by Eben Griger
The album that thrust the grunge movement into the spotlight, Nevermind, came out 26 years ago this week. Along with the Live in New York performance, Nevermind stands as one of Nirvana’s most popular albums, giving us tracks like “Come as You Are” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
Along with albums like Pearl Jam’s Ten and Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger (which both released in 91; it was a good year), Nevermind helped shape 90s culture into what we all think of today. The flannel, the long hair, the boots that are so expensive there’s no way anyone in a garage band could afford them – you know the look.
While Nirvana didn’t exactly start the grunge scene (we have bands like Mudhoney and the Melvins to thank for that), Nevermind is regarded by many as “the album that killed hair metal,” and a similar move hasn’t been seen in the music industry since. Imagine a new album coming out and within the week anyone who liked Taylor Swift is considered out of touch (she’s #1 on iTunes; shut up. I know what kids are in to these days).
Other releases in 1991 were Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, and 2Pac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now. If you ever wanted to pick out a year where the trend changed from “one, maybe two big genres” to “everyone has their own taste,” this is it.
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