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Nirvana "Nevermind" The Album That Put Nirvana on Top of the Alternative Rock Genre

Updated on October 28, 2022
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Famous Cover for This 1991 Album


Nirvana's "Nevermind" Album Is the One That Really Helped Them Get Massive Commercial Sucess

There are albums in a band’s history that stand out as being their best even many years later. Nirvana’s second full-length album Nevermind is one such example. Although I have really liked their debut called Bleach, Nevermind has better production, no bad songs, and tons of well-known songs. One of those songs is the famous Smells Like Teen Spirit which got lots of airtime on the radio back then. The album became so successful in 1991 in spite of low expectations by the band. The album was a great example of a sort of cultural statement because of the changes to the American music scene that were to follow soon after. Grunge rock would be at its peak in 1993 and 1994 as heavy metal would wane in popularity and be less a part of the mainstream. If you are looking for entertainment, Nevermind will certainly provide this. Even Kurt Cobain in the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” says “here we are now, entertain us.”

There Is Better Production On the Album "Nevermind" Compared to the Band's Debut Album

The one obvious difference between Nevermind and Bleach is the improved production. The song starts with a very good bass line and the accompanying guitar work fits in well.Loudwire Magazine has lots of interesting facts about Nirvana’s Nevermind that are worth mentioning. The album’s title was originally titled “Sheep.” Considering the fact that their debut album was a one word title, they might have wanted to do something different. So they titled it “Nevermind” which if you put it as two separate words it would be grammatically correct.

It was in January 1992 that Nevermind reached the #1 position on the US Billboard 200 charts. At the height of its popularity, the album was said to be selling over 300,000 copies in a week.

What are some of the other successful songs?

Other successful songs such as In Bloom, Come as You Are, and Lithium followed. Come as You Are was one of the songs that Nirvana played on their Unplugged Live in New York CD. This is also the first Nirvana album to feature Dave Grohl playing the drums. Nevermind will always be an extremely memorable album for me because this is the first Nirvana album that I ever heard back in middle school. The other memory for me was listening to the song called "Something in the Way."


How Is the Rest of Nirvana's 2nd Studio Album?

The song Breed also deserves consideration for its excellent bass lines and good aggressive vocals by Kurt Cobain. "Breed" is one of the heaviest songs in this album like the song Negative Creep was the heaviest song in the previous album. Polly is the one song on this album that uses exclusively acoustic guitar and no other instruments. It is a nice relaxing tune after all of these heavy ones the band had put on the album. I would never have said this before but Nevermind is most certainly Nirvana’s best album in terms of commercial success and consistency in the songs. There really is nothing bad to say about one of grunge rock’s best albums of all time. Music has a way of making us feel better in our darkest hours because we can turn to something else and get our minds off of what may be troubling us. "Something in the Way" is a very good way to end the album and it has some violin it too. There is a sort of disclaimer here though about Nirvana: their lyrics don't make sense sometimes. The song Drain You turns into an atmospheric alternative tune. The song Stay Away builds up in intensity and the bass guitar may be the most effective done by Chris Novosellic. I still probably enjoy the album Bleach slightly more than Nevermind but this one is solid as well!!

"Stay Away"


How Does "Nevermind" Sound More Than 30 Years Later?

It has been now more than 30 years since this sort of landmark release in the history of grunge rock. Nevermind was released in September 1991 and I think that this album wanted to make a statement that alternative rock was here to stay. The bass guitar work can also be heard on the song In Bloom. And then comes one of the darkest most memorable riffs in Nirvana’s history in the song Come As You Are. At the time I would regularly listen to this album in the early 1990s, I never thought of Come As You Are as a dark song but it sure sounds like that now. "Breed" has some of the heaviest bass guitar work that you will hear as there is the “I don’t care” sort of attitude as Nirvana goes all out and creates some of the heaviest songs that we would have heard at the time. Even for someone such as myself that prefers the songs of Bleach over this album, Nevermind is the album that pretty much helped Nirvana become a household name in the alternative rock genre. The legacy of the album Nevermind is really solid and set in stone and it will always be remembered as the album that put Nirvana into the spotlight and sent them off into major success and stardom.


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Final Thoughts About the Famous "Nevermind" Album

The album really gets a furious kind of start because of the way that it begins. One could make that case and they wouldn’t be wrong. Even with the weird sounding solo, "In Bloom" still manages to be a good song. Stylistically, this second Nirvana is just full of melody infused with heavy guitar riffs pretty much in most of the album. Absent is the “feedback” sound of In Utero or the raw sound of the debut album Bleach and what you have instead is just a really heavy alternative rock album with a few ballad songs. If you want to analyze this album and look for similar musical parallels, Nevermind was the studio album that helped Nirvana get into musical mainstream popularity the same way that Metallica’s black album did. There are several songs that are noteworthy that an author could probably write a short story about the album.

Nevermind is the album that has the classic lineup that fans are most familiar with. This means that this is the album that has Kurt Cobain, Chris Novosellic, and Dave Grohl performing on it. All three members play their instruments very well.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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