Arguably one of the most popular bands of all times, Nirvana was founded in 1987 by lead guitarist and singer Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. Throughout its history, the band changed its composition various times, looking for the best drummer. The one that made history alongside his co-players was Dave Grohl, who joined Nirvana in 1990.
If you want to learn more about the rise and fall of this legendary group, read below.
Although the band was formed a couple of years before, it wasn’t until 1989 that it started making a name for itself. Nirvana signed to indie label Sub Pop and played at a small nightclub in New Jersey, performing in front of around 30 people. It was that performance that rapidly turned Nirvana into a global sensation, thanks to a strong worth-of-mouth.
The group rapidly established itself as an essential part of the Seattle grunge scene, with a 23-year old lead singer ahead of his time and with a deep-cutting voice. While alive, Cobain was many things, including a punk, pop, and rock star, a feminist, a hero, and a junkie. He knew how to set the public on fire and how to create a harmonious band where great minds don’t clash but work together to develop legendary and magical sounds.
The rise of the band
Nirvana is known for its unique sound, a combination of quiet verses and heavy choruses that create a perfect balance and portray Cobain’s complex personality, a struggle between his fragile side and the one of a warrior.
The second album of the band, Nevermind, was released in 1991 and was the one that set the members of the group amongst the most famous rockers in the world.
The first single on the album, Smells Like Teen Spirit, broke all records and is still considered the most successful track of the band. The album was sold in over 30 million copies worldwide and opened the scene to what was thought to be a long and fruitful career for Nirvana.
The road opener
The group became a worldwide sensation while the leader, Cobain, turned into the spokesman of a generation, the Generation X. Ripped jeans, dungarees, long and sleek hair, and sneakers became the ultimate uniform of rocker bands all over the globe, in complete antithesis to the flashy, shiny, and state-of-the-art costumes other rocker legends used to wear at their shows.
The tragic end
The history of one of the most prolific bands in the world is short, even by rocker standards. Nirvana only managed to release three albums before the tragic death of Kurt Cobain, in 1994. Following his suicide, the band fell apart as well, leaving millions of fans in tears.