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The Rise, Fall, and Influence of Nirvana


Nirvana is possibly one of the most influential bands of all time. They led the grunge movement of the 90s, and inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of artists today. When you go outside it’s likely that you’ll see someone wearing a shirt with their iconic happy face logo. But how many people know the true story of Nirvana?

The year is 1987, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic had just formed a small band, The Sellouts, a tribute band to Creedence Clearwater Revival, which was a rock band from California. Although Kurt Cobain is most famous for being a guitarist and singer, he was actually the drummer. Krist Novoselic did vocals and played guitar, and Steve Newman was on bass. Eventually, the group split up and started a new project, this time, with Kurt on vocals and guitar, Krist on bass, and they recruited Aaron Burckhard for drums.

They switched names around a lot, though eventually landed on the name Nirvana, because Kurt “wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty.” They first performed under that name on March 19th, 1988 in Tacoma, Washington. They played with Lush and Vampire Lezbos. They cycled through many drummers after losing contact with Burckhard, and went through Dale Crover, Dave Foster, and Chad Channing.

They finally released their debut album, Bleach, which was released in June of 1989. It quickly grew popular, and Nirvana went on their very first tour all around America. They had one member, Everman, who was kind of like a second guitarist. However he quit during the tour.

One year later, Channing leaves the band, and records a new single with the drummer from the 80s punk band Mudhoney, Dan Peters. Dale Crover came back to play with Nirvana during a tour, though he did not stay around. In September, Nirvana was introduced to its well-known drummer, Dave Grohl, and was almost immediately accepted into the band.

Nirvana changed record labels and eventually released their most famous album, Nevermind. The album, including songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Bloom”, was incredibly successful, selling around 30 million copies around the entire world. With the release of Nevermind, tensions in the band began to rise, and the members began to disagree on many things such as songwriting.

In 1993, they released their album In Utero, which would unfortunately be their last. Some sources thought that the album was unreleasable, and the band was unhappy with the mixes. There was a lot of conflict over it, but it eventually was released and very quickly topped the charts in American and the U.K. Later that year, Nirvana played on MTV Unplugged, a series on MTV from the 90s and early 2000s. They did many covers and pulled up multiple smaller musicians, and it overall had a positive reaction.

While Nirvana was on tour in 1994, Courtney Love who was Curbain’s wife, found Kurt unconscious in his hotel room. He was hospitalized, and during his hospitalization got addicted to heroin again. He entered rehab and left, going back to Seattle. He was found dead a week

later. Following this, Nirvana’s sales skyrocketed. Thousands of people were mourning the loss of Cobain, and there were ceremonies held for him shortly after.

Dave Grohl formed a new band that same year called Foo Fighters. Novoselic was originally planned to join as well, though it was eventually decided against to avoid any conflict in the band. Foo Fighters have gone on to be incredibly popular as well, with tracks such as “Everlong” and “The Pretender.”Krist has decided to refocus on political activism, and is now in a music group called 3rd Secret.

Needless to say, Nirvana is an incredible band full of talented people. They’ve opened many doors for other alternative artists and bands, making the music industry more diverse than before. Without Nirvana, there wouldn’t be bands like Weezer, Bush, Green Day, and even Oasis.

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