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             In their brief seven year history, Nirvana brought alternative music to the forefront, and helped define a generation of youth left alienated by the baby boom generation.
             Nirvana's roots lay in the underground scene of Seattle, in the mid-1980's. The Melvins, based out of Olympia, and the Sonic Youth were early mentors of the band that would later be known as Nirvana. Their first musical incarnation as the Stiff Woodies featured Cobain on drums, Novoselic on bass and whoever happened to be around on guitar. By 1987 they had morphed into Nirvana; Cobain moved to vocals and guitar, and drummer Chad Channing was added. Nirvana soon gained the attention of the Seattle label Sub Pop and their debut album, Bleach, was released in June 1989. Dave Grohl of the Washington, D.C. hardcore band Scream replaced Channing in September 1990. During the summer of 1991 the band opened for Sonic Youth on their European Festival tour. Nirvana's landmark performance at the Reading Festival was featured in the documentary "1991: The Year Punk Broke" and marked the beginning of their worldwide recognition. Ironically, 1991 marked the birth of Nirvanamania and also the beginning of Cobain's mental and physical deterioration. .
             The group signed with Geffen Records to record their much anticipated second album, and when Nevermind was released in the fall of 1991, it knocked Michael Jackson's Dangerous off the top of the U.S. album charts. .
             The success of the album, which went triple platinum, was fueled by MTV's constant airplay of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The song was hailed as the anthem of the alienated grunge generation and its appeal broadened the band's fan base to include mainstream jocks, metalheads and alternative wannabes; the very people Nirvana music was supposed to alienate. .
             Rumors of Cobain's heroin use were ever-present and as the band grew into a multi-million dollar business, he began to withdraw into his own drug-induced world.

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