Sometimes the hardest questions to ask are also the most fun, at least when it comes to pop music, because you end up managing to illicit the most angry and passionate responses. Which is exactly what happened when we pit two bands and their most damaged fist-pumping anthems against one another.
Now I am of the mind that Guns N' Roses and Nirvana aren't too terribly different, though I will concede that Nirvana was a bit grimmer than the Sunset Strip-roughened GN'R. Hell, I think that Nirvana was way more immediately influential than GN'R.
It's easier to learn "Come As You Are" than say "It's So Easy," which by any means isn't denigrating either group. Both were led by depressive outcasts with persecution complexes, too.
Look at the lyrics to both "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Welcome To The Jungle." They are each essentially saying the same thing in different ways: Bemoaning hopelessness, chaos, and inbred and ineffectual malaise.
Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose both tapped into their inner primal screams, with one making it sound accessible and the other making it seem decadent. Each song though has the ability to make your heart race and your day all the more better, even if for just a three minutes.
So we pit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Welcome To The Jungle" in a cage match and sat back and watched what happened, with some devil's advocate-style goading of course. And boy, were people pissed.
On the outset, the bands both seem like they couldn't be anymore different. But if you factor in their punk roots, nihilistic mentality, and closet pop leanings, they don't seem too terribly different. Guns were a hard rock band from Mars, not at all like the hair-metal they were surrounded by, and Nirvana had a special charm that set them apart from everyone else in Seattle.
You could even say that Axl was just Kurt without the nagging addictions. The fun and heartwarming thing about Kurt was that anyone could be Kurt which makes him sympathetic hero to Gen X and Y. But only Axl Rose could be Axl Rose.
Before we see what Rocks Off fans said on Facebook, I will say this: If both songs were people, I would rather hang out with "Welcome To The Jungle" because the next morning I would probably have a very seedy story to tell, if I remembered anything at all. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" would probably want to stay indoors, ignore everyone else, and write sneering poetry in a notebook. But that's just my opinion.
Quite frankly though, "Teen Spirit" would be a better friend in the long run, and not steal my girlfriend or light my couch on fire.
Seriously? Great metal song (but not even their best) vs Song that turned music upside down? Once again, no contest.
I am curious as to why you are comparing these two songs. Two completely different bands and Rock eras. Well, let's see..one band is Hard Rock, the other is Indie Alternative (aka 'Grunge'). Try checking Allmusic if you would like to see the differences.
guns n roses sucks. No contest.
fuck axl rose and his stupid shimmy shuffle, nirvana wins
Both songs are played out. But Welcome To The Jungle is more fun, and you can laugh at how silly it is. So I would rather hear it now.
I think if axl rose was married to courtney love more would pick welcome to the jungle.
Im going to have to go with GnR on this one. The entire AFD album is a punch in the gut and doesnt let up. If SLTS wasnt a hit, Nirvana would just be another sub pop band ala Tad, Mudhoney etc..
"Jungle". It feels 80s dangerous. No, "Teen Spirit" doesn't feel 90s dangerous, because 90s dangerous was shouting "Rodney King" in the wrong circumstances. One played a friggin' three-hour set at the Toyota Center somewhat recently, and the other is survived by a guy who is possibly hard rock & metal's happiest, bubbliest guy.
SHANANANANANANo question about it...GnR
I'd have to go with Teen Spirit, since that's the one I'm least burned out on. Now if you'd said Paradise City, that would be tougher!
GNR virtually made it into the hall of fame with their first album. Nirvana didnt even make it out of the hall with thier first album. G&R set out to take the world over and did. Nirvana took the world over on accident. For me when slts comes on these days I turn the station, when Jungle comes on I turn it up!!!
I'd say Smells Like Teen Spirit wins this round. Sure, I love Welcome to the Jungle as much as the next guy, and there's a reason why it's such a popular track. However! I think what makes Welcome to the Jungle is the combination of Slash, Axl's intensely gritty scream/vocals.
What makes Smells Like Teen Spirit, as someone once said on some rock critic show (that I 100% agree with) is that it got people singing a drum beat instead of a guitar riff. When does that ever happen? Then of course there are Kurt's fuzz-laden guitar parts and own set of dusty vocals.
Guns N Roses weren't a huge success when they first came out, so that doesn't justify anything. The music industry is tough. Also, let's keep the band's history out of this, boys. I was at that last GnR show, and if you think that just because they played for three hours means the band is still going doesn't.
Axl still has it, but he was trying way too hard to sell Chinese Democracy and he's the only original member of the band. Besides, Guns For Roses (a cover band) does GnR better than Axl can these days. Having three or four guitarists is superfluous and exhausting to watch. Also, you can't use Kurt's suicide to argue which song was better, and the Foo Fighters are great.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.