The Nirvana Rebellion: Impact on Rock 'n' Roll

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Nirvana, led by vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain, was an American grunge band formed in Aberdeen, Washington. Starting in the local underground music scene, Nirvana experienced breakthrough mainstream commercial success since late 1991, until the suicide of Kurt Cobain in April 1994. During their eight-year career span, Nirvana released three studio albums, including Nevermind, which eventually established Nirvana into their stardom, and will went on to sell 30 million copies worldwide. Other than a considerable sales figure, Nirvana was notable for their innovative music style, as well as their reckless and rebellious image on stage. With their visible commercial success and cultural significance that still lasts today, Nirvana had a large impact on the evolution of Rock ’n’ Roll music, and thus is a major catalyst of change for the music industry. Before Nirvana’s reign started in 1991, the music industry was fulfilled by other fancy-dressing rock bands and strategically marketed mainstream pop stars, with no space for alternative music to establish and promote their music to wider audiences. Michael Jackson, for instance, accurately represents the status that pop music had the biggest share of music market, with his album Dangerous topping the Billboard 200 Chart at the beginning of 1992 (Burlingame, Kurt Cobain: “Oh well, Whatever Nevermind”). Eventually, Dangerous topped the Billboard 200 chart continuously for more than one month after the album’s release, which also proves the commercial success of Michael Jackson and pop music industry as a whole. On the other hand, Rock ’n’ Roll music flourished almost exclusively in the form now known as hair metal; As bands like Van Halen gained their popularity, other record labels... ... middle of paper ... ...ally have the potential to be another catalyst of change in the future of Rock ’n’ Roll? We are still anticipating. Work Cited Burlingame, Jeff. Kurt Cobain: “Oh Well, Whatever Nevermind”. Enslow Publishers Inc., 2008. Print. Christgau, Robert. "Artistic Statement of the Year: Nirvana." Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics. Robert Christgau, 1994. Web. 08 May 2014. Christgau, Robert. "Nevermore: Nirvana." Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics. Robert Christgau, 20 Aug. 2001. Web. 8 May 2014. Costabile, Matt. “Nirvana Interview." E-mail interview. 7 May 2014. Gould, Katherine. “Nirvana.” Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idold, Ideas. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. Hooper, Giles. ““Nevermind” Nirvana: A Post-Adornian Perspective.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. 38.1 (2007): 91-107. JSTOR. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

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