“More Than a Feeling” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Use the Same Riff

with 4 comments

Wow, I’m really on a roll. This one is courtesy the Malcolm Gladwell article Something Borrowed, which is about whether or not plagiarism should be punished like it is.

The article is absolutely fascinating, and talks about how music naturally influences other music, and maybe we should lay off people a bit, especially in cases where something completely different is made of the work. Specifically, in this case, the fact that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” uses a riff that’s eerily similar in composition, but not sound, to the one used during Boston’s “More than a Feeling,” doesn’t mean that Kurt Cobain isn’t a genius.

Boston’s “More than a Feeling”:

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”:


4 Responses

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  1. Cobain did not write the lyrics to Smells Like Teen Spirit. The writer of the lyrics is the one who also suggested that he put them to the main riff from ‘More than a Feeling’. Cobain’s genius lay in recognizing good lyrics. He was given the lyrics to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and to ‘Come As You Are’ in 1986.


    April 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    • You are retarded and know nothing about what you are talking about. Please never comment on this topic or any other page/website concerning this topic again.


      November 7, 2010 at 1:17 am

  2. No one can understand him anyway.

    Greg Karber

    April 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  3. It’s the same strum pattern, but not the same chords. I don’t get why this is constantly cited as a ripoff. From a musical perspective they’re not even close. Most garage band guitar players only know half a dozen strum patterns anyway. If you’re going to go by strum patterns then probably half of all songs are stolen from something immediately obvious and 100% have been done before.


    August 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

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