Saturday, September 24

20 Things You Didn't Know About Nirvana's Nevermind Album

On September 24, 1991, Nirvana’s album, Nevermind, was released. One of the most influential albums of the past two decades, it ushered in a new sound that shed the gloss of the 80s, and singlehandedly defined a generation. I was only in grade 6 back then as well as I wasn't musically inclined that time until I got to listen to their songs back in 1994.

The Album Cover 20 Years Ago

The success of Nevermind paved the way for Seattle grunge bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden, and its influence can still be felt to this day. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of this seminal album, we’ve compiled a list of things you might not know about the album that changed it all.

1. Nevermind wasn’t Kurt Cobain’s first choice for the album title. It was actually supposed to be called Sheep.

2. Dave Grohl wasn’t the only drummer on the album. Ex-Nirvana member Chad Channing, who was Nirvana’s drummer for their previous album Bleach, played the drums on the song “Polly.”

3. Inspiration for Nirvana’s biggest hit came from a line of graffiti Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna wrote on a wall, which read “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit.” It was meant to tease Kurt who was then dating Tobi Vale, also from Bikini Kill, who used Teen Spirit deodorant. 

4. Sales of the deodorant Teen Spirit skyrocketed after the album was released.

5. Cobain said that playing "Molly's Lips" with The Vaselines at the Reading Festival, which was a few days after shooting the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, was one of the greatest moments of his life.   

6. Kurt brought Frances Bean’s (his daughter) toys for the recording of “Drain You.”

7. The opening lines, “One baby to another said I’m lucky to have met you” in the song “Drain You” were actual words then-girlfriend Tobi Vail had spoken to Kurt Cobain.

8. Most of the songs in Nevermind were written about Tobi Vail. Although “Lithium” was written prior to meeting Vail, he re-wrote the song to reference her.  

9. There are only three chords used in the song “Territorial Pissings”: A5, F5, and D5. 

10. The baby on the cover of Nevermind is Spencer Elden, and has since joked that he’s “the world’s biggest porn star” since so many people have seen his penis. In 2008, Spencer recreated the cover image, although this time he kept his shorts on. 

11. Cobain’s original idea for the album cover was a photograph of a baby’s head as it began its exit from the vagina but was rejected when he tried to get the license for the photo.

12. The song “In Bloom” was written for Cobain’s best friend Dylan Carson, lead singer of the band Earth, and who, three years later, would buy Cobain the shotgun he'd use to end his life.  

13. The song “Breed” is a re-write of the song “Imodium”, which was inspired by Tad Doyle of the band Tad, who had intestinal problems. 

14. There are two versions of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. You can watch the original cut of the video here:

15. They hired photographer Michael Lavine for the band photos. Before the shoot, Kurt hugged Lavine and showed him his gum infection, which was the unfortunate result of infrequent toothbrushing. Lavine is also known for having photographed other grunge-era bands White Zombie, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Monster Magnet, Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips, as well as the cover for Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Deathalbum.

16. Before performing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on a live British television show, Cobain declared, “Courtney Love, the lead singer of the sensational pop group Hole, is the best fuck in the world.”  Check it out at the 1:00 mark of the video below.

17. Three months after Nevermind’s release, on Christmas Eve of 1991, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were still living in a tiny room at their friend’s apartment. 

18. A week before Nevermind hit number one on the charts, Cobain overdosed on drugs. Courtney Love found him lying on the floor at 7 AM, the morning after he performed on Saturday Night Live, and revived him by splashing him with water and punching him in the stomach. 

19. The album’s only F-bomb can be heard, though barely, on the song “Lounge Act”. 

20. After performing “Territorial Pissings” on Saturday Night Live, Cobain and Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic began french kissing. Needless to say the network refused to air the footage on reruns.

If you want to watch some of its video (where I got this), you may check FHM's website.Also, MTV has its say with Nevermind 20 years later.


  1. I thought I remember that cover photo of a baby somewhere..
    And I saw it in yahoo music..
    Not really a fan of this music, but iconic this is! can't be denied of that

  2. i can even still remember them too@ those are good things to know from them!! great post1 xx

  3. it's odd, really because I've seen and heard this particular album of Nirvana countless of times. My boyfriend even owns an album. Yet I never really noticed the baby's penis on the cover. Anyway, regardless of the cover photo, I super love Nirvana!

  4. it's odd, really because I've seen and heard this particular album of Nirvana countless of times. My boyfriend even owns an album. Yet I never really noticed the baby's penis on the cover. Anyway, regardless of the cover photo, I super love Nirvana!

  5. This Nirvana album was really iconic and paved way to a new generation of music.

  6. This Nirvana Album was really iconic as it paved the way for a new generation of music.

  7. There are more to these things I don't know about Nirvana's album because I haven't heard of it before haha. Anyway, thanks for sharing 'cause now I learned a few. ;)

  8. I would always love to hear theie music, Oh Yes! the sound of the 90's which I always loved to hear.. Just now I knew about this, good read! :D

  9. Nirvana is indeed an era of new rock music. I am a fan of Nirvana, I love this album. I only wish that Kurt did not blow his brains. It is such a waste but yes two thumbs up to the music that will live forever. Again, FOREVER!

  10. Love this album so much! And yes, the cover... swimming baby, money and the baby's little thing... I'm still trying to decipher the meaning of this... or maybe just more into the subliminal messaging... but whatever the cover is... i love nirvana!!!

  11. I have heard of them but I have never had the chance to listen to them until now.. and they are really epic! They defined a generation..!

  12. I don't like the band but my husband do. What I only know is mellow songs.

  13. I don't like the band but my husband do. What I only know is mellow songs.

  14. Nothing to debate on, this is one classic album, Medyo palasak din ang ilan sa songs sa album. I am not into their music but I agree the songs are great. Uy yung, property ng child kita pala.

  15. Where's the link to the video you mentioned on item #14? I would have loved watching it. Those are quite interesting trivia, tho i'm not really into nirvana

  16. I guess those things are still worth knowing... I was never a big fan of Nirvana but I did enjoy their music at the time...

  17. Sorry but this is the part where I have to say, "Who is Nirvana"? Honestly, I have no idea. It could be because I'm preoccupied with school works and online tasks these days. Lol Btw, I enjoyed reading the trivias.

  18. I'm no big Nirvana fan but I had a lot of fun while reading this list. I think I need to download the "Nevermind" album since you sold me on this awesome post.

    (By the way, the cover fact made me lol. =))

  19. My cousin is so addicted to this band. Anyway the baby in the album cover really makes me smile.

  20. Thank you so much for spreading knowledge on one of the bands that influences my musical style (I play the bass) :D

  21. This is a great info about Nirvana. I don't know much about the group.

  22. I don't know a lot about Nirvana, although I listen to them occasionally. Anyway thanks for sharing with us this very interesting and entertaining read ;)

  23. wow i never knew much about the Band Nirvana .. their type of music isn't my cup of tea.but beauty of their arts can be appreciated of their fans .. thanks for the info...


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