Thirty years ago today, September 24, 1991, perhaps the greatest and most comet-like rock band of all time released perhaps the greatest and most comet-like rock album of all time, Nevermind. And fans all over the world are remembering its impact, starting with Seattle, the city in which it was born.
The record, which has some of the most notorious album art, too, was the band’s second release, after its 1989 album, Bleach. Nevermind has sold over 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Sadly, though, the band and its lead singer, Kurt Cobain, in many ways, burnt out under the heat the album created. Cobain died three years after its release, in 1994. Nirvana’s drummer, Dave Grohl, of course, went on to form Foo Fighters and the band’s bassist, Krist Novoselic, has since started the Washington group, Giants in the Trees.
In Seattle, longtime music writer, Charles Cross, wrote about his memories of the record in The Seattle Times. Cross, who was there in the moment, has written several books about the Seattle music scene, including Heavier Than Heaven. In the piece, Cross remembers how the album wasn’t an immediate success, but then changed the band, its lead singer Cobain and the world.
The Emerald City, thanks to Nirvana and other bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, all of which released debut records around this time, became a hotbed for music executives and A&R reps. The city still feels the effects today of the massive music to come, from bands like Nirvana.
Many others around the globe shared their feelings about the album, here are some of our favorites: