After over six weeks of providing a rundown of 65 albums that I believe everyone should own we come to the final 10. In the days between now and Xmas I will give a run down of my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. Hopefully I have given you some thoughts as to new albums to check out and I hope that the final 10 will have you rewriting your Christmas lists and picking up a few of these brilliant albums.
Nirvana – Nevermind
Ok, I admit that choosing Nevermind as one of my top 10 albums can hardly be described as controversial. It is after all a staple for any fan of alternate rock or grunge rock. Nevermind is the second studio album by Nirvana and was released in 1991. It was the first album to feature drummer Dave Grohl.
The success of the single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in may ways drove the success of the album which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The album also produced three other successful singles: “Come as You Are“, “Lithium“, and “In Bloom“.
Now I am not going to pretend that Nevermind is an album of peerless quality, it most certainly is not. It is raw, in places it is lyrically weak and I will be a little sacrilegious in saying that the success of the album was to a large extent a case of being in the right place in the right time. After the punk revolution of the late 1970’s and post punk & New Wave in the early eighties music was largely in the doldrums, dominated by manufactured glitzy synth dominated pop music, created and produced to a fixed formula.
Along came Nirvana’s breakthrough hit song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ flouting convention for radio play and blowing through the music industry like a veritable hurricane of fresh air. Even with that I very much doubt that Nirvana would have earned such an esteemed position in rock history without Cobain’s suicide which ensured that Nirvana and Nevermind where hard wired into the annals of rock history.
Cobain’s lyrics had a disturbing focus on guns and death and perhaps gave early clues to his fragile state of mind. There are undoubtably some great songs on Nevermind and Cobain’s voice contains just the right amount of raw edge to express his angst. His vocal style has since been frequently imitated. The album is a little lacking in variety and is limited in style.
Nevermind is a historically important album and a must have for any serious music fan, its importance though is largely the effect it had on what came after. It marked a turning point, a move away from manufactured pop to good old guitar driven rock music. For that as much as for anything else we should give thanks and sustain the legend.
- 75 Essential Albums – #1 – Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
- 75 Essential Albums – #2 Van Morrison – No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
- 75 Essential Albums – #3 Stiff Little Fingers
- 75 Essential Albums – #4 The Levellers
- 75 Essential Albums – #5 Van Morrison – Into The Music
- 75 Essential Albums – #6 – The Clash – London Calling
- 75 Essential Albums – #7 Ramones
- 75 Essential Albums – #8 Nirvana – Nevermind
- 75 Essential Albums – #9 Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
- 75 Essential Albums – #10 RedHot Chili Peppers – Californication
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