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Nirvana did not single-handedly kill glam metal.


Yup remember when Anthrax started doing mix stuff, started in the mid late 80`s look it up it might jog your memory. :)


I think it is always a mistake to isolate a single thread of popular culture and look for causal explanations solely within that thread.

I think we need to step back and look at the bigger picture. AIDS probably cast a huge shadow over times. I was finishing university in the mid-eighties. During my time as a university student, the prevalent attitude toward sex went from "get what you can" to "it can kill you."

With more and more people dying of AIDS, the glam/cock rock, star f**ker scene started to look dangerous.

Black Monday happened in 1987 and certainly didn't contribute to optimism.

Sure there were influences within the music industry itself, but I think musical tastes are a reflection of the times.


Senior Member
For the win!

Of course Nirvana didn't single handedly do anything.... this was a moment -- they were a symbolic (but vital) nail in the coffin. To really understand everything you need to know a lot more about what was going on then.

I could write you a small thesis here but I'll just drop a few things for further discussion.

You need to understand that at one time the two biggest underground LA bands were simultaneously GnR and Jane's Addiction. You need to understand how their specific trajectories changed everything.

You need to know about the failure of The 1988 Van Halen headlined Monster's of Rock tour -- this failure foretold everything....

You need to understand the importance of Metallica -- specifically on the industry itself -- and on the established artists of the time....

You need to understand the failure of College radio and the east coast alt scene...

You need to understand the explosion of zeens.....

You need to understand the history of the New York Punk and literary scene....

You need to know how LA, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, & Vancouver BC were related and how they were different from each other

You also need to know something about the economics of heroin, and the history of the 80's cocaine economy

You need to understand how lollapalooza played into all this..

There's so much more to say....


^ I really miss them!
Nirvana was a really cool band. Weather they did in 80's metal or not, they were around long enough to kick the industry sideways.

I appreciate them for helping to bring some reality back to recorded music. Not just in terms of lyrical content, but in terms of recording techniques.

I don't think they killed anything that wasn't already dying, but I can't deny thier impact.


2011 TGP Silver Medalist
I can't help but wonder what Kurt would be saying these days, what the band would be playing these days...how they'd play into today's society, youth, music scene, etc


Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Are there more people who play Smoke On The Water, or Roundabout?

(Rolling Stone 500 Top Albums didn't pick Machine Head but DID pick Paranoid, and Led Zeppelin IV - and all three are considered the trinity of British heavy metal)

When they induct Rush maybe this assertion won't be so 'absurd.'
It is already absurd, as the editorial dislike of progressive rock is not about the technical demands placed on the playing of the music or the listener to it. I swear. You should check out the myriad acts that have been inducted into the HoF. No shortage of musicians playing complicated and difficult music there.

Rolling Stone (and many, many other rock critical sources) just do not dig progressive rock. Full stop. Some people do not like punk, or rockabilly, or whatever. It just does not speak to them. And, let's face it, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is controlled by Jann Wenner, who has guided the editorial hand of Rolling Stone since its inception.


Silver Supporting Member
Glam Metal glorifies it too much. I always thought they were called Hair Bands.


Not sure who killed it, but I would have gladly pulled the trigger myself. Unfortunately, not like grunge was much better, just different. Which is worse poofy hair, spandex, cocaine, or dirty, flannel, heroin? Skilled guitarists, bad tone, cheesiness, or 0 guitar skills, ok guitar tone, depression? Glad they are both over.


Funny how people identfy that era with two things that comprised a small part of all that was happening at that time. Nirvana was towards the end of the line when people starting tossing the grunge term around. That came more from the media response, which is always months to years behind the start of anything.

The scene back then was pretty diverse. It wasn't uncommon to catch a Blake Babies show on Fri and a something like Uncle Tupelo the next night. There wasn't one or two uniforms. People make more out of hair metal than it was. As much exposure as it got the appeal was limited to a fairly small crowd. Nirvana was part of a much larger thing. The alternative scene included artists of every stripe.


Silver Supporting Member
I can't help but wonder what Kurt would be saying these days, what the band would be playing these days...how they'd play into today's society, youth, music scene, etc
Me too. They seemed like they were just getting started, and then it was over.


I was 33 the day I first heard Nirvana on the radio. It was "Smells Like Teen Spirit," just released, and I had to pull the car over to the side of the road, it hit me so hard. I was living in Connecticut at the time. Yes, there were other Seattle bands that broke before them (I knew about Soundgarden, at least) but dammm. That song smashed through the wall of crap I had been hearing on rock radio for most of the 1980s like a battering ram.

That moment in time single-handedly changed my view of "new" music. I was back in the game after not buying a new album in like ten years.


Silver Supporting Member
man, the song drain you is so good.
in the book "chosen rejects" an interview kurt talks about how he liked that song better than "teen spirit".
the funny thing, "drain you" is his love ballad to his old girlfriend toby vail.
funny how it doesn't really sound like a "love ballad", it just sounds good....
another interview kurt talked about how nirvana worked the fomula: verse chorus verse, etc and the soft/loud dynamic....he knew it was a formula and in the interview wondered how long they could continue to use it or "milk it" . he also knew that the heavy guitar sound was a real catch to the youth of america at the time.... and he sort of wondered if he could move away from these things. they also knew the followup would never match nevermind, and he basically talked about his "10 yr" plan, where he'd have to get a job probably.... granted pulling pieces out of old interviews...but i think kurt was pretty aware of how the record industry works/worked....
it would be interesting if he had lived....not sure if he would have been happy....i think he had a lot of pain....
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Silver Supporting Member
I'm not sure what killed but whatever it was I'd like to say thank you.

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