Nirvana Photography


It is hard to overstate the role that Nirvana played in the evolution of alternative rock. The band—comprised of frontman/guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Dave Grohl—first broke out of Seattle with 1989’s blistering debut Bleach, featuring grungy musical influences and soul-bearing lyrics that turned mainstream rock upside down.

However, Nirvana’s second collection, Nevermind, is truly what sent them into the stratosphere—thanks to aggressive anthems “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are,” “Lithium,” and “In Bloom.” Nevermind went on unseat the dominant hair metal genre of the early ’90s and become a staple—and eventually a cultural centerpiece—of Generation X.

The group’s follow-up (and what turned out to be their final album) In Utero shifted in a more cerebral direction but was nonetheless welcomed by core fans and critics alike. Nirvana’s powerful sound reshaped modern rock and served to pioneer grunge as an entirely new genre, but their short career ended all too soon with leader Cobain’s tragic suicide in 1994. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

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