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Left of the Dial: US Alternative Rock

Episode 6 of 7

The journey through the history of rock music continues with the story of two of America's biggest and most authentic bands: Nirvana and REM.

The rock marathon continues with the story of the contrasting fates of two of America's biggest, most authentic bands: Nirvana and REM and the hidden links between them that almost saved the life of troubled Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain.

In 1991, Nirvana's Nevermind album launched the 'grunge' explosion that put the Seattle music scene on the map and gave a voice to the alienated youth pushed to one side by the Reagan revolution. But Cobain was a reluctant idol who struggled to cope with his new status and his band's growing mainstream appeal. Nirvana had their roots in the underground and college music scene pioneered by bands like REM and Pixies and this programme tells how REM also ended up gravitating towards Seattle, where a friendship developed between lead singer Michael Stipe and Cobain.

In the end it was not enough to save Cobain, who killed himself in 1994, but his triumph and tragedy continues to cast a powerful shadow over the whole of rock.

1 hour


Role Contributor
Director Robert Murphy
Series Producer William Naylor
Series Editor Michael Poole