Very few musical “events” transform the pop music landscape – and pop culture – overnight. But Nirvana’s “Nevermind” absolutely did just that. Coming seemingly out of the blue (but really from the Pacific Northwest), Nirvana gave power to the disillusioned children of the ‘80s, the latchkey kids and wannabe punks who were just searching for authenticity. In the blink of an eye, the hair metal, glam and slick production of the late-1980s and early-‘90s became silly and passe’. Cardigans, corduroys and dirty hair was where it was at. But it wasn’t just a look. Oh no. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” remains an anthem of the disenfranchised. “Come As You Are,” “In Bloom” and “Lithium” became alt-rock and mainstream radio standards. And they still are. And that was just essentially side 1 of “Nevermind,” an album of noise and beauty, anger and sadness, and irony and truth. All of those things made up Nirvana.
February 16, 2021