Nevermind: An Album that Defined an Entire Generation


We all have music that we like. Some people like rap music and some other people might like hard rock and heavy metal. Some songs are more successful than others, but some are way more successful than others. An album that defined a generation and popularized a not well known genre is Nevermind

Nirvana is a band from Seattle, Washington. The lineup when Nevermind was released consisted of guitarist and vocalist Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl, and bass guitarist Krist Novoselic. Before Nevermind they had an album named Bleach that was not too successful. The album only sold about 40,000 copies. They were just a small band from Seattle at the time. When Nevermind was first released, no one batted an eye. They sold around 45,000 copies initially and the label hopes to sell 250,000 copies of Nevermind. The label decided to release a single to promote the album. This single was the song we all know and love “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” After this single was released sales started ramping up. The album sold so well that the record company canceled all the marketing for the album because it wasn’t needed. The album would end up selling over 10 million copies. 10 million copies means it was certified diamond. Only 92 albums have ever been certified diamond. 

The album is a grunge album. The grunge genre is a type of alternative rock and metal combo. Some grunge bands incorporate more rock or more metal than others. Grunge band Alice In Chains leaned toward metal and Nirvana leaned towards rock more. The lyrics are typically angst-fueled and talk about topics such as drug addiction and social alienation. 

The Nevermind album itself is a masterpiece. There are no songs that are skippable on the Album. Even songs that are deeper cuts, such as “Stay Away,” I remember hearing on the radio at some time in my life. This album was played on the radio a lot. I only discovered this actual album a couple of years ago, but I remember some of the songs being played since I was 8 years old. This album is very catchy. The main song on the album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” has a very memorable beginning riff that if you played it, a lot of people would instantly recognize the song. Another example is the song “On A Plain.” I distinctly remember it being played on the radio. After I heard Kurt sing the lines, “love myself better than you”, I instantly remembered a lot of the song because I had heard it on the radio as a kid.

This album was released in 1991. When I was a kid in the early to mid 2010’s, this album was still constantly being played on the radio. At that point, the album was 20 years old and it still holds up even to this day when it’s now over 30 years old. It defined an entire generation’s music. Teens in the 1990’s ate this album up. Even today in 2022, teens are still wearing Nirvana T-Shirts and are listening to Nirvana. I know that because I sure do.