Unbelievably, today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind album on September 24, 1991.
Growing up in the Midwest, I remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time in late fall or winter of 1991/1992. That next summer, along with Metallica and Dr. Dre, it was on the mix tape that my friends and I played basketball to.
At that time in my life, the churches I had been exposed to thought that any music not recorded by an artist who marketed himself or herself as explicitly “Christian” was satanic music. Satan’s music sounded pretty good to me.
A few months after Nevermind was released, all 80’s hair bands disappeared from the radio. Nevermind knocked Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the #1 album position, and it was a pop culture revolution. Flannel shirts and combat boots became cool.
One of the reasons that Nevermind was so cool was because the musical style and singing style of Kurt Cobain was so raw and punk-influenced, totally different from the stadium rock of the late 80’s.
If you’re a Nirvana fan, you’ve heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit” a million times, but you may have never heard this. Listen to Kurt Cobain’s isolated vocal track from “Smells Like Teen Spirit”…