Thirty years after its release, Seattle rock trio Nirvana's breakthrough album Nevermind retains an evocative power. When I hear its opening notes, I'm rocketed back to a teenage house party in suburban London; in that darkened parlour, I could feel guitars and machines fighting for my soul.
I was thrilled by Nevermind's sounds, but as a young music obsessive (who also happened to be a Muslim female Iraqi Brit), I felt sidelined by the press coverage around the record, and Seattle's burgeoning "grunge" scene; mainstream perspectives seemed overwhelmingly blokey, homogenously white and insular – at odds with Nirvana themselves, particularly their culturally inquisitive, masculine/feminine frontman Kurt Cobain. As Nevermind hits its 30th anniversary, I was curious to discover how the album personally affected fans and musicians around the world. These varied global exchanges (much aided by modern tech) reinforced Nevermind's classic album status; like all great pop culture, it fires shots across distance and time.
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