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Music Video: Patti Smith, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Music Video: Patti Smith, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Finally, we can understand all the lyrics to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" — and while watching a beautifully languid video. It's been more than a month since punk legend Patti Smith released her covers album called Twelve, featuring her take on such songs as "The Boy In the Bubble" by Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones's "Gimme Shelter," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." But it was worth the wait for this video of Smith's "Teen Spirit" cover, which premiered today on AOL's Spinner.

Not only is the song great, but the visuals are, too. Stark and intimate, the black-and-white video calls to mind both French New Wave film and home movies. (Also: very cute cat footage.) As Smith explained to Spinner, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was one of the more difficult covers she chose to do:

"I always wanted to do a covers album, but I didn't really feel I had the range to do the kind of album I wanted to do," Smith told Spinner. "As the project evolved, a lot of the songs on the [original] list didn't make the final cut, and a lot of songs that I didn't plan on doing wound up being the ones I chose. They're all special to me for different reasons. But Nirvana was the most emotional experience."

To watch and listen,

Join The Conversation
mollipop mollipop 10 years
I love Nirvana, and sadly Patti's version doesn't do the original justice :(.
Nux-Vomica Nux-Vomica 10 years
She's so ugly, but so talented. And SLTS is a wonderful song.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
I'm with Whip too - I love Patti Smith and I want to like this, but I just can't...Boring.
tragicbeautyx tragicbeautyx 10 years
mwmsjuly19: AC/DC is in the R&R Hall of Fame. I didn't like her version at all! Nirvana is so much better.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Patti Smith has never touched me the way she has touched some indie-heads like REM and Sonic Youth. I don't get at all why she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when Rush and AC/DC still can't get in. She's the queen of grunge and wonky-eyed punk, but she just flat out turns me off. I'll take Joni Mitchell any day over Patti. (But props on "Because the Night," 'cause that is truly a Patti Smith jam.) And Patti, it's called dental care. Look into it.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
Im really liking the banjo in it because a banjo is one of the most bad ass instruments ever. I (like Whip) want to like what Patti does but this just sounds dead
fireboy fireboy 10 years
Uh, she's got the Grey Gardens thing happening. I'm frightened. No, really.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
I heard this cover on the radio a few months ago and I didn't like it AT ALL. I want to like everything that Patti does (and I do like most of it) but I thought this song was dreadful.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 10 years
okkk ... i didn't understand the concept of the video (don't think i'm intelligent/artsy enough!) annnd i didn't like her rendition, although she does a good kurt voice at some points (almost). i really think the best cover ever is Tori Amos's wayyy back in the day. think i'll go listen to that now to wipe this one from my memory.
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