100 Greatest Guitarists

Find out who our panel of top guitarists and other experts picked

Load Previous
Kurt Cobain
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic73/100

73. Kurt Cobain

He was no virtuoso, and that's the whole point: By snatching electric guitar from note-shredding technicians and giving it back to artists, freaks and poets, Kurt Cobain became one of the most important players ever. Cobain didn't invent alt-rock. But with his love of Cheap Trick, the Melvins and Kiss, he gave it the metallic power necessary to conquer the world. His playing wasn't all untutored squall, either: See the unconventional chord progression and mastery of quiet-loud-quiet dynamics on "Lithium" – and pretty much every other Nirvana song.

Key Tracks: "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Scentless Apprentice"

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain's Downward Spiral: Rolling Stone's 1994 Feature
Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview

Back to Top