Greetings all, and Happy Guy Fawkes Day! It’s time once again for an installment of Weird Al Wednesdays! I tried to think of something to fit the day, and I kept going back to one song. It’s not inherently revolutionary in nature, but I think it works: Smells Like Nirvana.
In case you didn’t know, or couldn’t tell, this is a parody of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit hit of the ’90s. The song is arguably Nirvana’s biggest hit and most recognizable song. Nirvana was also one of the most influential grunge bands of the ’90s and still hold a special place in the hearts of many who grew up in that decade. Smells Like Teen Spirit‘s angst captured the majority of a generation and gave them a new outlet for their teenage angst: loud, rambunctious, raspy music.
Al’s version holds true to the musical style of Nirvana incredibly well. As I have said before, Al’s band are all fantastically talented musicians. It also beautifully hits on several key things related to Nirvana. He pokes fun at the ever-present grunge mechanic of loudly yelling the lyrics, sometimes making them hard to understand. This is the primary point that Al hits on throughout his song.
The video itself also does a great job at parodying the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit. The iconic cheerleaders and mosh-pit dancing are seen throughout Al’s video. Of course, we see plenty of humorous twists and additions to make it a real Weird Al video. Some of these include the janitor eating a doughnut out of his mop bucket, and the basketball team knocking one of the band members over.
Overall, this video and song are fantastic snapshots of the era. It also served to bring Al’s career back onto the up and up after the pretty unsuccessful UHF film. Al’s album, Off the Deep End, featured cover art similar and parody to Nirvana’s own album with a baby floating in a pool. Kurt Cobain was even quoted as saying that he knew Nirvana had made it when Weird Al did a parody of one of their songs. In short, it’s a great parody of one of the most influential songs of its time.
So, tell me your favorite Weird Al song in the comments below, or let me know what you think of this post. Enjoy you some Al? I have some more posts about him and his music elsewhere on this blog. Until then, I hope you enjoyed the post and stay weird out there!