Nirvana’s second studio record Nevermind is one of the most important albums in rock history, even 30 years later.
Whether it’s Kurt Cobain’s lyrics and massive guitar riffs or Krist Novoselic’s perfect basslines or Dave Grohl’s cymbal smashes, it’s still a rock staple.
The album was recorded at Sound City in Van Nuys, California. It sold 6,000 copies in its first week. Five months later, the album was selling 300,000 copies a week.
The album was released on Sept. 24,1991. Butch Vig produced the record.
This year marks the 30th anniversary.
Nevermind fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.
With the now iconic opener “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Cobain kicked 80s hair metal bands to the curb saying the nerds are here to stay.
It cannot be understated how smart it was for the band to choose that song as the opening track. It’s a perfect introduction to Nirvana for newcomers and it’s lasted much longer than grunge itself.
The hits keep coming with “In Bloom,” an intense riff and loud bass line followed by Cobain’s great lyrics guarantees everyone will singing along.
“With Come As You Are,” Cobain tells his fanbase to “come sept in bleach and as a memoria.” In another smart move, this song follows the sound of “In Bloom” with a melodic bass line from bassist Novoselic and drawn-out vocals from Cobain.
“Breed” opens with an exhausting drum roll from Grohl, followed by Cobain’s simple but effective scream-filled lyrics. “Breed” is a little lacking with its lyrics but it earns points for its sound.
“Lithium” makes up for where “Breed” lost points with great lyrics about religion and “finding the friends in your head.”
“Polly,” a much softer track, is a lot darker than it may seem. There is more than meets the ear here but only if you listen carefully.
“Territorial Pissings” – now this is what you call a scream fest. There is so much screaming you can actually hear Cobain losing his voice.
“Drain You” is a song that many Nirvana fans consider one of the band’s best. It’s not hard to see why. It has a great hook, great lyrics and almost guarantees a second listen.
At the start of “Lounge Act,” Cobain is moaning and what follows is the usual no holds barred sound that’s expected from Nirvana along with awesome lyrics about Cobain’s prior relationships.
It’s almost absurd to think the best tracks on Nevermind were saved for the end. They are “Stay Away,” “On A Plain,” and “Something In The Way.”
This shows Cobain knew how to balance out a great rock album. Just like his favourite bands, the Pixies and Black Sabbath.
Nevermind isn’t just a great rock record, it has transcended grunge and even music as a whole. It’s one of those records that just doesn’t come around often: a perfect album from start to finish.