Nevermind is an album that means a lot to me. I think we all have albums that mean a lot to us for different reasons throughout our lives. For me Nevermind is definitely one of those albums. It may even be the most important album I’ve ever heard. Let me explain…
Rewind six years. It’s 2004 and I’m a chubby little twelve year old starting to get his first zits. I was sitting on a park bench talking to an older boy who lived nearby. I was always impressed by how much he knew about music and he’d often tell me about bands he liked or new music he’d discovered. That evening was no exception and he passed me his CD player (No ipods in those days kids!) and told me to listen to the first track. I put the earphones in and hit play. The opening riff of Smells Like Teen Spirit came flooding into my ears and I was forever changed. I listened to the whole song loving every drum beat, guitar note and lyric.
You’ve got to understand that at the age of twelve the only music I was aware of was the mass produced pop crap that gets sold to kids. My only music experience consisted of crap pop songs by crap bands such as Steps, S Club 7 and Hear Say. You can tell how bad they were by the fact none of them are around today and most readers outside of the UK will not have heard of them. God I cringe at how shite my music taste was. But hey I was twelve!
Safe to say however Nevermind ignited a fire in me that has yet to fade. It was like my eyes were opened. I suddenly realised how artificial the “music” I’d been listening to was. I realised music didn’t have to be bland, boring and safe. It could be energetic, crazy, soulful, exciting, dangerous and most importantly inspiring.
Upon seeing my enthusiasm this friend of mine burnt me a copy (Kris, Dave if your reading this I owe you a pint!) and I rushed home and just listened to Smells Like Teen Spirit over and over and over and over and over again. The next day I listened to the whole album on the school bus. I felt sure the rest of the album wouldn’t be half as good as Smells Like Teen Spirit…I was so fucking wrong. Every song that followed filled me with the same sense of joy and excitement I’d felt listening to Teen Spirit. From In Bloom, Come As You Are, Lthium, Polly, Something In The Way and everything in between I was euphoric. It had never occured to me that an album could have no filler and that every song could be every bit as good as the single. The sense of joy I felt listening to that album is something I’ve only felt a few times since. Within days I was proudly going round school telling anyone who listened that my favourite band was Nirvana and that Nevermind was the best album in the world. For about six months Nevermind never left my CD player and when it did it was only because my mum had taken me into town so I could buy another Nirvana CD. To this day I’m still proud to say that the first album I ever bought was Nirvana’s From The Muddy Banks Of The Whishkah live album. That was my gateway into the rest of Nirvana’s songs. From that CD I discovered the likes of Heart Shaped Box, Scentless Apprentice, Negative Creep and School as well as Kurt’s amazing scream. For Christmas that year my parents got me every Nirvana album, from Bleach to Unplugged In New York. During Christmas dinner I made them let me show them All Apologies. Even my Dad, a more old school rocker who preferred AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Lynard Skinard said it was good.
But Nevermind didnt just open me up to Nirvana’s discography. It opened me up to Rock And Roll and all the genres that fall under that vast category. From Grunge to Punk, Classic Rock and Funk, I dived in and explored all the glorious bands that danced to the beat of Rock And Roll. I think today my taste in music is pretty good. There isnt a genre I don’t like but the bands I listen to most often certainly fall under the genre of Rock and Roll. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Green Day, Blink 182, Frank Turner, Sex Pistols, NoFx, Bad Religion, Rise Against, My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds To Mars, Radiohead, Slipknot, Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Blondie and of course Foo Fighters. Rock music has continued to flourish and grow all the way from Never Mind The Bollocks to American Idiot, and had it not been for Nevermind I may never have had the pleasure of enjoying it.
Nevermind will always have special place in my heart and this is a birthday truly worth celebrating. So either dig out your 91′ copy or go out and but the 20th anniversary edition, sit back, relax and enjoy.
So here’s to Kurt, Kris and Dave. Music just wouldn’t be the same had you three not come together.
Rock And Roll will never die. Nor will Nirvana.