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Nevermind (Super Deluxe)
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Jun 14, 2019

Nirvana’s Nevermind Makes Alternative Rock A Mainstream Staple

You’d have to be living under the rock in late 1991 and way into 1992 if you didn’t hear Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio, or watched its video on MTV, where it was heavily circulated. Also, you didn’t have to be a rock fan or someone who listens to alternative rock at that time to like the song. Nirvana, and its lead singer Kurt Cobain, had done something which no other alternative rock act before it has done. Because of that song, they brought alternative rock to the mainstream, so much so, that radio stations that normally would just play pop and R&B music, started playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, because everyone wanted to hear it. It was a big hit worldwide and was certainly very popular here in Manila. The song’s video was just as iconic and influential. If you watched the video, you would see many guys with long hair, bobbing their heads up and down in slow motion to match the beat of the song. That head-banging way of moving eventually became popular, so popular that dance clubs here in Manila, at that time, had specific nights for head-banging music. I remember I used to frequent a club which played such type of music and it was filled with well-dressed young people dancing with abandon, most of them head-banging, especially those with long hair. I was surprised the dance club had enough playing material for one whole night of head banging! It was a fun and unique experience for me – and it was not only guys who did it. It was also very popular among college girls. Where before, alternative rock and heavy metal music were mainly the domains of young boys and young men, because of Nirvana, and the band’s open tolerance to fans of all shapes and sizes and genders, a lot of young women were also introduced to alternative rock music. Their album Nevermind was not actually their debut album. It was already their second. But it was the one that would sell in the gazillions and make them a household name.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity
May 24, 2019

How Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged Show Catapulted a Band, Sealed a Legacy, and Expanded My Listening World

The other night I went to see the Meat Puppets. I was rather astonished when I saw the show announced at a midsized venue here in Portsmouth, N.H. The Meat Puppets were still touring?? The Arizona-based “cowpunk” band has been at it for the better part of four decades now. They put out their self-titled debut album all the way back in 1982. But, like most of the crowd at the show in Portsmouth, I did not become aware of them until they sat in with Nirvana during the latter’s MTV Unplugged in New York show late in 1993. Nirvana covered three Meat Puppets songs, all from the 1984 album Meat Puppets II, and Puppets members Curt and Cris Kirkwood joined them onstage for the performance. The show aired on MTV just a few months before Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, and was released posthumously as a CD that went multi-platinum. Anyone who saw the show or heard the album will remember Cobain’s scratchy, wailing vocals on the Puppets’ song “Lake of Fire.” It was one of his most stirring vocal performances (rivaled by his rendition of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” to close the show two songs later). The success of the MTV Unplugged show, and the popularity of those three covers in particular, took the Meat Puppets overnight from punk obscurity to rock stardom, paving the way for their top-40 hit “Backwater” off the 1994 album Too High to Die. Were it not for that three-song set with Nirvana, it’s very likely that the aging Kirkwood brothers would not still be touring and recording as the Meat Puppets today.

Written by @MattKanner from Portsmouth NH

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