Kurt Cobain and Nirvana

A movement started with the band Nirvana and many believe its music was an anthem for a generation. Front man, Kurt Cobain is often seen as the leader of the grunge rock movement and spokesman for a generation of young people. This was a position that the introverted Cobain never wanted and felt uncomfortable with from the very first moments of the band’s success.

In 1987, Krist Novoselic and Kurt Cobain started the band that was eventually to become Nirvana. It wasn’t until 1988 that the two named the band Nirvana. 1988 is also the year that the band released their first album, Bleach. The album became a hit on the college radio circuit, but did not gain the kind of publicity and recognition that the bands second album had. Nirvana had gone through a series of drummers in the early days, eventually joining together with Dave Grohl, who would be the drummer for Nirvana during their meteoric rise to the top.

In 1991, the second album, Nevermind, was released and brought the recognition that was missing from the first album. Pushed forward by singles like Smells Like Teen Spirit, the album quickly became an introduction to a new form of music, Grunge. Alternative bands had been around for years, but the release of this album set in motion a change in music during the early nineties that would not have been possible without it. Gone were the days of the hair bands of the eighties. Pop music dominance also slipped away as the throaty growl of a new generation of musicians took center stage.

In 1993, the long awaited follow up album, In Utero was finally released. The demand for new material from Nirvana in between this time was so great that an album was released in between the second and third album called Incesticide. This album contained a collection of rare recordings and B-sides to their already released music. 

A tour was scheduled after the release of the third album and it was during this time that the band performed their infamous MTV Unplugged concert with, of course, Kurt Cobain on the acoustic guitar. In the beginning of 1994, Kurt Cobain’s drug use became out of control and he checked into a rehabilitation center during this time. During the course of his treatment, he jumped the wall at the facility and headed back home to Seattle. For a week’s period of time from April 1 st till the discovery of his body on April 8 th he was unable to be located by friends and family, including his wife Courtney Love who filed a missing persons report.

For the widow of Kurt Cobain, the press and fans certainly hounded her. Courtney Love had for years been described as a gold digger living off of her husband’s talent. However, fans of her music are fervent defenders of her talent and music in the face of such criticism. 

There have been a number of releases since the abrupt end of Nirvana. Singles was released in 1996, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah in 1996, Nirvana was released in 2002, With the Lights Out in 2004, and Silver: The Best of the Box came out in 2005. Through the short career of the band they were nominated for twenty one awards and won nine including a Grammy. 

The music that was produced on the MTV Unplugged performance on the acoustic guitar is some of the most hauntingly beautiful music produced by the band. The writing ability and emotional performances of front man Kurt Cobain became clear in a way that was not as apparent to the mainstream before this performance.