Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nirvana - Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition coming in September 2011

Nirvana released the original Nevermind album in September of 1991, and turned the entire music industry on it's head. The album has become the iconic grunge album, and, in the minds of many, it gave a voice to an entire generation that, until then had almost no voice whatsoever. It's overnight rise also laid the groundwork for the band's equally rapid, and tragic demise. Kurt Cobain, the band's singer and primary songwriter, had a great deal of personal demons associated with the band's sudden fame, and those demons are believed to be one of the main motivations of his 1994 suicide.

Now, 20 years after Nevermind's landmark release, the album that heralded the downfall of the hair bands, and the rise of an underground scene, has clearly left an indelible mark on the music industry, and on our musical culture in general. To celebrate the incredible impact this album had, a 20th Anniversary edition will be released in September of 2011.

According to Nirvana's official web site, the album will be released in a 4-CD/1-DVD Deluxe edition- containing "unreleased recordings, rarities, b-sides, BBC radio appearances, alternative mixes, rare live recordings and an unreleased concert in its entirety on DVD."  The official Nirvana website has also hinted that there will be other 20th anniversary events and releases throughout the remainder of the year.

Ironically, the original album's breakout single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was only intended to generate interest, and the follow up single "Come As You Are" was expected to have the potential to be a hit by the record company. However, like most things surrounding Nirvana, things did not go as expected- "Smells Like Teen Spirit" took off like wildfire fueled by the constant airplay of the song's video on MTV. Kurt Cobain claims to have written the song as an attempt to write a something that sounded like the Pixies. It's hard to ascribe any real meaning to the lyrics, considering that Kurt Cobain admits to writing them literally minutes before recording the vocal tracks - then has gone on to make vague statements about how the song describes his thoughts and feelings about his generation, or about how the song is about the idea of a teenage revolution. Ultimately, I think that the idea of the song lyrics skirting the line between being a meaningful statement, and being basically meaningless is the key to it's appeal.

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