Listen now 60 mins
20 years ago, one riff changed music for an entire generation. 'Smells like Teen Sprit' swept away the last shreds of hair metal and opened hearts and minds to alternative rock.
In 1991, Nirvana were a relatively unknown alternative rock three-piece from the state of Washington, in North West USA. Their debut album 'Bleach' on Sub-Pop has sold modestly. When 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', first single from 'Nevermind', was released, nobody was prepared for the frenzy that followed.
'Nevermind', which initially failed to trouble the charts on it's release on Sept 24th 1991, began to pick up sales on the back of the relentless and growing popularity of 'Teen Spirit'. By January 1992 the album had knocked Michael Jackson off the number 1 slot. 'Nevermind' went on to shift more than 30 million copies worldwide and the Nirvana's dissonance defined how rock music sounded during the 90's.
In this programme, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Butch Vig talk to Steve Lamacq about the heady days of Nevermind's gestation and the explosive times following it's release.