So why write yet another article about the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s classic Nevermind? Because it was such a huge influence on me like many others of my venerable age. The screaching vocals and guitars of Corbain and the assault of Grohl and Novoselic was irresistable. I heard it back when I was jusat starting grad school at UF in a big house with a few other geek friends. I think it may have been Norman Cabrera (where are you now Norm?) who was an acid-dropping pot smoking braniac PhD student in the same MechE department as I was that played them for me first. He was also a huge Fugazi fan as I recall. The album just clutched me by the guts and shook me up. It was so raw and full of destructive (and ultimately self-destructive) sentiment that I was immediately taken back. It just smelled like teen spirit even though I was 22 at the time. Even the acoustic Polly was hard core. When I compare it to other seminal grunge recordings like Ten, Badmotorfinger or Dirt, Nevermind still stands alone and defiant. It was so adamant in its pure fuck you attitude and such a departure from California punk like Misfits or DKs or the Red Hots. It continues to influence bands as diverse as Les Savy Fav, The Fiery Furnaces, and The Flaming Lips. It seems to be a generational marker like Sgt Peppers was or like The Wall. Perhaps it came at the right time in the early 90s. It was certainly a violent rupture with the pop-rock at the time and sealed the death of the 80s. An interesting side note is that the black album from Metallica came out within a few weeks of Nevermind and also had stellar success – I was surprised because it feels like Nevermind is the older of the two and the more mind-blowing.
Sleep well Kurt. We are still thinking about you.
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