|Wearing a Nirvana shirt, eating ice cream|
But a lot of their success had to do with them being in the right place at the right time. Nevermind wasn't even their first album. They had already released an album to minimal success. Had they released Nevermind at the height of hair metal in the mid-80s, I don't think we would be talking about how revolutionary Nirvana was. Hair metal was on the decline, both the music and the over-the-top image. We needed something more stripped down, both musically and image-wise. A guitar, a bass and drums. Loud. No makeup, no spandex. T-shirts and jeans. Occasional flannel shirt.
I've written before about how I didn't really like Nirvana that much until I was in high school. Nevermind came out when I was 5. The only thing I liked at that age was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As I got older, I learned who they were and kind of liked them, but not too much.
I remember in the fourth grade seeing the cover of the Weird Al cassette that was a parody of the Nevermind cover. I had no idea what it was supposed to be spoofing and was confused by it. The first time I can recall hearing a Nirvana song was a year later in the fifth grade when my friend Joe called me to tell me he realized that the wrestler Diamond Dallas Page's theme song was an instrumental version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I later read in Chris Jericho's book that this was a theme of sorts in WCW, as he debuted with a Journey knockoff that he hated and later got a Pearl Jam ripoff that he enjoyed.
I don't care much for their most-famous song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but I liked some of their other hits like "Heart Shaped Box" and most of their Unplugged album. I started getting into Nirvana when their Greatest Hits album and previously-unreleased "You Know You're Right" were released. Sidenote: the first album review I ever wrote was about Nirvana's Greatest Hits album for my high school newspaper in the eleventh grade.
Hearing that album got me into some of their songs I hadn't heard. That led me to check out their albums and I've come to enjoy the body of Nirvana's work. There are some songs I really like, some I kind of like, and some I really don't care much for. But, by and large, I enjoy Nirvana.