30 years since Nirvana - Nevermind

Op 24 september 1991 bracht de band Nirvana het album Nevermind uit. Het album werd zeer goed ontvangen door critici en een onverwacht groot commercieel succes. Het was het eerste album dat ‘Grunge’ onder een breed publiek populair maakte, waarmee het einde van de glamrock en hairmetal een feit werd. Op deze pagina: een terugblik op een album dat een onverwacht grote mijlpaal in de rockmuziek werd.

Studio recordings

The first ideas for the second album came at the beginning of 1990. Record company Sub Pop faced financial problems and the band started looking for an alternative with eight rough demos in their pocket. Nirvana chose DGC Records (part of Geffen Records) and Nevermind was finally recorded between May and June 1991. Bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl had already completed their parts within a few days, while Kurt Cobain took much longer to finalise his guitars, lyrics and vocal parts.

Unexpected success

On 24 September 1991, 46,251 copies of the album were distributed to US music stores, 35,000 of which were in regions where their first album 'Bleach' had been popular. The album became such a hit that Geffen temporarily paused production on all their other albums to meet the high demand. Geffen's CEO Ed Rosenblatt told the New York Times a few years later: "We didn't do anything. It was just one of those 'Get out of the way and duck' records." As of January 1992, the album was selling 300,000 copies a week, while Geffen's original goal was to sell some 250,000 copies in total.

Cultural impact

The album brought the grunge movement to a worldwide audience for the first time. The album proved that there were substantial commercial opportunities in alternative rock, resulting in an explosion of new rock bands and albums. Author Michael Azerrad wrote that the album was 'made for, by and about a group of young people who had been ignored or not taken seriously for years. Until that moment.' Today, the album still regularly achieves high positions in rankings of the best albums of all time. 

"What's unusual about Nirvana's Nevermind is that it caters to neither a mainstream audience nor the indie rock fans who supported the group's debut album." - Karen Schoemer, New York Times

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