AwayGoalsRule Football Forum

The Internet's Finest Football Forum

Get moneyback specials on your football betting at PaddyPower


It is currently Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:24 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: How Nirvana’s Nevermind Destroyed Grunge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:33 am 
Offline
General of the Army
General of the Army
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:45 pm
Posts: 41339
Location: Cloud Cuckooland
Highscores: 3
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Nirvana's defining work Nevermind, an album which bizarrely destroyed the genre it had helped to create.

Image
Nevermind: The Definition, Destruction & Downfall of Grunge

Many see Nirvana’s sophomore album as the zenith of that scene what we know as ‘Grunge’. A production masterclass, courtesy of Butch Vig, it took three freaks from a Washington logging town up to the dizzying heights of the Billboard Album Chart #1 spot; toppling the world’s biggest pop star, Michael Jackson, off his perennial perch.

To date, the album has gone diamond (10x platinum), selling over 30 million copies. This is still 14 million copies less than Whitney Houston’s ‘Bodyguard’ soundtrack released a year later, but pop culture is funny like that. Released September 24th 1991, it took a little under four months for the album to hit the number one spot in three countries, by which point it was shifting 300,000 units a week – at which point Nirvana’s old Label, Sub Pop, were presumably tying nooses over the fact that they did not have the resources to release it themselves.

The repercussions of the album’s magnitude were instantly (and continue to be) felt. It sounded the final death knell for cock-rock – a style of music already critically endangered (thank fuck) – and caused the entire paradigm of ‘coolness’ to shift from poodle haired walking phalluses to guys and girls who sounded, looked and smelled real (and in the case of smelled, usually really bad).

Quote:
Released September 24th 1991, it took a little under four months for the album to hit the number one spot in three countries, by which point it was shifting 300,000 units a week


The earliest grunge bands slapped together a bricolage of punk’s “you only need three chords” mentality, with a healthy dose of Sabbath’s dirge, doom and bone crushing fuzzed-to-fuck heaviness. The coinage of the word is hotly debated, though I tend to believe the report that Mark Arm of Green River/Mudhoney fame used it to describe his former band Mr. Epp and the Calculations in 1981.

The original Grunge bands can be found on the first two compilations released by ‘the’ Grunge label, Sub Pop. Sub Pop’s 100 and 200 collections featured future Seattle scene stalwarts Mudhoney, Tad, Green River, spoken word artist and darling of the scene Stephen Jesse Bernstein, Screaming Trees and Soundgarden – as well as Scratch Acid and Sonic Youth from further afield. Sonically, the Sub Pop sound owed everything to resident producer Jack Endino. He took the bands’ signature sound – the bass heavy drunken stagger, guitars wading through a swamp of multiple fuzz pedals, guttural plosive vocals – and sculpted it into something listenable; all the while retaining the scummy, sticky floored ambience of the live shows.

This sound is apparent on Nirvana’s first record, Bleach – also produced by Endino. Every track on each song is as harsh and torn as Cobain’s larynx. Once they moved to Geffen and placed Vig behind the desk, this was lost in the polished sheen of double tracked guitars and compression. Paradoxically, this sound came to define Grunge to the masses, yet is as far removed as it can be from the ‘real’ grunge sound – gloomy as the skies over the pacific northwest and heavy like the dread of spending another day in a white trash logging town.

By the time of its release, Grunge was already steaming ahead into gentrification. The success of Sub Pop had every corporate A&R man sniffing around Seattle’s dive bars for the next big thing. Bands they could market the hell out of in search of that lucrative ‘authenticity’ dollar. Just a month before Nevermind’s release, Pearl Jam launched ‘Ten’, and the arrival of what became backhandedly known as ‘Stadium Grunge’. Presumably, the word Grunge is tacked on to honour the band’s lineage through Green River and Mother Love Bone – as it sure as fuck can’t be anything to do with the sound.

Quote:
By the time of its release, Grunge was already steaming ahead into gentrification. The success of Sub Pop had every corporate A&R man sniffing around Seattle’s dive bars for the next big thing.


As Pearl Jam began to sell out stadiums, and Nirvana headlined festivals, Sub Pop and its roster of bands who had paved the way for their gargantuan royalty cheques chugged along in their wake. As Mudhoney’s Steve Turner is quoted as saying in Michael Azzerad’s excellent ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’, they became a ‘footnote’ – with singer Mark Arm adding ‘…that’s at best all we’ll be remembered as’. It’s arguable that this is not just applicable to Mudhoney, but the majority of the bands from that time – eclipsed as they were by an album, sold as a sound, that was not Grunge.

In Utero, Nirvana’s third and final album seems proof of this. Cobain hired Steve Albini – legendary punk producer and frontman of Big Black, Rapeman and Shellac – to put his touch on the album, presumably in the hopes that his credibility and talent for capturing rawness at its best would bring out the best in Cobain’s sickly beautiful, emotional outpourings.

But it was vetoed, and Scott Lit – the man who turned R.E.M’s oddball indie-pop into MOR dirgery – was brought in to ’save’ the mixes. And it was then, just six months before the personification of ‘Grunge’ died, that Grunge itself died. So by all means, treat Nevermind as the phenomenal body of work it is, but please don’t call it fucking Grunge.

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImageImage

ImageImage
Quote:
Goodnight, thank you, and may your god go with you


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: How Nirvana’s Nevermind Destroyed Grunge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:29 pm 
Offline
General
General
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:27 pm
Posts: 17205
Location: Over there.
Highscores: 2
I never would have thought of Pearl Jam as grunge, but tbh I thought Nirvana were, probably because everyone said this is grunge and played them - and not having heard their previous stuff I didn't know any different.

I much preferred Pearl Jam of the two anyway.

_________________
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Image
Image


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
 Post subject: Re: How Nirvana’s Nevermind Destroyed Grunge
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:25 pm 
Offline
Major General
Major General
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:28 pm
Posts: 11549
Highscores: 12
I've just finished reading 'Heavier than Heaven', a book on Cobain. Was an interesting read, I'm not a huge fan of Nirvana, but I do like some of their stuff. Had read all these conspiracy theories around his death before (surrounding Courtney) but after reading this book I find it hard to believe she did anything to purposefully contribute towards his death.

He was a talented, but incredibly messed up kid in the end. One of the most poignant things that stuck out in the book was him always trying to give off the impression that he hated the whole MTV concept, but then rang his manager to complain if he felt their videos weren't getting shown enough.

_________________
Erik The Viking wrote:
I personally hope Corden dies in a house fire.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron