Smells Like Teen Spirit 'most iconic song ever'

Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit has been declared the most iconic song ever written in research commissioned by Fiat.

The car manufacturers were trying to work out which song to use in promotional material for the Fiat 500 and asked boffins at the University of London to help.

Dr Mick Grierson’s team analysed the tracks most often singled out by critics, with the Nirvana smash hit coming out on top ahead of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Guns N’ Roses classic Sweet Child O’ Mine and God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols.

Dr Grierson tells the Daily Mail: “We looked at a range of measures for each song and compared them to see if there were similarities in these recordings which occur less in other songs.

“We found the most significant thing these songs have in common is that most of them use sound in a very varied, dynamic way when compared to other records.

“This makes the sound of the record exciting, holding the listeners’ attention. By the same token, the sounds these songs use and the way they are combined is highly unique in each case.”

Fiat asked singer songwriter Ella Eyre to re-master Smells Like Teen Spirit for a TV commercial launching the new model of the car.


  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
  2. Imagine, John Lennon
  3. One, U2
  4. Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
  6. Hey Jude, The Beatles
  7. Like A Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
  8. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Rolling Stones
  9. God Save The Queen, Sex Pistols
  10. Sweet Child O’Mine, Guns N’ Roses

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.