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10 Essential Nirvana Songs

Monday, February 20: 5:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Kurt Cobain (album art from Nirvana's 1989 album Bleach)

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. The songwriter/guitarist emerged from the nascent grunge movement of the early 80s – an alternative sub genre that incorporated elements of indie, punk, hardcore and heavy metal – to become the reluctant "voice of a generation." As the frontman for Nirvana, Cobain's esoteric lyrics and ability to craft indelible hooks with a uniquely metallic resonance fueled the band. Backed by the core of Krist Novoselic's steady bass and the thundering percussion of Dave Grohl, Cobain's songs almost single-handedly changed not only the musical landscape of the 1990s, but also the cultural landscape. Released in 1991, Nirvana's second album, Nevermind, was a landmark recording, bringing once-alternative sounds to the mainstream and tuning the world in to a Seattle scene that had gone largely unheard to that point. Nirvana led a charge that unseated the hedonistic values, flamboyant acts and slick production of hair metal at the top of the rock throne and replaced it with less scripted, more dynamic arrangements, introspective lyrics and more universally identifiable, laid-back style – including a flannel-clad fashion prerogative that was soon adopted from coast to coast, seen everywhere from dive bars ...


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