So, having mentioned that it’s the 30th anniversary of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica last weekend, I guess I should mention at least one of the other ground-breaking albums that came out the same year. (There were quite a few, as it goes.)
If you listen to either BBC 6Music or, perhaps a little more surprisingly, BBC Radio 2, it can’t have escaped your attention that this weekend sees the 30th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s genre-defining Nevermind album.
I’m not sure that there’s anything I can say about this record that hasn’t already been said, except maybe this: in the mid-90s we were asked to choose between Blur and Oasis as Britpop hit peak momentum, but back in 1991 it was perfectly acceptable to like both Screamaelica and Nevermind, never mind (see what I did there) that these were records at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Which is a tad ironic, given that Nevermind is credited with spearheading the grunge movement, which the Britpop movement was, so we’re told, a direct reaction to. “The Kids” may have been dressing in scruffy jeans a plaid shirts, but it just wasn’t British enough, hence the subsequent reaction and rise of bands like Suede, Blur and oh-go-on-then Oasis, bands quintessentially British in all they did.
But that paints a picture of grunge not really taking hold, and that’s not true either. Because for a brief moment in 1991, there was an overlap, and it was perfectly acceptable amongst the yoof to love both, and to interact with the records differently.
It’s really tough to choose a song from Nevermind to post this morning, but I got a steer yesterday afternoon, listening to 6Music when they played this and, having not listened to the album for several years, I was transported back to when I first heard the album, lost for breath at the fact that there is not one duff song on Nevermind, as this – not a single – which I turned up loudly when it got played yesterday, amply demonstrates:
Apart from the fact that – and I appreciate this won’t endear me to the die-hard fans – that’s a great catchy-as-hell (pop) record, it’s that bit when it rises to a crescendo and then crashes back in that I really love.