The core of Nirvana was Kurt Cobain, lead guitarist and
vocalist, and Krist Novoselic, bass player. After going through many many
different name changes and member changes, Kurt and Krist met Chad Channing,
who became their drummer for their debut album. Some of the other notable
people that were in the band, or its earliest incarnations, were Buzz Osbourne
and Dale Crover of the Melvins and Danny Peters of Mudhoney, among others.
Nirvana recorded their Bleach album for about $600, a dark, crunching
album containing simple, guitar driven like Negative Creep and School as
well as more sophisticated songs like About a Girl, and a modified version of
Shocking Blue's Love Buzz. It was released in June of '89 by Sub Pop records.
After recording, Nirvana went on tour after the addition of guitarist Jason
Everman. Jason was added because Kurt wasn't sure he could handle singing and
playing guitar at the same time. Jason also helped contribute quite a bit of
the money to record the debut LP.
After touring and and looking for another label, Nirvana was bought out of
their two year contract by DGC, David Geffen's record label. They recorded
their Nevermind album in May of '91 at Sound City studios in Los Angeles,
CA. It was released on September 13, 1991 and went platinum in about
three weeks, mostly due to the song Smells Like Teen Spirit, which has been
labeled as the anthem of generation X. It went number one on the Billboard 200
chart in January, 1992.
After a massive tour in support of Nevermind, Nirvana came back to
the states. A collection of B-sides and rarities, called Incesticide
was released, and sold well despite very little fanfare. After touring
constantly, Nirvana once again returned to the studios in March of 1993 to
record their long-awaited new album, In Utero.
Originally, DGC was not pleased with the album at all. Their first comment
upon hearing the recording was, "Nice demos. When can we expect to hear the
finished album?" They thought that it had no commercial value at all, and
would let Nirvana's fans down after the slick, radio friendly Nevermind
album. A few of the songs were later remixed or rerecorded, but the majority
of the album stayed the same. One of the reasons why it may not have sounded
quite as sonic as Nevermind is that In Utero was recorded in two
weeks. Most of the vocals were done in one day, with the help of a lot of
cough syrup, and a lot of the songs were recorded in one take.
But, after working out their difficulties with their company, In Utero
was released on September 14, 1993 in the United Kingdom. Due to an unforseen
delay, it was released in the United States on September 21, 1993. The foreign
version also contained a secret track, Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through
the Strip. It was described as a "Deflated American Dollar Purchase Incentive
Track," on a sticker.
Nirvana returned to the road, playing in the states and overseas. On January
8, 1994 Nirvana played their final American show in Seattle, Washington. They
then toured Europe, playing their last show on March 1 in Munich, Germany.
After returning to the United States, Kurt Cobain dissapeared after jumping
the wall at the Exodus rehabilitation clinic, where he was undergoing rehab
for a heroin addiction. Several days later, on April 8, his body was found by
an electrician at his house in Seattle, Washington. Kurt had been dead for
several days, the victim of a self inflicted gunshot wound. He left a suicide
note near his body, explaning why he had killed himself. Fans still didn't
accept his death, and many haven't still.
Since Cobain's death, a number of albums have been released including "MTV Unplugged",
"From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah", "Nirvana" (best of), "With the lights out" (box set)
and "Sliver: The best of the Box" in 2005.