I was born in 1977 so Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991) came on right about the time I was hitting high school and going through all the angsty, glorious bullshit that comes along with that territory. I remember how, in 1990-1991, the airwaves were dominated by hair metal, Paula Abdul, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli and all kinds of embarrassing happy nonsense.
And then the recession began and it was like someone flicked a switch. That Smells Like Teen Spirit song was everywhere out of nowhere, that video with the Goth cheerleaders was on every screen. Then came Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill and Alice in Chains and all kinds of dark but weighty music. The kids of my generation finally had our own records to put on when that girl said no or we didn’t make the team or when we needed something just loud enough to drown out the sounds of our parents fighting over money.
SPIN magazine has put together a look back at Nevermind (the most important album of the 1990’s) which will hit newsstands (and your iPad) on July 26th. If the cover below doesn’t get you excited to take that trip back, then you were probably never a real teenager at all…
The story behind this iconic photo of Kurt is below: