Alternate History

Nirvana Post-1994 (What if Kurt hadn't shot himself?)

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Nirvana was a grunge band formed in 1987 by guitarist and lead singer Kurt Cobain & bassist Krist Novoselic. The most famous lineup of the band is probably that of Cobain, Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl (later to become lead singer and guitarist for the psychedelic rock band Foo Fighters following the band's breakup), existing from 1990-1994. Rhythm guitarist Pat Smear joined the band in early 1994 to compose the lineup they used for the rest of their original run. To date, they have released five studio albums (Bleach in 1989, Nevermind in 1991, In Utero in 1993, Odyssey in 1995 and Paranoid in 2014) and two compilation albums (Nirvana: A Complete Collection in 1998 and Nirvana 25 in 2012). The band broke up in 1999 following three years on hiatus due to acrimony between Cobain and Novoselic, but reformed in 2012 for a farewell show in New York to celebrate 25 years together. They then officially reformed in 2013 following months of speculation after the reception they received at the farewell show.

Odyssey (1995)

Following the commencing of the In Utero tour in May 1994, the band began work on a fourth studio album. Kurt Cobain teased that 'this was to be completely different from Nevermind and In Utero, and would focus more on earlier music that inspired them, such as the likes of the Beatles'. However, not even the band could have anticipated the reaction that the album received following its release in October 1995. The psychedelia-infused album sold five million records in the US within the first week of its release, becoming the fastest selling album of all time worldwide. The singles within the album also lived up to expectation, with the title track becoming Nirvana's first chart topper upon its release in January 1996. Due to the reception Odyssey received, Nirvana decided to bring their tour forward six months to April 1996.

Odyssey tour and hiatus (1996-99)

The Odyssey World Tour opened with a night in Nirvana's hometown of Seattle on 15th April 1996, marking their last appearance there to date. Dates in New York, Washington DC, and a performance at the Grammies followed over the course of April before the band departed for Europe. On their way there via Rio de Janeiro, the band played in Rio before arriving in Moscow for the European leg of the tour. Three months of dates across Europe followed before Nirvana played their final ever gig in their original run at the Reading Festival on 18th August 1996. Following what could have only have been described as the perfect way to go out with the performance of a lifetime, the four members decided to go their separate ways until they came back together in November 1996 to record their fifth studio album, rumoured to have been called "If I Had Only...". However, when recording sessions began, Cobain and Novoselic argued over the creative direction the band was going in, as Novoselic wanted a return to the sound that had made them famous in the first place, whereas Cobain wanted to keep going in the alternative rock direction, closer to the way other grunge bands of the time were going. In frustration, Cobain absconded from the recording studio, and didn't return at all. Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Novoselic tried in vain to continue recording sessions, but only Novoselic was interested in the direction he wanted to take Nirvana in, and therefore the other three band members agreed to go their separate ways. Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl announced an indefinite hiatus on December 20th 1996 in an interview with MTV, stating that the band 'needed some time to clear their heads'. Over the next 30 months, the band members committed to various projects. Dave Grohl and Pat Smear founded the psychedelic rock band, Foo Fighters, as an indication that they were of a similar opinion to Kurt on Nirvana's future direction. Krist Novoselic did touring with Pearl Jam for a year, in protest at Kurt's 'no more grunge' attitude. Kurt Cobain launched a solo career, with his covers album 'Nostalgin' going straight to the top of the album charts. However, rumours about the band coming off hiatus surfaced in May 1998, when Cobain and Novoselic announced they had made up. However, the real shock was to come in December 1999, when Nirvana announced their hiatus was now indefinite. The band that shaped the 90s was not going to survive past it.

Reunion of band members (2007-11)

The members of Nirvana reunited on the twentieth anniversary of the band's formation for a special MTV Special about their Unplugged performance in 1993. The years may have gone but Nirvana's popularity hadn't slowed, as shown when the four band members picked up a Special Contribution to Music at the MTV Awards. The four band members appeared on stage together for the first time in 15 years in 2011, when they collaborated with various other grunge artists for the Grunge25 concert, however none of them performed as Nirvana.

Farewell Show (2012)

In 2012, Kurt Cobain appeared in public for the first time in five years to announce that Nirvana were reuniting, albeit for a farewell show. The show was to be staged in New York on September 24th 2012, on the site of their legendary Unplugged performance. Former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing also announced his participation, as some of the songs included in the show were to be from Bleach. Tickets for the show sold out in five minutes, and MTV were to be exclusively filming it. The show itself was memorable, with songs from Nirvana's extensive catalogue being performed, as well as songs from other projects pursued by the band members. At the end of the show, Kurt Cobain hung up his guitar on a chair onstage, saying this 'was the end of the greatest experience of my life'. Nirvana had said goodbye for the last time. Or had they?

Reformation and Paranoid (2013-)

Despite Nirvana's official retirement, rumours surfaced about a permanent reunion happening, following the reception the farewell show received. The band members all denied it, with only Cobain failing to answer. However, fans' dreams were realised in October 2013, when Dave Grohl and Pat Smear announced the dissolution of Foo Fighters, for the reason that Nirvana were to reform fully for the first time in 17 years. Recording quickly began, and was finished by January 2014, when the band revealed the album was to be called 'Paranoid'. The first single from the album was released in April 2014, and became Nirvana's biggest selling single to date, selling 9 million copies in the five months following it's release. Nirvana's fourth album was released on 3rd September 2014, restoring the band back to its grunge roots.

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