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

Updated on September 26, 2018
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

The front cover for the album Nevermind

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Nirvana's Nevermind album is the one that really catapulted them to commercial success

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 hits. 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.” 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.

What are some of the other successful songs on the album?

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.

The rest of the review of the album Nevermind

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. The heaviness of the album continues with the song Territorial Pissings. The song has some strange dialogue by Kurt Cobain before getting into a fast and heavy grunge tune. 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!!

The official music video for the song Smells Like Teen Spirit

What would happen after the release of Nevermind?

Following Nevermind, Nirvana would release Incesticide in 1992 and their final album in Utero in 1993. It is a real shame that the band’s career came to a sudden end like it did. The band was talented for sure and they had so many fans. However, before their abrupt end, Nirvana would record a LIVE session in New York City in 1994. Fans of grunge rock will also enjoy albums by Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden.

Favorite song on the album Nevermind

What is your favorite song on the album Nevermind?

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The song Come As You Are (LIVE in New York)

The song called Stay Away (another great song on the album)

The name of Nirvana's last official studio album

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The song On a Plain

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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