Why Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Fans Are Somewhat Responsible For The Grunge Revolution.

Artist : Nirvana 

Album : Nevermind 

Released : September 24, 1991

M.M. Album Rating : 5/5 (The Kickoff Of The Grunge Revolution.) 

September 24, 1991. The day the now legendary album from the trio Nirvana called “Nevermind” was released. At first, no one really cared. Revisionist history likes to push the narrative that people went out in droves to buy it, but nothing was further from the truth. It barely debuted inside the billboard top 200 in its first week released. The trio’s record company Geffen didn’t even figure that the album would sell 100,000 copies. Yet a few months later the record would shock everyone after the success of the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and start selling in huge numbers. 

Here’s another example of revisionist history when it comes to this record. Many people who will scroll this post through their Facebook feed will be ready to type the tired “this ain’t metal” response. Over three quarters of the people who say that now ran out and either bought this album in late 1991/early 1992 or borrowed it from someone who did. That’s what people seem to forget now is that at the time this album was taking off it was hard rock/heavy metal fans that were buying it. 

At that time the record was promoted to the hard rock/heavy metal fan base. Both on radio, on TV, and live. Let’s not forget that Nirvana wasn’t only featured on shows like “Headbangers Ball” but also courted by Metal bands to tour with them. It was actually Kurt Cobain who really wanted nothing to do with the hard rock/heavy metal community when he declined to be the opening act on the massive Guns N’ Roses/Metallica Stadium tour of 1991, and also declined to tour with Pantera in 1992. So how would that have been an option if hard rock/heavy metal fans weren’t buying Nirvana’s music ? 

Eventually with the success of all the other Seattle based bands, Nirvana would become the poster children of what was called the Grunge Movement. When Nevermind first came out no one even knew what Grunge was yet. Also the backlash from the metal community started when fans saw the commercial decline of Metal artists through the 1990s, and the temporary extinction of Glam Metal/Hair bands. Still not sure why Nirvana was blamed for all that. It’s not Nirvana’s fault that Metallica, and Megadeth sold out. Or that Rob Halford, and Bruce Dickinson left Priest and Maiden. Or that even Headbangers Ball was having bands like Blind Mellon, and Pearl Jam on their shows. 

Simply stated, I find it truly laughable now that so-called metal purists snub this record now, especially since in the early 1990s they praised it. I do feel bad for the bands that were pigeonholed by the Grunge movement who made some excellent music at the time that was ignored because of what the Grunge movement became. That be said, many hard rock/metal fans are to blame for that too. So for any hard rock/metal fan who hates the Grunge scene, Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, etc, give yourself a pat on the back. You helped make this record successful. Sometimes the truth hurts. But it is the truth no matter how you try to spin it. 


Track listing

All songs written by Kurt Cobain, except where noted.

Side One 

1″Smells Like Teen Spirit”(Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic) 5:00

2″In Bloom” – 4:14

3″Come as You Are” – 3:39

4″Breed” – 3:03

5″Lithium” – 4:17

6″Polly” – 2:57

Side Two 

7″Territorial Pissings” (Cobain, Chet Powers) – 2:22

8″Drain You” – 3:43

9″Lounge Act” – 2:36

10″Stay Away” – 3:32

11″On a Plain” – 3:16

12″Something in the Way”

Jesse Vejar

Jesse Vejar

Executive Editor - From Tucson, Arizona. Electrical Engineer/Music Historian. Lover of all genres of music. Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers. Fav Metal Bands, Priest, Maiden.
Jesse Vejar