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Was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" the last truly great song?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by topo morto, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    "Truly great song". What do I mean?

    I Heard It Through The Grapevine... (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction... Stayin' Alive... Billie Jean... Livin' On A Prayer... Born In The U.S.A... Layla... Hotel California... Every Breath You Take...

    Songs that defined their time and yet are timeless; songs that can be covered a dozen ways and still retain their identity; songs that everyone knows, and whether you like them or not is kind of beside the point, they're just "there", and will be, 50 and 100 years from now.

    Now I get that a song isn't going to reach that status instantly. But it seems to be a long time since we've had one at all. Smells Like Teen Spirit is about the best I can do.

    Is Baby One More Time up there? Something by Radiohead? Oasis? Do we have to go hip-hop... Lose Yourself? In Da Club?

    What have I blatantly forgotten?
  2. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Sex on Fire, apparently*

    *this is an observation, not an endorsement
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Interesting thought. I can attest to the popularity of the song - we did donuts in the high school parking lot with the song on full blast. It truly was a great song.
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I'm not so sure that I'd be willing to call "Teen Spirit" a truly great song.

    I do, however, think C-Lo Green's "F*** You" is a great song, and that's pretty recent.

    No accounting for taste, I guess ;)
  5. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I'm not really talking about taste. I'm talking about hugeness - popularity, enduring popularity, definitiveness...

    Well, I suppose I am talking about 'the average taste of people of the world'... but not songs I (or you) like. There's stuff I like better than any of what I mentioned...
  6. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    One I may have missed - Gangnam Style! Whether it will really be enduringly popular may take a few years to see where that one goes...
  7. Song?

    "Born in the USA" is a political screed, not sung, but bellowed/screamed over two chords.

    It is art, yes, but a "song"? Please.
  8. Agreed... Doesn't hold a candle to Born to Run... The beginning of the Boss' down slide if you ask me
  9. MartinG1957

    MartinG1957 You can never have too many bones....

    Aug 5, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    Millions would disagree.
  10. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Smells Like Teen Spirit does not deserve to be listed alongside all those other songs.

    Because all those other songs are terrible.
  11. And millions would agree...
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    To be honest, I don't consider anything Nirvana or C-Lo Green has done to be "great". Having said that, whether or not a song is great is nothing more than a matter of personal taste.
  13. Taste...

    Some have it
  14. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    ...and some just listen to the radio.
  15. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
  16. I get it... I think an outstanding song. I however think there are thousands of equally brilliant songs that match your criteria... not just a few, and definitely some that are more recent. Don't base it on radio plays.... many artists who are brilliant don't get airplay. Like Devin Townsend.
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the last truly great song.
  18. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    I don't think there has been a song that has forced a sea change in popular music since smells like teen spirit. That gong effectively killed hair metal and power ballads and changed an entire generation.
  19. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Absolutely (though in the UK it killed... other things). There are many who say it has 'all gone rap' since then (even if the pendulum has swung back a little recently) - is there a rap song that had the same transitory effect?
  20. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I mean something a bit more objective, enduring popularity. I think if I could find a list of song earnings, that would come close to what I mean, but I can only find all-time top 10 lists...

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