Miley Cyrus has been catching some flak for her cover of Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Friday night in Ecuador. But the criticisms aren’t really about her rendition?which was not great, but not terrible, and let’s remember that the audio quality is pretty low?but about the difference between what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” means to Miley Cyrus and what it means to those who were alive when the song was recorded. Miley has said that Kurt Cobain is her “dream boyfriend” but there’s no indication that she sees much of a difference between him and, say, Bret Michaels, with whom she recorded an unreleased rendition of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
And so what? News flash, Generation X: Kurt Cobain isn’t ours anymore. He entered the pop imagination almost twenty years ago. Learn to share. (At the same time, that doesn’t mean you have to like the covers.)
In that spirit, here are the ten most notable reimaginings of the classic Nirvana single, in chronological order. Classic? Misguided? Let us know what you think in the comments!