Fuck the Grammy, in 1992 Nirvana deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. When "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came out of left field to overtake the pop and rock music landscape, it also had the pleasing side effect of wiping glitzy, overproduced, bloated hair metal bands right off the map practically overnight. For this, rock fans almost everywhere (trailer park residents excluded) are eternally thankful.
Nobody had ever heard anything like Nevermind (except for those few odd people who were familiar with the countless bands that Nirvana was "influenced" by). Such a musical revelation couldn't possibly go unrecognized.
And the Winner is ...
Who are we kidding, of course it could go unrecognized. This is the Grammys. When the Grammys see young rock bands, they shake their cane at them and tell them to get off their lawn. The Best Rock Song category in 1992 would be no different.
In what would turn out to become a disturbing trend of dishing out big awards to undeserving rockers long past their prime, the Grammy for Best Rock Song went to Eric Clapton's unplugged and slowed-down version of "Layla."
Now, if this was 1970, "Smells Like Teen Spirt" Vs. "Layla" would be a pay-per-view-worthy battle royale of epic proportions. But it wasn't, it was 1992 and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the most important song of its day and "Layla" had morphed into a tender, acoustic ballad. Putting aside for a second that the song was over two decades old, the version of "Layla" that was nominated was about as far from rocking as you could get. Once stripped of it's memorable guitar riffs, boundless energy and devil horn-worthy awesomeness, this new, all growed-up "Layla" had no damn business being in the rock category to begin with.