Nirvana’s “Nevermind”: 20 Years Later

Spencer Cain

Tomorrow is the twentieth anniversary of the release ofNirvana‘s iconic second album Nevermind. While I was merely a young boy, I recall the first time I heard it in full and what an impact it had. Okay, sorry. That was a little sappy – but seriously! Kurt Cobain‘s epic vocals and angsty lyrics resonated with everyone from suburban teens to adults in the middle of Wisconsin.

Listening to Nevermind now is a glorious time capsule. You’re immediately brought back to a world governed by distressed jeans, flannel, and filthy hair. It’s always powerful in its grungy glory. In fact, this past New York Fashion Week, I had a particularly memorable experience hearing a haunting acoustic cover of “Lithium” during the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti show.

While “Smells Like Teen Spirit” may be the most famous track on the album, every song is timeless. My favorite has always been the tragically underrated “Polly.” More than 30 million copies of the album have sold to date, and I’m sure the numbers will only increase in light of the anniversary.

The album’s co-producer Butch Vig was taken aback by its extraordinary success and spoke to NPR about the uncanny influence Nevermind had on pop culture. Listen to the interview here and be sure to throw on some Nirvana this weekend. I feel like taking it back to basics and listening to Nevermind on my Discman, but chances are it’s a little too scratched at this point.

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