Quietly mailed to radio stations two weeks prior, Nirvana‘s first single from landmark album Nevermind, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – or Pixiesrip-off as Kurt Cobain would later quip in interviews – hit Pacific Northwest ears on this day in 1991 like a secretly planted drug, a gateway, actually, straight into the disaffected minds of a generation twitching for a fix. You couldn’t even understand Cobain in half the five-minute jam. But when you could, the gnar-crunch guitars, the menacing bass line, Dave Grohl’s monkey-armed backbeat, and of course Cobain’s grating, imperfect wail just made you want to kick a hole in your parents garage-door, throating, “Here we are now, entertain us.”

It was a revolution for a generation that couldn’t possibly put together a reason for a revolution. And it was perfect, truly changing the face of mainstream rock and setting the stage for the most infamous co-option of youth for the first time since punk. Try to find a twenty-something dude or dudette who didn’t own a flannel shirt in 1991. And then forget that shit and remember, “Oh well, whatever, nevermind.”