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Posted on May 1st, 2014, by

The second album of the band Nevermind and the song Smells Like Teen Spirit were the turning point in the history of Nirvana and development of alternative rock music. The emergence of the alternative rock music could not bring the breakthrough until Nirvana’s Nevermind album because Nirvana has managed to create music which was attractive for the audience. In this regard, Nirvana has managed to combine the alternative rock music and some elements of the mainstream music. As a result, the audience perceived the second album of Nirvana positively, while the success of Nirvana encouraged other bands performing the alternative rock music. In fact, it is due to the Nirvana’s breakthrough the alternative rock music has managed to make a considerable progress to reach the mass audience and to become a very influential movement in the contemporary popular music. However, the alternative rock music in the early 1990s still confronted the strong competition from the part of the rock music that was the mainstream music in that time. In fact, the impact of Queen and other renowned bands was still quite strong, while experiments of alternative rock bands were not always as successful as that of Nirvana.

In this regard, the major factor of Nirvana’s success was the specific music played by the band. Nirvana’s grunge music became extremely popular and drew the public attention to the alternative rock as the new direction in the development of music. Nirvana’s music relied on dynamic contrasts, which often include quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. Nevermind album was a great success of Nirvana and made alternative rock extremely popular in the 1990s and its popularity persists in the 2000s. However, in the early 1990s the alternative rock music has just started to challenge the rock music, which has started to lose its positions as the mainstream music (Azerrad, 1994). In fact, the alternative rock music was a new trend and Nirvana helped the alternative rock music to gain popularity and attract the public attention. The main problem the alternative rock music faced in the early 1990s was the challenging music which was different from the conventional pop music. As a result, alternative rock bands had significant difficulties to gain the popularity and public approval. Remarkably, many of them did not even try to gain the popularity but they just played their music. The audience often failed to comprehend properly the alternative rock music.

In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that even Nirvana faced difficulties with adequate perception of its music by the audience. In fact, the third studio album of Nirvana In Utero challenged the traditional music of the band because the sound became abrasive and less mainstream. In other words, Nirvana’s music became more alternative that led to the disenchantment of a large part of the audience of Nirvana. However, it was not only the audience, who was disenchanted, but also Nirvana’s lead vocalist, Curt Cobain, who was disenchanted too. In fact, Curt Cobain failed to afford his popularity and take it as Freddie Mercury did. He was depressed because he believed his music and his message were misinterpreted by the public and the third album of the band proves that the further development of Nirvana’s music could fail to meet the audience’s expectations. Therefore, Nirvana’s alternative rock music was quite difficult for the perception by the audience and the early success was short-run, while the third album marked the steady decline of the popularity of the band and the inability of the public to understand its music (Azerrad, 1994). In fact, the early popularity of Nirvana became an unbearable burden for the band and its lead vocalist. Curt Cobain could not afford the popularity and the inability of the public to understand his music that became one of the main reasons of his suicide that led to the fast decline of Nirvana and its disappearance.

Nevertheless, Nirvana’s music has had a considerable impact on the development of alternative rock music and its popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, Nirvana opened the way for the alternative rock music and made this music a new and powerful trend in the development of rock music on the turn of the century because the traditional rock music became less popular as such bands as Queen became less prolific, while the new generation looked for other, new forms and styles in music, including rock music.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that Queen stimulated the rise of the rock music and made rock music mainstream, especially in the 1980s 1990s. At the same time, Nirvana emerged as the alternative rock band, which though had its roots in the rock music, but brought new forms, style and sound which made the traditional rock music grunge and more abrasive. In such a way, experiments of Nirvana made the alternative rock music popular and renowned by the audience. However, the traditional rock music remained quite popular in the 1990s and both the rock music and the alternative rock music co-existed and remained popular in the 1990s due to such bands as Queen and Nirvana. However, the disappearance of Nirvana in the early 1990s and the steady decline of Queen after the death of its lead vocalist, Freddie Mericury, marked the steady decline of the rock music in the 2000s, while the alternative rock music still remains quite specific movement in the rock music which fails to become really mainstream. Nevertheless, the contribution of Queen and Nirvana in the development and rise of the rock music and the alternative rock music can hardly be underestimated, while their influence still persists in the rock and alternative rock music.

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