[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Tori Amos — Smells Like Teen Spirit
Album: Crucify (EP)
Avg rating:
5.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2068









Released: 1992
Length: 3:10
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Load up on guns and bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over bored and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, hello
Hello, hello, oh

I'm worse at what, what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will be until the end

Hello, hello, hello, hello
Hello, hello

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us

Hello, hello

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
Yes

A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido
A denial, a denial, a denial, yes
A denial
Comments (587)add comment
 pianocomposer wrote:
People are really trashing this version. As a composer on the piano, I can tell you that slowing down a song and performing it on a simple guitar or piano and voice, it makes the song better almost every time. The point here is NOT to find the original rockin vibe, but to find the soul of the lyrics and the feelings that are not present in the original angst-ridden version. Here Tori finds the meaning of the lyrics, which are not comprehensible in the original recording. I like this very much. It is not meant to be the same. I am sorry most folks don't like it. It's a great cover IMO. 
 
Good on you for defending this performance from the trashing.  Unfortunate that you felt you had to trash the original to do it.   

Both versions reveal something different in the lyrics. Both are valid. Why not leave it at that?
 dandueck07 wrote:


I totally agree.  Gifted music artists nearly always explore new avenues and push boundaries when they record a new version of a song.  I have no problem with listeners not liking this version of the song - like all music, it can't possibly satisfy everyone's ears.  So be it.  It appears to me, however, that the naysayers who are posting comments seem to be caught up in a feeding frenzy to outdo previous posters with a slightly novel way to express their negativity -  somewhat ironic if you get my drift.
 
I would give Alice Cooper 5 stars for a cover of this song, and maybe Chris Cornell, and maybe the Staves, and even the (Dixie) Chicks.

But Tori ? Who is she, anyway?

There's never enough for us to wonder.
Tori needs to connect. Who are you, dear? Who are you? Shall we be friends? Oh, ok, you have enough friends. In your mind you are enough. Love your thrill anyway, but have no albums. C'est la vie.
Wiki could find a better picture of Tori than a crotch shot. Are the editors still in high school?  Tori deserves better... 
I adore Tori Amos, but this is one of those songs that just need to stay untouched.
good or bad, at least I know the words!  
"Acting stupid... and contagious"
Takes on all new horrific meaning in the wake of the thousands of entitled idiots who defied orders to stay home and safe to fight Covid-19, deciding that their right to party for spring break outweighed any considerations of the pandemic death tolls their stupidity would bring.
I never liked the original, so I'm torn.  I much prefer her voice to Cobain's, but the tempo wants to put me to sleep.
This what a great cover is all about.  Take the words and melody, but sing it in your style, give it a new fresh feel.  
Nope
Kind of troubling, all the 1's. Sadly they live among us. 
I agree 100% with pianocomposer!  Tori stole my musical heart a long time ago with a voice and singing talent that can give me aesthetic chills along with excellent piano to carry my soul through her songs.  She will remain atop my playlists and I look forward to more, and all, of her interpretations.  
 pianocomposer wrote:
People are really trashing this version. As a composer on the piano, I can tell you that slowing down a song and performing it on a simple guitar or piano and voice, it makes the song better almost every time. The point here is NOT to find the original rockin vibe, but to find the soul of the lyrics and the feelings that are not present in the original angst-ridden version. Here Tori finds the meaning of the lyrics, which are not comprehensible in the original recording. I like this very much. It is not meant to be the same. I am sorry most folks don't like it. It's a great cover IMO. 
 

I totally agree.  Gifted music artists nearly always explore new avenues and push boundaries when they record a new version of a song.  I have no problem with listeners not liking this version of the song - like all music, it can't possibly satisfy everyone's ears.  So be it.  It appears to me, however, that the naysayers who are posting comments seem to be caught up in a feeding frenzy to outdo previous posters with a slightly novel way to express their negativity -  somewhat ironic if you get my drift.
This splits opinion... a good thing? Surely.

I think its a good thing and I think this is a worthy and brave version. 
People are really trashing this version. As a composer on the piano, I can tell you that slowing down a song and performing it on a simple guitar or piano and voice, it makes the song better almost every time. The point here is NOT to find the original rockin vibe, but to find the soul of the lyrics and the feelings that are not present in the original angst-ridden version. Here Tori finds the meaning of the lyrics, which are not comprehensible in the original recording. I like this very much. It is not meant to be the same. I am sorry most folks don't like it. It's a great cover IMO. 
c'mon entertain us!

>>1
To quote the immortal Jeff Goldblum, "This is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas". 
This was horrific. I like Tori, but my GOD she ruined this song. 
 jelgator wrote:
Bill, you need to allow us negative numbers on the rating scale.
 

That's why there's PSD, or skip, etc. 
Bill, you need to allow us negative numbers on the rating scale.
Kind of sounds like when I smash my finger with a hammer.
Okay, I didn't like it. That said, the album's call to "Crucify Tori Amos" seems a bit extreme. 
Talk about sucking the life out of an iconic song!
Love this version, as I believe Kurt did also. A definitive cover if there ever was one, along with her cover of Zeppelin's Thank You. Anyone who doesn't, don't know. The rating on this is wayyyyyy too low. Tori Rulz. 
I love Ms Amos's interpretation of Smells Like Teen Spirit, which exposes the original song's meaning in a haunting and brutally naked way. Having originally found it years ago on a now-illegal sharing site, I've since spent hours looking for the for the original media - thanks Bill, I've just ordered the EP from Amazon!
 robin_at_domani wrote:
First Johnny Cash' cover Hurt: fantastic!

And than followed by this... crap!
Be a little more selective, RP 
 
well, I feel the exact opposite so yay RP for diversity and offering something to everyone !! <3 
 Crosby_Carter wrote:
the only good cover of this is the Patti Smith version
 

That's what i was thinking
First Johnny Cash' cover Hurt: fantastic!

And than followed by this... crap!
Be a little more selective, RP 
Some songs should not be covered....say no more.
the only good cover of this is the Patti Smith version
 Redpoint wrote:
Normally a fan of Tori Amos but when I hear this, the title of the album really sums up what she seems to be doing to it. Now for a really tongue  in cheek version how about Paul Anka's great swing cover from his 2005 'Rock Swings' album?
 
Yes, that is an interesting cover, isn't it?  The guys get shirts!!!!
I like this "cover" even better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkjrdvFsxKE

Love it.  Not much she does I don't like.
Normally a fan of Tori Amos but when I hear this, the title of the album really sums up what she seems to be doing to it. Now for a really tongue  in cheek version how about Paul Anka's great swing cover from his 2005 'Rock Swings' album?
Tori Amos meets Syd Barrett.
When this came out, I panned it on a message board. None other than Neil Gaiman came forward and politely defended it and her music in general....

.... which got me to take a serious look at her music. I've bought a few of her albums over the years as a result and there are some songs of her's that I really really like.....

.... but I've never warmed up to her version of this song.

Не трогайте Курта! Пиартесь на ком-то другом!

The only thing that makes this song tolerable is to imagine (hope?) that Tori is doing a satire of herself. Then it's funny.
 ecojot wrote:
Wow - lots of negative comments. I love this - its haunting and moody.

 
Beautifully done. I get that some music is so crystallized in some ears that it cannot be forgiven reinterpretation. Aesthetics, politics, cultural context ... hey it evolves people. No one is taking anything away from Nirvana's original (and their own various incarnations of the song).
Kurt talks about it in this interview here:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8dBxLGTM10

(time index 1:30)

Doesn't sound overly enthused...

But I like it.
I am also completely dumbfounded by the negative ratings on this. I think her interpretation and piano work are stunning. 
Wow - lots of negative comments. I love this - its haunting and moody.
 Karhu wrote:
What the f***. That cover sucks!

 
With all that fresh garlic, she'll be vampire-proof for sure :o)

I'll take Tori Amos over Kurt Cobain every day of the week - a nice cover.
Gorgeous!
This is still pure garbage, both the original and this cover
What horrible drivel... 
Already didn't care for the original...but now throw in self indulgent angst...and you got this...ugh.
This sucks so bad..Please stop! Save my ears!
Man, I love a good cover as much (or more than) anyone, but this is pretty brutal.  
Patti Smith does a fantastic cover of this on Twelve. Both that one and this one have a distinct advantage over the Nirvana version—you can actually understand the lyrics!
my worst nightmare... horrible song meets horrible artist. this underlines just how fundamentally bad this song actually is. 
 
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye....
Woeful
What the f***. That cover sucks!
One thing I love is a cover done in such a completely different style, it makes the original seem weird (check out Walk on the Wild Side by Pink Turtle), and this is a beautifully done example, it makes KC sound raucous and inelegant. Needless to say, I love this.
Sorry Tori, but I gave it a 1, a very good song just covered to sucko barfo
 
If it wasn't Tori Amos, who I think is great, I'd give this sucko barfo. 
Just not good at all. 

Everybody in my church loves this cover...
 
I am with Bill and Kurt on this one... spectacular cover!  For the record, I like Tori and Nirvana... and I like this, so there!

The farther I get away from 15-year-old-me's worship of Kurt, the more I have come to see how this works...


Loved this cover almost as much as Weird Al's :) Just bought the song.

This song is a crime!!  
Wow, I'm surprised at the comments here. I saw her play this live at the Majestic in Dallas years ago. It sent chills down my spine. IMO this is one of the best covers ever, in the sense of doing something new while respecting the original. 

For context—I'm not a huge Nirvana fan, but this was my favorite of theirs. On the other hand, my wife is a big Nirvana fan, and I'm pretty sure she agrees with my opinion of the cover.
This is a very compelling version of a turning point song.  Serious Nirvana fans should be flattered by it.  Gave it an 8.
I find it very surprising that so there are so many negative comments on this, especially here on RP.

For me, a cover has to be different to the original - this is certainly different.
Of course, being different is not enough in itself. I like this version. It would be enjoyable even if the original had never existed.

I think it would be a terrible shame to 'fence-off' certain songs as being unsuitable to be covered, or even to restrict the range and style of covers that can be made for any given song. While we may argue (and many of us do, frequently) about which version of a song is the 'best', I applaud singers and musicians who use their talents to bring something new to an old favourite, or even a song that wasn't done justice by its original singer.

So, here's a plea to the musicians and singers out there to consider covers of songs when they feel they can bring something new...but of course please don't stop creating new songs too.
 Dav3thedog wrote:
Oh get over it, Nirvana fans. Music goes on...
 
Did Kurt ever comment on the cover?
I completely agree with Bill on this one.  People are too emotionally caught up in what this song meant to them - and I know it meant an awful lot.  So they can't handle a radical interpretation.

To me it shows the power of this amazing song's lyrics and melody that it can be completely transformed by another artist while retaining that power and beauty.

I've often said that Curt was one of the finest writer's of melodies and lyrics in rock and roll history.  Hummable melodies, memorable words.

And then that killer band which burst on to the scene with the quiet-loud dynamic, the emotional fury of the instruments and everything else that changed music in the 90's.
 ckcotton wrote:
Im pretty sure this is played just to piss ME off.....
 
Hope it worked.

Covers are just another's opinion of how the song should be sung/played.  I'm sure Mozart had similar comments in his day, too. 
So far as I can tell, the responses to this song/performance are largely driven by the memories of those who associate the original with their perceptions and emotions at specific points in their lives. This is understandable, but it does not therefore make this a crappy song. If it is crappy, it stands on its own (not sure about the imagery here). I don't find it objectionable, but then Nirvana was not a major influence on my life.
Lacks passion, or any genuine feeling for that matter (elevator music). This is what made the original so very powerful...
It's Bill's stream he can play what he wants.
Im pretty sure this is played just to piss ME off.....

 
Oh get over it, Nirvana fans. Music goes on...
Shocking!!
inexcusable
and not just the album cover 
 Teek wrote:
Interesting ratings distribution.
 
I noticed that, too. 
Interesting ratings distribution.
 
...first nirvana song i like.......10 from the ignorant german jury.....
Ugh ugh ugh ugh ad infinium
terrible!
AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why can't I rate this lower? 
Please don't do that again!
Grunge for Grandpa
 Xstar wrote:

And then after reconsidering his remark he shot himself in the mouth that said it was "flattering"!  {#Nyah}
 
Really?

I agree the cover's phenomenally terrible, but this is a tasteless way of expressing your opinion.

Just because Kurt's a public figure doesn't make it OK to make light of his depression and suicide.
this is a Nirvana cover? I'd never recognize it and can't understand the lyrics here - not sure if I like her much
 
Make it stop!  {#Headache}
 hbs47 wrote:
At least you can hear what the words are now!
 
What s/he says

Why?
YUCK
Make the bad man stop!
A dreary hopeless attempt at covering an otherwise classic song.
 annie_fannie wrote:
for all of you Nirvana fans that think Kurt would hate this cover...

"MTV: What did you think of the Tori Amos cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"?
Cobain: Flattering.
MTV: Is it true that you and Courtney Love used to wake up and dance around to it?
Cobain: Yeah. We used to put it on every morning and have breakfast and dance around. We'd turn it up really loud and do interpretive dancing to it. It's good breakfast music.
MTV: It's funny to listen to. The mulatto and albino part.
Cobain: "I'm mulatto." I know. For a while we were using it as an opener before we came out onstage, too. We would play that song and then we would come out doing dances to the song.
— Kurt Cobain; MTV Interview"
 
And then after reconsidering his remark he shot himself in the mouth that said it was "flattering"!  {#Nyah}
Sorry - but this is simply awful!  My ears are bleeding!
 thyceomx wrote:
i like it! {#Clap}
 
me too!   {#Music}
i like it! {#Clap}
for all of you Nirvana fans that think Kurt would hate this cover...

"MTV: What did you think of the Tori Amos cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"?
Cobain: Flattering.
MTV: Is it true that you and Courtney Love used to wake up and dance around to it?
Cobain: Yeah. We used to put it on every morning and have breakfast and dance around. We'd turn it up really loud and do interpretive dancing to it. It's good breakfast music.
MTV: It's funny to listen to. The mulatto and albino part.
Cobain: "I'm mulatto." I know. For a while we were using it as an opener before we came out onstage, too. We would play that song and then we would come out doing dances to the song.
— Kurt Cobain; MTV Interview"

If I only I could rate this lower... Why is she doing this to us?


 Moak wrote:


She deserves a cut.  She kept him alive long enough to write the tune.
Besides, in some ways she's more talented than the "boy genius".
 
{#Clap}
 buzzspot wrote:
Only thing I don't like about this song is Courtney gets a cut.  I have a feeling Kurt would laugh his ass of at this one.  Don't hate people, you listent to RP to hear something different.  This is definitely different.
 

She deserves a cut.  She kept him alive long enough to write the tune.
Besides, in some ways she's more talented than the "boy genius".
Had a friend in college (95) who claimed he had once thought that the Nirvana song (91) was a cover of a B-Side of a Tori Amos single (92).  And he was annoyed to learn the proper chronology.  :(
At least you can hear what the words are now!
Ah, Tori!
WTF?  Embarrassing... seriously
Doesn't Compare to Sinead O'Connor's cover of "All Apologies"
Only thing I don't like about this song is Courtney gets a cut.  I have a feeling Kurt would laugh his ass of at this one.  Don't hate people, you listent to RP to hear something different.  This is definitely different.
I think Kurt Cobain saw into the future, oh dear.... can't says a like this too much
This is beyond...WAY beyond sucko-barfo. Is she KIDDING me? a 0 if it was possible...Yell
Didn't even care much for the Nirvana version. Totally no reason for this, for me at least. YMMV
I don't like this. It seems contrived.
Love the way that Tori gives a totally different rendition of this classic. It's nice to have different versions (greatly different!) out there.
We now know why Van Gogh cut his ear off 
 ick wrote:
Smells like it sucks bad.
 
FUNNY !

Not as good as Weird Al's version, which is one of the funniest song parodies ever.
 SinisterDexter wrote:

Even though it's not outstanding, I'll give her props for an interesting interpretation.

 
>clicking Like button<



 On_The_Beach wrote:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Trivia Quiz
The three words that best describe this song
Are as follows, and I quote,
"Stink, stank, stunk!"

 

{#Lol}
Wow! Such puffery and seemingly adolescent penile wagging for a Tori Amos version of a Nirvana song. What are we, in eighth grade all of the sudden? makes me wish I had a vagina because I am truly ashamed to admit that I too, have a penis. Makes almost wish I was these THESE PEOPLE:

Toni and Candice
Love covers that go to a way different place in the presentation space of a given classic. If the original is one point and this is another, here's one that widens the area considerably: Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. Check out some of their other stuff while there—some is hilarious! To wit: Wuthering Heights