Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the zeitgeist will hit, and Nirvana's 1991 sophomore release turned out to be the place where alternative rock crashed into the mainstream.
No matter how much anguish there is on Nevermind, it's bracing because Kurt Cobain exorcises his demons through evocative wordplay and mangled screams paired with the band's a tremendous, unbridled power that transcends the pain, turning into pure catharsis. And that's as key to the record's success as Cobain's songwriting, since Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl help turn this into music that is gripping, powerful, and even fun.
Following a European tour supporting Sonic Youth in the late summer 1991, Nevermind was released in September, supported by a quick American tour. While DGC was expecting a moderately successful release, in the neighborhood of 100,000 copies, Nevermind immediately became a smash hit, quickly selling out its initial shipment of 50,000 copies and creating a shortage across America. What helped the record become a success was "Smells Like Teen Spirit," a blistering four-chord rocker that was accompanied by a video that shot into heavy MTV rotation. By the beginning of 1992, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" had climbed into the American Top Ten and Nevermind bumped Michael Jackson's much-touted comeback album Dangerous off the top of the album charts. By February, the album had been certified triple platinum.
The sound of Seattle hit world conquering proportions in 1991 when Nirvana emerged with the post punk apocalyptic classic Nevermind. The album exploded across the world making No. 1 in the US and a pretty respectable No. 7 in the UK at the time. The knockout single from the album, Smells Like Teen Spirit also added to their chart worthiness making No.6 in the U.S. and even No.7 in the U.K. upon it’s re-release.
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