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‘Smells Like Teen Spirit' Named Most Iconic Song Ever Written, According To Science

Scientist explains the "cocktail" he used to come up with his shortlist.

Many of us have heard it countless times and still can’t understand the lyrics, but "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is apparently the most iconic song ever written.

Nirvana’s seminal 1991 hit was ranked the “most iconic” track in a new analysis from the University of London, according to the Daily Mail.

The study, commissioned by Fiat to come up with a song they could use to promote the FIAT 500, looked at 50 songs from best-ever lists and then used analytical software to figure out what makes them so special.

Mick Grierson, who conducted the study, looked at a number of technical factors, including the tunes’ key, beats per minute, chord variety and lyrics.

He concluded the Nirvana song had highest potency of this iconic “cocktail,” followed by John Lennon’s “Imagine" and U2’s “One."

The new ranking may spur debate, but Salon points out that it's just another example of personal taste being reduced to an algorithm.

“The study takes human judgment, tries to quantify it, and then declares it objective and universal.”

So while the title of most iconic song is still up for discussion, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" continues to inspire some amazing covers. VH1 has a pretty stellar roundup on their website.

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