"Seattle Sound"
Grunge, Indie-Rock, Metal Rock, Grunge Rock
external image Nirvana_Nevermind_album_cover.jpg
Released: September 24, 1991

external image nirvana_01.jpg
Band Members (Left to Right): David Grohl (Drums, vocals), Kurt Cobain (Lead vocals, guitar) and Krist Novoselic (Bass guitar, vocals).

Nevermind Track Listing
  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  2. In Bloom
  3. Come As You Are
  4. Breed
  5. Lithium
  6. Polly
  7. Territorial Pissings
  8. Drain You
  9. Lounge Act
  10. Stay Away
  11. On A Plain
  12. Something In The Way
  13. Endless Nameless (Hidden Bonus Track)

Vital Statistics
Nevermind was released on September 24, 1991 and was the most successful Nirvana album released-26 million copies sold worldwide. October 12, 1991 the album went Gold, November of 1991 the album went Platinum, and in March 1999 the album went Diamond. The most popular singles were "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Come As You Are", "Lithium", and "In Bloom." The album appeared number one on Billboard Music Chart's Top 200 Albums on January 11, 1992, shocking listeners as it replaced Michael Jackson's album. The album also appeared as #12 in NME's list of "Greatest Albums of All Time" and "Alternative Press Ranked #1 in list of Top 99 of '85-99.'"

Technical Detail:
The band mainly used distortion and chorus pedals for their main effects The chorus pedals are especially noticeable in the prechorus of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are," which generated a watery sound. Cobain owned a 1960's Fender Mustang, DiMarzio Pickups, Fender Stratocaster and Humbucker Bridge pickups, since he was the lead guitarist, excluding Novoselic's lead bass guitar. Chord sequences were combined with power chords and pop hooks with dissonant guitar rhythms which emphasized the quiet verses to loud choruses. Kris Novoselic tuned down his bass guitar one and a half steps to D flat to "get this fat-ass good sound." Nirvana practiced 8-10 hours a day, and only did 2-3 instrumental tries, which were then tweaked with guitar overdubs, drum sounds, and double-track vocals. Originally, more was to be recorded on the album but Cobain blew out his voice on "Lithium."

Cultural Analysis
In the early nineties, Nirvana's Nevermind became the first "Alternative" Album, which then became associated with modern rock.Kurt Cobain was inspired by the Pixies, R.E.M, The Smithereens, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Beatles and Led Zepplin.He wanted a sort of "pop" melody which would intrigue listeners, but he also wanted an edge- "Music first, lyrics second" was most important to Cobain. His lyrics were often "a big pile of contradictions," sincere and sarcastic, but not making it apparent which is which. Although the album was recorded originally on a CD, records were made, and Side A was considered the "Boy Side," which was supposed to represent Cobain's Childhood, and Side B was considered the "Girl Side" which was supposed to represent Cobain's relationships with women.

One of the many ideas that were manifest throughout the album was the negativity towards the mainstream and the idea of mass mentality of conformity. The song "Smells Like Teen Spirit"'s first verse is "Here we are now/entertain us" which leads to the idea of a discontented, disconnected, disinterested youth culture-this is apparent in the music video which is supposed to be "High School in Hell." The song also subtly deals with Kurt Cobain's relationship with Tobi Vail, since "Secret" was the brand name of her deodorant.

However, Kurt Cobain also hated the attempts of lyrical analysts trying to give meaning to his lyrics. The song "Territorial Pissings" was written for this purpose, since he did not want his lyrics to be "dissected," although the song clearly shows the idea being an "alien" from the rest of society.

Many of his lyrics had to do with his major dysfunctional relationship with his girl friend Tobi Vail, where many of his songs included direct quotes from past conversations between the two of them.The song "Rape me," which was recorded in a later Nirvana album, also portrayed the hatred towards media treatment, but also subtly discussed the idea of drug addiction, abortion, and woman's rights. Another song, "Polly," specifically tells the story of an incident at a punk rock show in '87 where a teenage girl was kidnapped, raped, and tortured with a blow torch. Cobain was astounded that something so disgusting could have happened at a rock show, since music is supposed to be a spiritual outlet for all; a way to mitigate the pain inside and to tell a story about something that is hard to accept as the truth.

Towards the end of Nirvana's career, the songs became more passionately angry or sad, which followed the decline of Cobain's health/life, until his death on April 8th, 1994 due to suicide by a bullet to the head, and a heroin overdose.