‘Nevermind’ turns 20

September 24 will mark the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking album “Nevermind” by Nirvana, and that makes me feel really old.
In fact, when I read about this, I almost had a mid-life crisis at the tender age of 30.
I remember when the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came out. At the age of 10, I was not all that impressed. I was listening to my dad’s albums, which consisted of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton and I was just beginning to get into the Doors.
I was not tuned into this alternative rock that was apparently taking pop culture by storm. I remember hating 99 percent of the hair metal bands that my brother listened to.
Years later, way after Kurt Cobain killed himself, I decided to give them a chance. Why did I wait so long? Simple. It was the cool thing to do and I hated bandwagons. So I waited until Mr. Cobain was rarely mentioned anymore before I listened to “Nevermind” closely.
And it was good. Shortly afterwards I got my first job at a record store and learned quickly to pretend to hate the album, because that’s what record store folk are like. Enjoy the early work and pan the popular stuff. It’s a weird set of unspoken rules in that business.
Now here was a great band. I’m uncomfortable with calling them legendary because, as I have said many times to people, they only had three proper albums.
But they were excellent. The “Unplugged” album is in my top 10 favorite albums of all time, and considering I’ve heard thousands of albums in my life, that’s pretty impressive.
The album does not sound dated, and I don’t feel like 20 years have passed since that album came out. It’s not adding up. It does not make any sense.
So I’m a bit troubled by this. Twenty years. I was 10 when it came out. Perhaps turning 30 in June hadn’t affected me until now, when I have something to measure time with.
I recall the ‘90s well. My music came later, with Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots and Beck. I only saw the fading years of grunge, sad kids sporting shirts with Cobain on it acting like they listened to Nirvana before he offed himself.
But I do remember the jolt they had on pop culture. The flannel shirts, cardigans, greasy hair and mumble mouthed singing. I remember hair metal finally going away and loving that aspect of the grunge scene.
And that was 20 years ago? It seems like yesterday!
They are reissuing “Nevermind” as a three disc package. I will probably do an online review of it, as I have started doing those on www.dglobe.com. I’m looking forward to hearing it, but it will make me feel old.

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