In the fall of 1991, [the ‘Teen Spirit’] video was getting a lot of airplay on MTV, and I would spend hours at my girlfriend’s house just laying in bed waiting for it to come on, ’cause it was really exciting, really like nothing else out there. At the time, I think my competition was a million-dollar Guns N’ Roses video and Michael Jackson doing something with Eddie Murphy or MC Hammer. The ‘Teen Spirit’ video was nasty, brown-colored—it looked dirty, it really stood out. Within a year of that, there were a lot of different-looking videos: Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden. It seemed like all the videos now had this angry, dark vibe to them.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" director Samuel Bayer on the landmark video (filmed 20 years ago today), from the upcoming book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge