In September 1991, GDC Records released the album "Nevermind" by Nirvana, one of the most famous albums of the past 30 years. But most of what people know about this album is not true, or at least not quite true. Below you will find the real facts provided by Kurt Cobain biographer Charles R. Cross.
The original plan was to name the album Sheep, and among Cobain's recordings was found a page with a painted advertisement for the album, with the inscription "Sheep: Because you want to not, because everyone else is" (sHeep: because everyone is them, and you don't want to) and the subtitle "Abortion Christ" (Cancel Christos). This idea was abandoned at the end of 1990.
In fact, Nirvana recorded the album twice. The recording began in April 1991 with producer Butch Vig, and very much resembled the recording that took place in 1990. In 1990 they recorded eight songs, five of which were included in the album. The main difference was in the drummers, and Dave Grohl was already involved in the 1991 recording.
Vig was a drummer himself, and had a strong influence on Grohl's parts and their sound in the songs "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Drain You" and "Something in the Way". But the song "Polly" features drummer Chad Channing. This track was not re-recorded, and it was included in the album in its original form. Channing is not mentioned among the creators of the album and did not receive any money for it.
Everyone thinks Cobain wrote that line about deodorant. And it's almost true. His girlfriend, Bikini Kill frontman Caitlin Hannah, actually wrote "Kurt smells like Teen Spirit" on Cobain's bedroom wall. After the release of the album, Kurt Cobain found out that there is a deodorant called Teen Spirit. The song was about graffiti, not deodorant. And, of course, sales of deodorant soared after the release of the album.
For the first time, Nirvana recorded the song on a tape recorder during a rehearsal, and although even then the band liked the riff, no one could say that the song would become a hit. The real reason for recording songs on cassettes, according to Dave Grohl, was that the musicians began to forget the parts. The film begins with Cobain's words:
In some songs there are indeed references to the topic of drugs, but Cobain's muse was not so simple, and his complete drug addiction began just after the release of the album. Most of the texts are dedicated to his friends, neighbors or girls.
Initially, Kurt even wanted to divide the album into "male" and "female" parts. In the female part there were to be songs like "Teen Spirit", "Drain You" and "Lounge Act" dedicated to Cobain's unrequited love, and in the male part there were songs like "In Bloom", which was written for his best friend Dylan Carlson.
At first Kurt wanted the cover to have a baby's head emerging from the vagina during childbirth, but his idea was not missed. The photo of a naked child swimming in the pool was just a backup plan. And here's how the shooting for the cover of "Nevermind" took place.
The fact that Cobain became a millionaire immediately after the release of the album is a common misconception. The album went gold only a month later, and most of the sales were in 1992 and subsequent years. Most recording companies pay out profits twice a year, and payment for sales comes only after a few months. As a result, Cobain earned almost nothing in 1991.
On the first night after the recording ended, Cobain returned home to find that he had been evicted. He spent the night in the car while the recording company was preparing the release of the album, which subsequently sold 25 million copies.