Rock

Readers Poll: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Vs. "Welcome To The Jungle"

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.

POLL RESPONSES

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..

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty