Days Grace drummer Neil Sanderson told us that hard rock producer Howard Benson knew “Teen Spirit” was a game-changer: [“Howard was, you know, working on this record which in his words was like the last hair band to be making a record kind of thing, and they kind of looked up and there was the video for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ up. So they kind of just were mesmerized by it, kind of stopped what they were doing and turned the volume up and listened to it. And then, you know, Howard turned around to these guys with perms and said, ‘We are so f***ed’ (laughs). That explained how defining that moment was when ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ came out.”] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC: . . . Spirit’ came out.)
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the second most-watched video of the 1990s, following Guns N’ Roses‘ “November Rain.” That clip, the Guns video for “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and Linkin Park‘s video for “Numb” are among the other members of the elite billion-views club.