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Radio 1 Zane Lowe
Biography

Mon-Thu 19.00-21.00

Nirvana - Is This it
Nirvana - Nevermind


The second studio album from Nirvana, "Nevermind" was released in Sept 1991, and by January 92 had knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the US charts.  Its unexpected and unprecedented success opened alternative rock and grunge to the mainstream.

Listen to why Zane chose this album



We asked for your text messages while we played the album, and this text cloud below shows a summary of the words we received.



See more text cloud images

Browse the album's artwork as you listen - click on a picture below, or click here to start at the beginning.






In choosing this record as a masterpiece, Zane said "as a body of work it has stood the test of time more than any of the records that we've chosen, and will continue to influence people of all different ages". 

We want to know how this album has touched your life.  Maybe it got you into music, or encouraged you to pick up a guitar or start writing lyrics.  What memories have you got of the first time you heard this album, and what effect has it had on you?

Read what others have said..

Big Chris, Ireland
I was 14 when Kurt died. I remember hearing about it on the news but it didn't mean much to me - 'some American rock star is dead'. Some years later while at high school i was just onto Oasis. I'd heard of this band called 'Nirvana'. I thought it was a cool name. I wanted to know which song would be thier signature track so i asked my mate "what song would be Nirvana's wonderwall?" He said Smells Like Teen Spirit. Cool title i thought. Christmas was around the corner so i asked my sis to get me Nirvana Unplugged. It blew me away! Kurts voice!! The anguish, power and passion! By Boxing Day i was hooked! In the January sales i got In Utero, Nevermind and Bleach. Oasis, Bluetones, Ocean Colour Scene etc will always remind me of my youth and hanging out with my mates, but i've since left those bands somewhat behind. Nirvana opened the door to the sublime Pearl Jam, which led me to The Doors and Led Zep - and i've never looked back. For me, music is vital and without Nirvana and Kurt Cobain it would be a little less so. RIP Kurdt.

Mark, Hartlepool
Remember hearing Nirvana playing Smells Like Teen Spirit on the word it was class then i bought the album when it was out i went to see them at Newcastle Mayfair on the Nevermind tour the place was packed out i'd never seen it so full

Paul Driver, Perth, Australia
I remember the indie scene in England arouud the time of Nevermind reaching the shelves,the whole scene flipped from the love and peace of the baggy Madchester movement to in ya face grunge, a generation changed forever,RIP Kurt

Rob leeds
all the other nirvana albums are stritly speaking, better. as is anything soundgarden ever did from the same time period but for shere impact, influence and the effect it had this is a masterpiece. That being said if the choice were mine, on sheer brilliance alone it would be Superunknown by Soundgarden for me. Arctic Monkeys and the strokes??? not for me im afraid. (the strokes first album is amazing, but masterpiece???? not deserving of such praise in my book)

Jamie, Camden
I remember being into Bon Jovi when this record was released. I only had an AM radio at the time, so didn't hear any any new music. Then I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time at a party and needed to know who they were. I went out and bought the album the next day and haven't looked back.

Liam In Boston MA
I was the tender age of 11 when this came out and it was the reason I picked up a guitar and played every moment I got. Cobains voice had such strength and such vulnerbility wrapped up in enigmatic lyrics. I always think of the lines "Our little group has always beenAnd always will until the end" That was myself and my friends in high school that loved this music.

Chris, Manchester
I remember listening to the gritty tones and lyrics of this force majure album which was so understated at the time then the crash seemed to come through like lightening via DJ's decks everywhere ' with the lights on it's contagious, here we are now entertain us' dance floors in every indy/rock scene went wild, an era of self conscious, self reflective 'shoegazing' seemed to come to an end, viva le Cobain. R.I.P. sadly missed like so many others before him.

Neil Davis,Thetford
Don`t mock me but when Nevermind came out i was really into Simple Minds.I did`nt know you could make this much noise with just a guitar,bass and drums.Fell in love immediately,and if nothing else i discovered The Pixies,Pearl Jam etc because of this true classic.Thank you Seattle

Daniel Fuzhou China
most people in China like pop music,they don'tlike rock and grunge.But I was a eexception,I first listen this album from internet,and then bought it from a smuggling retailer,I was so excited that time,I belived that there were sort of spirits in this album,and Kurt's voice is powerful.this is one of the best album in my heart.

Danny Tenerife
Never mind whatever the new rock stars of today's mainstream may say about Nirvana not having influenced them, i don't believe a word of it. They were an atomic bomb of a band. No other band since has had such an impact on the way we conceive music and i doubt a band ever will again. Nevermind is full of the human qualities you find in those things in life that send you into a frenzy of elation or despair. Anger, pain, humour, love, desperation...it's all there. in this album and all of Nirvana's works.

Matt, Nottingham
Possibly the most over-rated album of all time. Cobain admitted he stole from the Pixies but this album was almost cheap. Nowhere near as good as everyone thinks

Chris, Oxford
Amazingly refreshing album, reminds me of student days. Even now, sticking on Teen Spirit or Lithium at any club/party is gauranteed to get everyone jumping up and down. Also thought their MTV Unplugged album was outstanding.

Emilie, Cumbria.
Nirvana have to be my most favourite band, I was only 1yr old when the album was released and I didn't hear it 'til I was 13, but it totally changed my outlook on rock music, not just the album, as 'In Utero' was the first one I bought, but the whole of Nirvana and the grunge scene. This album never bores me, its awesome, and sounds twice as good on the radio, as did all the other old 90's rock played before. Nirvana were my stepping stone into grunge, guitars and all the other brilliant bands I'm now into. I'm just gutted I never saw them live. Thanks for the awesome music! :)

kenny aberdeen
this album shows that disafected youths can still make a difference to the world. kurt is a true hero rip

webby birmingham
i wasnt really into music just listened to stuff on top of the pops and whatever my dad played in the car. then my sister got this album. i nicked it off her and it just blew my mind.was a seminal moment for sure

Danny, Baldock
Its the SONGS that really make this album. Many of them have been covered by other artists and their versions still sound strong. Yes, there is a 'sheen'to this album and Kurt himself thought it was too 'slick' but it is a fine collection of songs that really helped America relise that underground rock could be commercially viable.

Paul, Essex
One of the defining all time great albums, one which you can play all the way through, love every song and then want to listen to again straight away. I first bought the album after listening to it at a friends house and once I had it and shared it with other people, it surprised me how it seemed to touch or had touched everyone who listened to it despite their musical preferences. If I ever get stranded on a desert island, leave me a cd player and this album for entertainment and I'll be quite happy.

Greg, Northampton
You are so wrong. All of you.As someone totally into the grunge scene at the time of this release Nirvana's performances did not majorly stand out amongst other grunge bands like Tad, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth and Mudhoney. Kurt Cobain was pretty - the cameras loved him. Kurt Cobain was tragic. There was so much going on - Nirvana was just another band that the music press loved...and now we rewrite history. One good single ...broaden your tastes people..

Syd, Wales
Possibly the best album - ever! It's stood the test of time all right, even now it seems as fresh and awesome as ever! Ace!

Steven Heaps, Wakefield.
A truly fantastic, energetic pop record.With the majority of the album having more than memorable tunes. Simple, catchy but truly written with such expertese.Cobain was truly at the peak of one of his primes while writing Nevermind.Thankyou, you got me through a few hard high school years.

Samuel Wallace, Peterborough
"Heavier than Heaven" speaks it all!! This album will never be forgotten.

tom, glasgow
Energy, emotion, truth and pain all in one blistering album from start to finish. Despite being a sell out i bet Kurt Cobain was secretly totally satisfied, if not even surprised that they could make an album this good. Just gutted i never saw them. What to me makes this along with most other Nirvana records totally inspiring is that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you can somehow twist the lyrics to your own situation and experiences - Guess what, Nirvana changed my life too.

Will, Liverpool, UK
At the height of the "rivalry" between Oasis and Blur, Paul McCartney was asked which modern band he'd like to play in. His answer, to the extreme disappointment of Oasis, was, "...without a doubt, Nirvana.""Nevermind" redefined rock music. A true masterpiece. If you like "Nevermind," try Nirvana's "Unplugged on MTV" album - just as good, but a significant move in a mellower, maturer direction. How tragic that we did not get to see the maturing Nirvana. It is a particularly poignant and moving set as it was recorded shortly before Kurt's death. It is to be celebrated that in the wonderful "Foo Fighters," something of that spirit lives on.

Dan - Oxford
Wasn't just an "album" but a statement for a generation

Bob - Cheshire
This album introduced me too rock at the tender of age 12. 12 years later I have to say the record really hasn't aged that well. A few good songs here and there does not make a masterpiece. However have to give credit where it is due as this album really got me into music and the way I am today(for better or worse!)

Pol, Goa
Roadied for Nirvana in early 90's and then Pearl Jam (before staying here in Goa) who were in my humble opinion far better and not so overrated....just my opinion

Rich, Birmingham
This album got me into music, I adored Kurt, and later I adored Dave. I adored Krist too, Nirvana wouldn't be the same without Krist or Dave. Nirvana were the band that brought it all back.

Ifzal Khan, Brierfield
Hated it when it first came out (I was too busy listening to Technotronic, Shamen etc.!), now can't get enough it. Probably one of the finest albums of the last 20 years.

Kelvin, Cardiff
As Kurt Cobain said, they listened to the Pixies and said they wanted to sound like that. Sure there's changes, and I'm not saying they ripped them off or anything, but I think perhaps a little more acknowledgement of the inspirations would be appreciated by some.

dan m, sheffield
I'd fallen onto the floor of the moshpit at an indie rock club, when Smells Like Teen Spirit came on. The place went totally wild, nobody had heard it before. I really thought I was going to die, but my only thought was that I had to find out who played that tune! I survived with serious bruising, and the next day took the last money from my student grant and spent it all on every Nirvana record I could find.

Dean, Warwick
Simply a great album, possibly a masterpiece. Have not heard it for a while, and I regret that when listening to it now - amazing. What a week to come!

Nathan, Rosyth
One minute anger and menace then all of a sudden the opposite. Much like Kobain himself a confused tapestry of majestic proportions.

Phil Sussex
After all these years the album sound better everytime I hear it. I listen to it alot and it takes me right back to those days every time. I'm sure it gets better with age. Kurt has so much feeling in his voice in all the albums I have a tear in my eye as I write. Great to hear it on the radio it sound great.

Graham (buckethead) - Glasgow
1st album I ever bought and what an album it is! Great memory to have....., from trips with the folks in the car on a sunday to nights on the p**s at yer mates house it was and still is from start to finish... sublime! Thank you Kurt, Dave and Kris.....

Claire Wolverhampton
Saw Nirvana at the Reading Festival many moons ago but i will never forget the raw sound. I have now introduced my 21 year old brother to Nirvana he was only 6 at the time Nevermind was release and he is listening tonight and hopefully it will have the same effect on his generation as it did on ours - enjoy it David! Thanks KC!

Dizzle, London
Some people remember where they were when Kennedy got shot, or when the planes hit the twin towers. I remember where I was when I first heard "Nevermind". It was my 1st year of uni and my 1st time away from home, I couldn't have felt more like a fish out of water. My mate Daz played me this album and my world changed for good. That was the day I left fear and awkwardness behind and when Daz became my best mate, unforgettable! Thank you Nirvana.

Steve Shaw York
After 5 years of raving and listening to dance. This album brought me back to reality. I listened for hours. I picked up my trusty Les Paul and have never looked back, sorry for leaving you rock music

Sarah California, Sheffield
This made me put on my ripped jeans, my "grunge is dead" t-shirt, and my red and black stripy jumper and just sit and listen. This album never gets old, and still gives me chills. I remember the first time I listened to it. When it got to the end I just started it all over again, music had never effected me as much as the first time I heard Nevermind. There isn't a single moment I don't love, and each time I head it I find something new to freak out about. I absolutely adore this album.

jonny in southport
you can't imagine a parallel universe without nirvana in it.nirvana took the best of everything that went before and galvanised it into one shining peice of brilliance

Greg Costa, Bedford
Nevermind changed my life!!! One of the only albums yo can listen to from start to finish over and over again.I was 13 when I first come across this album ans it was the soundtrack to my summer.Kurt, Chris, Dave.....Thank you!

Peter C, Lancaster
I'm ashamed to say I didn't have a copy of Nevermind, yet have loved the band for a long time now. Not that I need an excuse to buy it, I've just bought my own copy whilst listening to Nirvana on Radio 1 - good call, if only new music had such staying power in the music industry...makes you wonder what Nirvana would be up to and how popular they would have been had history followed a different path. Thanks for playing such awesome and timeless rock!

Sian Harries, Student in Bristol
i havent emailed radio one before or txt or called. but this needs to be said. this album changed my life. and hearing it now brings floods of memories back. still manages to give me shivers. I lose myself in this album completely. a true masterpiece. youve made my night Zane, really. to anyone who hasnt heard it before, youve been missing out. years since its release and still breathtaking

Dave lowe, Doncaster
I remember when i first heard this album i was about 10 at the time and the other kids i hung around with were all a couple of years older than me and into guns n roses, def lepard and motley crue. Nirvana realy got me into music and delivered what no mainstream rock band could at the time. Legends forever.

Paul, Warrington
Ditto for pretty much all of the above...For those of us who were lucky enough to be young and impressionable when Nirvana first 'hit the scene' in the UK it was certainly a welcome and enlighteneing breath of fresh air, compared to some of the damned aweful "rock acts" of the time.Truly one of the few music groups who did, and still do, have the ability to amount to much more than just the sum of their parts...... and now?...I always have such a mixture of emotions when I listen to Nirvana, some of which I still would not even dare to put into words. I guess I still feel a bit cheated by Kurdt's early departure.One thing is definite; I'll always feel blessed that I had the ears to hear and the sense to listen when I could.Rest in peace old friend, I hope you have found your answers.

Thomas Smith , Worcestershire.
'Big Cheese' was brought to me by John Peel.It was the only tune at that time that I chose to write in the back of my art book,whilst doing 5th year homework,planning on buying it later with the little pocket money spare I had at the time,I never got round to that.The next I heard of Nirvana was on the way to their gig in Birmingham a year or so later,when I realised that this was THE band I'd made a mental note of I was thinking EXCELLENT as I went into the venue!The live experience was beyond words,ending in Kurt Cobain smashing his guitar.At this time Nirvana were MY band,and when they became so popular I resented the group and their fans.So much so that I snubbed them at their final U.K. live appearance,only watching their Reading show from the food stalls,all of which were empty.Since then I have grown up,and see Nirvana as the brilliant artists they were.I miss them and regret what happened,I was an arrogant youth,but Nevermind was my awakening,to grunge,and all that goes with being in your late teens.

Tony Field, whyteleafe
Having been heavily into hip hop and house music from the 80's into the 90's, i hated rock! I fell in love with Nirvana as soon as i heard come as you are, i bought Nevermind and loved every track! Kurt, Dave and Krist thank you for opening my eyes to other music, your music has inspired so many people and will continue to do so. Thank you!

Chris Raybould, Stourbridge
ive only heard Smells Like Teen Spirit before tonight, and i gotta say, Nirvanna are awesume, until now i didnt know how big Nirvanna actaully are. im into all the club stuff, i no that is completely different to this stuff. i love Nirvanna now, infact, 2morrow after college im getting there album.i love u Zane for allowing us to listen to this masterpiece.

Laurajane Castell, Nottingham
I remember my best friends brother playing this amazing lyrical guiter music out of his room when I was about 11. I was mesmorised and have been ever since. I find this music pure escapism, and if I have Nevermind on in the car I can't get out till its finished. Althought dark, Polly will remain one of my favourite tracks. Nirvana can bring me out of my darkest days. I couldn't live without this music in my life.

Jen, Surrey
Wow, wow, wow.I had forgotten just how amazing this album sounds.Maximum volume!!!!!

Dan Pitchford Manchester
I feel so privileged to have been a teenager when this album came out. It totally broadened my perceptions and made me appreciate music so much more. I started listening to Sonic Youth, Big Black, Dinosaur Jnr, Sebadoh, Jesus Lizard, Mudhoney, Tad and so many other Sub Pop bands as a result of buying Nevermind. It's a classic and listening to it now takes me right back. Thank you.

tom manchester
best band ever. a turn for music. nothing will ever compare to this album.although some would say it was more about the money rather than Nirvana's true feelingsmto music, but Kurt was the kind of man who would have totally taken the piss or not done anything if he wasn't happy with what he was doing. every album released by Nirvana rocks, but this has songs that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and make you think, man i love grunge.

Sam Manchester
Simply amazing, not a bad song on this album, shame British music can't take a few tips from Nirvana and step out of the light from all the pretentious skinny jean wearing wannabe's.

Jamie P, Scotland
This album opened my eyes to music, i was not even a teen at the time it was released but i knew that that was the sound i needed. Nevermind is one of those albums that you can put on and not touch it again from start to finish. Although some of the songs are dark in meaning, Nirvana managed to take these moods and turn them into "Nursery Rhyme" sounding songs that any one can relate to - nothing funnier than watching your mum singing Territorial Pissings in the Kitchen.Although Kurt Cobain is my Idol, i feel that he needed Krist and Dave, with out them he probably would stil be a janitor in Seattle.What a band Eh?

Charlotte Underwood, Bolton
Nirvana will have had a profound effect on probably everyone who have listened to any of their records. Nevermind is a timeless masterpiece that i will never get tired of listening to. The With The Lights Out Box Set are my favourite CD's ever. Mainly due to the amount of goose bumps i got listening to Kurt's raw vocals. They were and still are beyond doubt an amazing band!

Robert, Isle Of Wight
This was the album that blew away the cobwebs that covered much of 'rock' in the early 1990s. It seemed to hit a nerve at a time when there really wasn't much else to get excited about and it ushered in a plethora of other albums that gave music a much needed kick up the backside. Truly, Nirvana and what they forged was probably the last great musical revolution. There has been nothing like it since, at least in the rock world. While this album didn't change my musical life (Led Zeppelin had already done that when I 'discovered' them a few years before)it certainly changeed the lives of many others.

phoenix brighton
This album saved my life

Joel Cooper, Ilfracombe, Devon
This album really sums up my youth. Living in a quiet coastal town, we didn't have much to do as youngsters other than listen to music so it became really important to us. This is the first album I remember listening to from start to finish that had a profound effect on me and sent shivers of relevance up my spine. Not many albums seem to do this nowadays.

Sharon in Ireland
Love this album sooo much! It (and the other Nirvana albums) were the soundtrack for my teens... hairs standing up on the back of your neck feeback driven noise... When i hear it now i want to go back to those times! This music never ages... it will always have a place in my heart! Grunge on kids!!!!!

Ben from Wimborne
With Dave Grohl's aggressive drums, Chris Noveselik's bouncy bass lines and Kurts song writing this album was impeccable start to finish. It made me pick up a guitar for the first time when I was 11 and 13 years later i'm better than Kurt ever was... but then i didn't write and can't write music anywhere near as well as he did! His death, like Dimebag Darrell's of Pantera, will make him not only musically brilliant enough to stand the test of time but also a true icon!

Olly Byrne Whitby
This album is amazing, all of nirvanas albums are. Nevermind has classic nirvana songs on it and they just hit the public when it came out. When they at the time where not a very well known band. The first opening chords to smells like teen spirit just hits you and you know it is going to be a great song and it is. The music is completely diffrent from any else, the start of grunge. Lithuim, come as you are, polly and smells like teen spirit all amazing songs. Kurt Cobainsvoice is just amazing in them all. He is a true legend R.I.P Kurt.

carla leicester
i love nirvana so much they have changed my life in so many ways and opened my eyes to music i would have never thought of listening to before, i am only 15 so id only be a baby when nirvana started which shows how much much of an influence nirvana has had to still be a strong influence today on loads of kids like me and more, i love all there albums especially in utero everything about them is inspiring.

Bernard BOUVRY
a band and a sound who makes me believe that Rock was not dead.

The Tin Man, Norwich
When I heard a band from the year above me in school cover Smells Like Teen Spirit, it was the first time i'd ever heard and i ran and got the album - it took the paint off the walls! Permanently changed my musical outlook

marcle
never get bored of this one. seminal.

Joshua Walsh, Leicester
As much as I liked this album, I thought 'In Utero' was a far more significant album in terms of what Nirvana were really about.'Nevermind' represents the band's allegance to the mainstream and big money bosses, something that Kurt Cobain could never forgive himself for doing. Yes, the production is absolutely incredible, but the opening track 'smells like teen spirit' (essentially a Pearl Jam song) was written soley as a so called 'radio friendly unit shifter', and it's because of this that 'Nevermind' feels very hollow in some respects.

Stuie Buchanan, Sunderland
I understand that I will not be either the first or last to say this, but Nevermind changed my life. On a school trip to France, my friend played me the album and completely changed my perspective on music as a whole.I didn't realise it at the time, but looking back at it now, Nirvana, especially with Nevermind, reflected not only a scene but a state of mind and it is for this reason they'll be remembered forever.R.I.P Kurt Cobain

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