RANVEER IMRAN PHUKAN
Revisiting a classic album.
“Nevermind”, Nirvana’s second album, propelled them from underground grunge icons in Seattle to worldwide fame and success. It helped bring about the “grunge revolution” all across the globe as young, disillusioned teenagers connected with Kurt Cobain’s intense lyrics.
Nevermind was unlike any other album released in its time. The lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was an overnight chart-topper and became an anthem for the 90’s. Other highlights include “Come As You Are”, “Lithium”, “Polly”, “On A Plain”, “Something In The Way” and “Endless Nameless”, a hidden track at the end of the album on some copies of the record.
The name of the album, Nevermind, symbolised Cobain as it was a metaphor for his attitude in life and was grammatically incorrect. Cobain always felt that he was a misfit in society, growing up in the conservative logging town of Aberdeen, Washington on the northwest coast of the US and considered himself an outcast. His raw voice and lyrics, while perhaps indistinguishable on the tracks, were nevertheless powerful and voiced the feelings of young people all over who put him on a pedestal making him (against his wishes) a spokesman for an entire generation.
Nevermind was as influenced by pop music of the 70’s as he was by the growing popularity of punk in the 80’s and meshed the two together to produce an insofar, untouched genre of music. It perfected chord sequences that were harmonically indeterminate (neither major nor minor) and wrote songs that combined pop hooks with dissonant guitar rhythms. The Nevermind album cover shows a baby swimming toward a US dollar bill on a fishhook. According to Cobain, he conceived the idea while watching a television programme on water births with Grohl.
The songs all follow a verse, chorus, verse format. Unlike other rock albums of its time there are no long 5 minute guitar solos but instead simple songs with crude guitaring and intense screaming! In my opinion, it is the simplicity of the songs that makes the album such a great success as the music and the lyrics seem to simplify life for a disgruntled teen and help to give vent to suppressed emotions and frustrations (a note from personal experience).
Alternative rockNevermind sold over 26 million copies, changed the musical landscape and rocked its foundations. Nevermind not only popularised the Seattle grunge movement, but brought alternative rock as a whole into the mainstream. Despite it being over 16 years since its release, Nevermind retains its iconic status.
Nevermind Artist: Nirvana Kurt Cobain (lead vocals and guitar), Krist Novoselic (bass guitar), David Grohl (drums, backing vocals)
Release date: September 24, 1991 Expression and the right to express is vital, anyone can be artistic.
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