Thursday, 16 April 2015

N is for Nirvana



Nirvana was an alternative rock band that consisted of lead singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Dave Grohl. They rose to fame following the unexpected success of their breakout single, Smells Like Teen Spirit. The song would propel their second album, Nevermind, to sell over 30 million copies worldwide, making them one of the most successful bands of all time.

The band was formed in 1987, and their first album, Bleach, was released independently in 1989. The album was critically acclaimed, but failed to make any impact on the charts. During this time, the band went through a number of drummers, before finally settling upon Dave Grohl in 1990. The trio set off to record a follow-up album, and Nevermind was released by their new record label in 1991.

The first single off their second album was the album opener, Smells Like Teen Spirit. The song quickly became a hit after its music video was placed on heavy rotation by MTV. It remains their most recognizable song, with more than 10 million copies sold. The album also produced three further singles, Come as You Are, Lithium and In Bloom. Its success is often credited for bringing alternative rock into the limelight.

Their third album, In Utero, was released in 1993. It produced the singles Heart-Shaped Box, All Apologies/Rape Me and Pennyroyal Tea. It carried over the band's success from their previous album, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200. But the band itself was not fated to last much longer. In 1994, following several years of living with a drug problem, lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home from what was believed to be a self-inflicted shotgun wound.

Nirvana is still considered one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Their legacy lives on in the form of their music, and the many bands they have undoubtedly inspired over the years. So in honor of that legacy, I have chosen to highlight their song, Smells Like Teen Spirit, since it was here that they went from being unknown to being considered the flagship band of an entire generation.


38 comments:

  1. I always knew of them and liked a few of their songs, but I didn't like much of what they did. Curt headlined news a lot... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. I guess you could say that the lifestyle went hand in hand with the music they were making. :)

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  2. Influential and good. That should be stressed, too.

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    1. They were definitely one of the best alternative rock bands of their time.

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  3. It’s officially the second half of A to Z. Time to catch that second wind, rest up on Sunday, then it’s that mad dash toward the finish line!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    N is for Numerology

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    1. That's right, Stephen. It's hard to believe we've crossed the halfway mark already.

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  4. They ushered in grunge and the Seattle sound.

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    1. Yes. Now it's hard to believe grunge and alternative rock in general weren't considered commercially viable by the record executives, once upon a time.

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  5. Yes!!!!!! Nirvana!

    The best "N" of anyone in the blogosphere.

    I remember what I was doing and where I was when I found out Kurt Cobain died.
    Yes, I was a kid but that memory persists.

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    1. Glad to see that you like the band, Lauren. And just like you, I was a kid when Cobain died in 94. Can't say I can remember what I was doing when I found out though.

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  6. Mighty popular group in my middle school days. Gosh that makes me feel old. :)

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  7. In Utero is a damn fine album. Quite sad to consider Kurt's state of mind when making it though.

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  8. Don't think I've heard any of their songs before. I hate to hear about artistes that die from drug use. So annoying. Wasted talent to me.

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    1. I know, right? I was just watching Wizard of Oz again last night, and falling in love with Judy Garland all over again, only to remember that she'd died from a drug overdose, almost 20 years before I was even born. :(

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  9. So sad Cobain died when he did. But Grohl has definitely gone on to amazing things.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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    1. So true, with the success of the Foo Fighters already coming close to eclipsing that of Nirvana.

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  10. Oh. Nirvana. I remember EXACTLY where I was when I hear that opening riff to Smells Like Teen Spirit and where I was when I first heard Kurt Cobain was dead. These guys defined the early 90s. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains.

    Thee guys really "got" me and what I was doing at the time.

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    1. You and me both, Timothy. As I stated in my comment above, I remember what I was doing and where I was when I found out Kurt Cobain died.

      Their music had a huge impact on me during my formative years.

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