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5 Interesting Facts About Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

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It’s the 20th anniversary of one of the most influential albums of all time; Nirvana’s Nevermind. The release in 1991 made Nirvana the biggest band in the world and helped shape a generation. Nevermind’s impact expanded beyond what anyone ever thought it would be.  I found 5 interesting facts about the album that may surprise you. 

We all know the album, you’ve heard the songs hundreds of times. They are timeless classics; Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, Lithium and many other tracks.  The album was recorded with producer Butch Vig at his Smart Studio.s This week a remastered deluxe of the album will be released to celebrate its legacy.   But there things about Nevermind and Nirvana’s history that many people do not know about.

Nevermind has secret lyrics and nobody seems to know what they mean.

In the poem that Kurt Cobain wrote for the liner notes, and between snippets of Nevermind song lyrics, there are two lines that don’t appear anywhere on the album’s songs: “At the end of the rainbow and your rope” and “The second coming came in last and out of the closet.”  These two lyrical sentences have puzzled Nirvana fans for 20 years.  Are they lines from songs intended for the album but didn’t make the cut? Early lyrics from Nevermind songs that were later rewritten? Or was Cobain just messing with everybody?

Unless Dave Grohl or Krist Novoselic offer up an explanation, this question will probably go unanswered.  Since all of Nirvana songs off Nevermind have been released or bootlegged its highly unlikely there are songs that are forgotten or unreleased.  One Nirvana expert believes they were lyrics that were changed in the final recording process, blaming Kurt Cobain’s lyrical indecision.

Dave Grohl was not the only drummer on Nevermind.

Nirvana early years had many different drummers playing with them. Chad Channing was the drummer that played on Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ and parts of the recording sessions of Nevermind.   Dave Grohl took over in 1990, as Channing started to have creative differences with Kurt.  The band then re-entered the studio to re-record every song with Dave Grohl except ‘Polly’.  Polly is a song with no drums but is the one song on Nevermind that Channing is actually credited for and he basically just hit the cymbals.

There is a photo of Kiss hidden Nevermind’s Artwork

Nirvana Nevermind

If you look at the photo of the monkey in hell, right above the head is picture of Kiss’ Destroyer album cover.  You have to really look for it and kind of make the photo appear 3-D to find it.  Kurt Cobain himself once said in a interview “If you look real close, there’s a picture of Kiss in the back, standing on a slab of beef.”

Nevermind was once called Sheep and “Breed” was named after diarrhea medication.

Several songs on the album had different names with many revisions.  The song ‘Breed’ was once called Immodium, named after medication that Kurt used to ease his stomach pain.  (he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease).. and Kurt intentionally misspelled it.

The album started with a working title of Sheep, however the band decided on a phrase that was more Generation X and its slacker masses, a new word was born: Nevermind –  “never mind,” two words, is grammatically correct — but that’s all changed now.

The baby on the cover wasn’t really fishing for a dollar.

It’s probably one of the most famous and controversial album covers of all time.  A Kirk Weddle photograph of a naked baby in submerged in a pool with a dollar bill on a hook. Be assured the baby was not actually photographed under water, as the photo was manipulated by artists to look that way. It’s relatively simple to do today’s with photoshop, but certainly not back then.  The artwork was controversial with the baby’s penis showing. Cobain himself would not allow it to be censored except on one condition. A sticker was placed on the cover that read “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.”  thank god, the art was left unedited.

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