Author Topic: Does Nirvana actually suck?  (Read 4923 times)

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Does Nirvana actually suck?
« on: February 18, 2015, 02:00:17 PM »
I will be tackling this question in a new blog entry soon on my website. I always hear people express some band as the greatest ever but it is always when someone from said band is dead and usually only after their death they get that legacy.

The question I am wanting to answer is, while Nirvana was a good band for their time do they really  deserve to be remembered as greatest of all time, or even a great band? On that note is it possible they aren't even great at all but actually quite terrible and we were all duped into thinking they were great because  we got caught up in the whole whole 90's anti-80's-screw-fashion-lets-all-be-dirty-lazy-reckless-not give a **** attitude?

The real question I want to consider is not just were they actually good, that to me seems like the first obvious place to start. I then want to follow up with if they are good were they really as good as people make them out to be or if they weren't really that good how did we get duped into thinking they were? Don't get me wrong I had Nevermind, who didn't and I rocked out to it like all 90's teens did but I still think that there is a good chance they are not just over rated and over hyped but might actually have been a true fluke.


I will be examining this from the perspective of a long time question. What I have done is intentionally not allowed myself to listen to or be exposed to anything relating to Nirvana in almost a decade. I occasionally play their two big tracks Smells like Teen Spirit and Come as You are from time to time during appropriate sets of music experience but I have gone out of my way to remove them from my conscious as much as possible in an effort  to be truly objective. I am hoping that I won't be tainted by nostalgia in this quest either because while they did rock hard in the early part of the decade, I was still heavy into Hip-Hop and gangsta rap then so I actually missed them during their peak and only heard about them after he killed himself, or his wife killed him whatever story you want to believe.

Anyways I can safely say that aside from rare occasions where it was inevitable I didn't actively listen to their music much but  I did have their CD at one point and I gave it a complete play through when I was 16. Then I put it on the shelf and pretty much forgot about it, in reality as far as that type of rock music went I actually listened to Collective Soul self titled album far more than I ever did Nevermind. My favorite band of that era was actually Garbage followed closely by No Doubt so there is a good chance Nirvana was just too grunge or too I don't know fringe for me?

Anyways I plan on actually listening through each of their works including watching live performances of concerts if I can find the recordings as well as any music videos, MTV appearances, etc that I can dig up and will evaluate them both musically, culturally, as well as intellectually as a case study of music having an impact on our society.


This is not my first in depth query of this type, I actually wrote a comprehensive retrospective on the development and evolution of disco, funk and soul as it morphed into Hip-Hop/Rap, Techno/House, and Club/Dance music of today. I am sharing this here with music lovers who might be interested in checking out this piece when I have completed it.


I will try to do it as a blog editorial type piece but I will be looking at cultural impact and societal factors that might have helped contribute to the myth of this band if that makes any sense. Not that this sort of thing hasn't been explored before but this will be my take on it from the perspective of someone who was there at the time but really didn't get caught up in the music as much as the movement.


I will be using methods I have learned in critical thinking and anthropology courses as well as looking at it from a linguistics perspective which is where my major focus of study lies. I hope that this turns out to be en exciting journey and I look forward to sharing my findings with those who might be interested. This has been a long project coming. This will be a sub-series within a new blog series I began called the playlist project where I will analyze different styles and movements of music from different perspectives in order to satisfy my own curiosity as well as to offer a different, hopefully unique perspective.

There is a very real chance I might discover what others have believed for a long time, or I might uncover the hidden truth behind the myth. Anyways it will be a fun exorcise in musical exploration.
Trying to be a better person, honest.

Offline Stogi

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 02:04:52 PM »
You shut your filthy mouth!
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Offline Soren

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2015, 03:23:31 PM »
No.
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015, 05:03:27 PM »
No they don't suck.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 05:53:21 PM »
Nope.

Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 05:58:11 PM »
No. They were a group of talented musicians who broke out and defined an era.
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Offline Caliban

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 10:37:01 PM »
Subjectively, no. Objectively they might, but who am I to say so.

Offline Phil

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 10:42:45 PM »
I was never a fan, but it's not my type of music at the same time.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2015, 11:27:48 PM »
No. They were a group of talented musicians who broke out and defined an era.


This.


I don't think most rational people could even try to pin point a "best band of all time" (although I know several who would pin-point the Beatles). 


Nirvana is the standard bearer for 90s grunge rock.  It's like saying Kanye, Jay-Z, or 2Pac are the best musicians of all time.  Taste accounts for too much in what makes music appealing to someone, there'll never be a definitive answer to the "best" with so many diverse genres of music.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2015, 11:42:31 PM »
I never liked them and I never listen to them. I am not a lemming!!! For that matter, I don't like most of The Beatles stuff either. Oddly, I like more of the solo works they did after breaking up.

So, if you want to say that Nirvana sucks, go for it. It don't bother me none.
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 01:33:19 PM »
I got pretty sick of Smells Like Teen Spirit so for years whenever it started to play on the radio I would switch stations.  A few months ago it came on and I decided to give it a chance again and I LOVED it.  Just an awesome kick-ass rock song that I only stopped liking because it was so overplayed.

Nirvana were a great band but I think Kurt Cobain's suicide raises their profile more than it should.  Because of his death the band's work abruptly cuts off at their peak.  There was no era of washed up Nirvana playing crappy casino gigs or releasing embarrassing albums where they tried and failed to update their sound to what "the kids are listening to these days".  Most bands stick around for way too long.  The bands that quit in their prime and solo artists that died young tend to have an inflated aura because they left the audience wanting more.  If Nirvana was the Beatles of their time then Pearl Jam was clearly the Stones.  Pearl Jam has been consistently active but I realize I don't care about anything they've done for the last ten years.  I know their best stuff has already been released.  But Nirvana could have had more.

Though I find when I think of grunge music I think more of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam.  If you put them all in a playlist Nirvana kind of doesn't fit as well as they're more punk oriented while the more typical grunge sound was more based in hard rock.  Oddly enough when I think of the British Invasion I find the Stones, Who and Kinks all have a pretty similar sound at first but the Beatles sound quite different.  Four bands from the same general area are associated with a specific scene but the most popular of the four doesn't quite sound like the other three. The Nirvana/Beatles comparison works again!

Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 02:18:33 PM »
I grew up on Hip Hop so maybe I don't know if they suck. I never knew why Creed sucked but I was always told they do by people who grew up listening to Rock. On the other hand, I can tell you 200 reasons why most famous rappers suck but mainstream america fall at their feet and buy their shitty music. So in retrospect, I change to they might but I like them...and Creed.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 04:39:04 PM »
I couldn't give a good reason why Creed suck.  I just find it unpleasant to listen to their music.  I don't like any of their songs that I've heard.  Why is that?  Hard to say.  Musical tastes are hard to describe.  I like lots of Nirvana's material and the stuff I don't like seems to be the band making an intentional effort to be inaccessible.

That's a good plus for Nirvana.  When they suck it's because they're trying to suck on purpose because Kurt Cobain was kind of nuts and didn't like it when his music was popular.  A band that wants to be some underground cult act but is just too damn good and becomes a massive mainstream hit against their wishes is one that has to be pretty talented.  Most bands want to be popular but are so inept that their albums are full of filler that doesn't stand out in any way.

Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2015, 11:33:19 AM »
I couldn't give a good reason why Creed suck.  I just find it unpleasant to listen to their music.  I don't like any of their songs that I've heard.  Why is that?  Hard to say.  Musical tastes are hard to describe.  I like lots of Nirvana's material and the stuff I don't like seems to be the band making an intentional effort to be inaccessible.

That's a good plus for Nirvana.  When they suck it's because they're trying to suck on purpose because Kurt Cobain was kind of nuts and didn't like it when his music was popular.  A band that wants to be some underground cult act but is just too damn good and becomes a massive mainstream hit against their wishes is one that has to be pretty talented.  Most bands want to be popular but are so inept that their albums are full of filler that doesn't stand out in any way.


I wonder how much of it is Kurt because the people who left or were with the band after his death didbn't do anything meaningful that I was aware of. His wife's band sucked. But to be honest I was never that much into the whole grunge or rock thing anyways, I liked some punk, some alternative and a little ska but grunge and mainstream rock never appealed to me much.


I hit a snag in my quest do write this blog thing, I can't find their cd's or music videos for a price I am willing to pay so I might have to rely on Youtube to experience their music and that diminishes the experience.
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2015, 02:44:13 PM »


That's a good plus for Nirvana.  When they suck it's because they're trying to suck on purpose because Kurt Cobain was kind of nuts and didn't like it when his music was popular.  A band that wants to be some underground cult act but is just too damn good and becomes a massive mainstream hit against their wishes is one that has to be pretty talented.  Most bands want to be popular but are so inept that their albums are full of filler that doesn't stand out in any way.



I wonder how much of it is Kurt because the people who left or were with the band after his death didbn't do anything meaningful that I was aware of. His wife's band sucked. But to be honest I was never that much into the whole grunge or rock thing anyways, I liked some punk, some alternative and a little ska but grunge and mainstream rock never appealed to me much.


I hit a snag in my quest do write this blog thing, I can't find their cd's or music videos for a price I am willing to pay so I might have to rely on Youtube to experience their music and that diminishes the experience.





If I read this correctly, you are saying Foo Fighters aren't meaningful or did I miss your meaning?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 02:47:40 PM by Nile Boogie Returns »

Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2015, 09:37:06 PM »
Obviously musical tastes are subjective but I hated Foo Fighters they were never on my radar even though I did like Nirvana to some degree.
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: Does Nirvana actually suck?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2015, 11:56:14 PM »
True, musical taste are very subjective but its hard to categorize a group  that can sell out Wembley Stadium as "meaningless". I'm not one to spout that sales and tour success has a direct correlation on talent( I'm sure Miley Cyrus make a killing on tour) but "impact" has meaning. From my little experience in the music business I find it easier ti digest opinion of those who give credit to impact while reserving the right to criticize the art on a personal level. (I hope that made some sense)