Let’s continue this series into the 90s, with a look at some more pop acts who only had one hit single, and probably should’ve had further success, but didn’t for various reasons. If you’re a regular reader of my music blog pieces, you should know that I am not really a fan of music in the rock/metal genre, but even I have a fondness for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, a hit in 1991 that became a sensation and one of the most important songs of its era.
Could anyone ever possibly dare to cover this one, and not only that, in a totally different genre? Well someone had a go. Abigail Zsiga is an English singer who came on to the music scene around 1992, and released cover versions of famous songs including KD Lang’s “Constant Craving”, REM’s “Losing My Religion”, and Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” (the story goes that Barry was so impressed by her version he congratulated her personally, and used a similar arrangement on tour).
And then her version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was released in July 1994, and this reached no. 29. Some people really did think that even going anywhere near this song was rather scandalous. I’m not sure how much publicity was done for this, but the video was shown on The Chart Show (on my birthday), which featured some cheerleaders (almost certainly a reference to the original video).
Another notable thing about this one is that this sounds rather similar to “18 Strings” by Tinman, which was on the chart around the same time. I don’t know if it was sampled, or if it was a coincidence, it could’ve been one of those “all those songs sound the same” moments that happen a lot. Abigail didn’t have another hit single though, in November 1994 the follow-up “Don’t You Wanna Know” was released, but this reached only no. 94, and her first album “Feel Good” didn’t chart either.
Some more singles were released into the mid-90s, but Abigail would not have another hit single in the UK, only being known for this unusual cover version. In more recent years though, she has continued to work as a singer, and has gone on to perform on stage around the world, once again I was rather surprised at how much she has done beyond her only hit, and there are even fansites where you can find out all about her career.