Someone Tuned Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to a Major Key and it Sounds Completely Insane
This is hilarious.
Nirvana‘s vibe was mostly dark and depressing with a side order of cynical humor. That was partly due to lead singer Kurt Cobain’s intense, downbeat charisma and his lyrics, but also because the band often favored minor keys.
Music in a minor key is sad, bleak, eerie by definition. So someone decided to take Nirvana’s signature hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and digitally tune it up into a bubbly-sounding major key.
The end result is the absolutely fucked-up and hysterically funny video above. It’s the iconic “Teen Spirit” video everyone remembers, but the change in key completely transforms it into something that seems lighthearted, goofy, and earnest.
It’s as if for one song Nirvana suddenly morphed into the Spin Doctors.
When “Weird Al” Yankovic wanted to parody “Teen Spirit” with “Smells Like Nirvana,” Cobain had only one question before saying yes: “Is it going to be about food?”
Cobain later said in an interview that to him, a Weird Al parody was a sign that they’d “made it.”
Just changing the key in a song is no full-on parody, but Kurt Cobain probably would have loved it.