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When Nirvana's Nevermind LP replaced Dangerous by Michael Jackson at the top of the Billboard chart in January 1992, for many critics it was the moment that the 1990s really began.
Rumours of the death of eighties pop and hair metal at the hands of grunge have since proven to be greatly exaggerated. Depending on your perspective, the hit-packed Nevermind was either the Trojan horse that allowed punk rock to enter the mainstream or proof that alternative rock was a viable commodity.
Theorising aside, nearly two decades on from its release in 1991, nothing ignites a moshpit in a rock club quite like ‘Teen Spirit’s scratchy, visceral opening riff and the avalanche of distortion and pounding drums that follows in its wake.
The riff’s undeniable resemblance to Boston’s More Than A Feeling was something that Nirvana laughingly acknowledged, but as to which is the most enduring, there’s no contest. Where do Boston feature in this poll?
“Best riff of all time? I mean come on it HAS to be Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana!” (From Camilla via Facebook, thanks)