Twenty years ago a band of only 3 members would release an album that would revolutionise the eighties alternative punk scene forever. Though Kurt Cobain’s tragic demise sometimes overshadows the music that defined an era, Nirvana is still one of the most popular bands two decades after the release of their iconic album ‘Nevermind’.
Despite the fact that Kurt Cobain died only 3 years after its release on 24th September 1991, the album is still an integral and influential part of the music business today. Not only did the album kindle the rise of grunge as a musical genre, but it also commercialised alternative rock as a whole, which had up until that point, been limited to minor labels and small pockets of popularity.
The band’s logo further commemorates their success as it is one of the most recognisable rock emblems of all time. Any awkward teenager or self-proclaimed slacker, as was dubbed Nirvana’s sense of style, could not be without that famous black and yellow t-shirt.
The band’s lyrics are often studied as a way of deciphering just what drove the band’s frontmen to take his own life, but Cobain answered these mysteries himself. His biography ‘Heavier than Heaven’ quoted him as complaining ‘Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second-rate Freudian evaluation of my lyrics, when 90% of the time they’ve transcribed them incorrectly?’
The legacy that the band left behind has not and will never be forgotten. Paving the way for bands such as Green Day and Nickleback, Nirvana also gave us one of the most iconic songs in history with ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’. Their music has lasted these last twenty years and there is no doubt that they will continue to speak the words of the world’s hurting youth. Kurt Cobain has often been described as a ‘voice of the generation’ but which one?
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us,
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us.
~Smells like Teen Spirit
(Creative Sub Editor 2011-12)