Nirvana - Bleach (Cover Artwork)


Nirvana: BleachBleach (1989)
Sub Pop Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: FuckArmageddon77FuckArmageddon77
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For every generation of punk rockers, there is that one band that "changed everything". For those of generations before me it may have been The Ramones, or Bad Brains, or Black Flag...For me, it was Nirvana. I did not have the luxury of growing up in a city with a thriving underground music cu.
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For every generation of punk rockers, there is that one band that "changed everything". For those of generations before me it may have been The Ramones, or Bad Brains, or Black Flag...For me, it was Nirvana.

I did not have the luxury of growing up in a city with a thriving underground music culture. Growing up in a small, southern town in the eighties and early nineties, rock music fans were lucky if Whitesnake or Aerosmith decided to stop nearby on tour. When I was in junior high, the fact that I was into AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Metallica was enough to label me as a freak amongst my teachers and classmates.

When I first started high school, I had little reason to believe that life was going to change much. Little did I know at the time that in a few months EVERYTHING was going to change. It's hard to put into words exactly what happened the first time I heard those opening chords to "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Suffice to say, for the first time in my life, my eyes were open. There was a whole other culture out there that I had never known before but I knew that it was where I belonged.

It was Nirvana that turned me on to Indie Rock groups like Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Husker Du, and The Pixies, It was Nirvana that turned me on to punk-fused sludgy metal groups like The Melvins, Quicksand, Willard, and punk/metal groups like Flipper and late Rollins era Black Flag, and it was Nirvana that introduced me to punk and hardcore. By delving deeper into Nirvana's influences and peers, I would in turn check out the artists who influenced them. Through Nirvana I found Fugazi, Minor Threat, Bad Religion, The Ramones...the list goes on. In short, everything I know about music, punk and otherwise, I owe to Nirvana.

In retrospect, it is very easy for us to play the MTV sellout card. But the fact of the matter is, Nirvana's mainstream success was unprecidented. It was an experiment and if anyone can claim that they knew 100% what would come of it, then they're a fucking liar. For better or for worse, it happened...

Every Punk Rock 101 scholar can talk about the negative effects Nirvana's success had on their scene. Let's, for a moment however, examine the positive effects...

Due to the success of Nirvana's music and the subsequent attention it drew to small-time indie label, Sub Pop, for the first time, underground bands were able to find themselves in a position where they could maintain a DIY/remain independent stance AND make a living off of their music. Coupled with the success of Offspring's "Smash" and the attention it generated for the then practically unheard of punk rock label, Epitaph, bands suddenly found that they were able to quit their day jobs and focus solely on their music. Like them or not, it is only because of the success of bands such ans Nirvana and the Offspring, that bands such as NOFX can boast platinum records without having to succumb to the major labels, commercial radio, or MTV.

But on to "Bleach", I discovered this CD shorty after "Nevermind". I loved both of them, but more so than any other release, "Bleach" is Nirvana at their truest. Sure, it might not have as many hummable singles and sing-along anthems as "Nevermind", but this album laid down the ground work for everything Nirvana ever was or would become. Dark sludgy punk metal with pop sensibilities. Kind of like Flipper meets "My War" era Black Flag meets the Pixies meets the Beatles. Every track is great. This album is a classic.


People who liked this also liked:
Nirvana - NevermindNirvana - MTV Unplugged in New YorkNirvana - In UteroThe Clash - London CallingNOFX - Punk In DrublicOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesBad Brains - Bad BrainsThe Clash - The ClashRamones - Ramones

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
CountDruckula (November 10, 2012)

"If it weren't for Nirvana, we wouldn't have _________."

The Foo Fighters

hugochavez (January 28, 2012)


skibi (March 3, 2009)

Bleach shows the starting of the band that will pull grunge/punk rock into the light for a new generation to rise up, and take the music scene by storm. Kurts vocals are unmistakable, along with his unique guitar style, it makes this his break out record. Love Buzz is one of NIRVANA's most commercialized songs, but is easily stuck in your head and makes you want more. Check NIRVANA they rock - and would still be big if it hadn't been for Kurt's "suicide" (oh yes, it was a conspiracy XP :) )

Sedrick (February 13, 2007)

It 's the best album of NIRVANA 'cause it is the more GRUNGE.

kingofsuck (July 7, 2006)

A few good songs here and there, but a lot of forgetable stuff.

Anonymous (January 16, 2006)

aku sex grunge
aku suka muzik

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

very good

Anonymous (November 16, 2005)

"If it weren't for Nirvana, we wouldn't have _________."

I defy you to fill in that blank with something positive.


Godfather (October 15, 2005)

RIP Kurt

Anonymous (March 20, 2005)

This album is the beginning of everything.

Kurt we miss you.

Anonymous (November 4, 2004)

I know I'm the first to comment on this album in quite awhile but I think I'll actually review it for you.
Bleach was made for about $600 so you obviously cant expect the recording to be grand. This CD is a lot rawer than Nevermind or In Utero, and isn't as catchy but if you really want some "underground" stuff I suggest you get this. If you don't own a Nirvana CD I suggest you get In Utero.

Anonymous (March 6, 2004)

Smashing Pumpkins killed any hair band, and you're stupid if you think otherwise.

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

yeah so maybe NOFX owes a little bit of their success to nirvana and the offspring, but they owe most of it to their 20 plus years of constant songwriting, touring, and dedication

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

"Kind of like Flipper meets "My War" era Black Flag meets the Pixies meets the Beatles. "Christ i hate it when stupid people use phrases they clearly don't understand.

MrVeryDrunk (April 17, 2003)

Fuck Rancid. Tim Armstrong's bitch writes better music then those fucks.

rightcliqificus (April 17, 2003)

Dave Grohl is better than Chad Channing, but its kinda hard to call him (or the queers of the stoneage) amazing. He hits hard with fury, but the beats are pretty basic. I'd say that Chad Channing is below average, and Dave Grohl is average, or slightly above.

Anonymous (April 16, 2003)

This is for the guy who said that Chad Channing was the best drummer Nirvana ever had: You're a fucking dumbass. Dave Grohl fucking kills every other drummer. Chad Channing wasn't even good enough to be on the whole album. Floyd the Barber? Blew? They were both taken from the original demo they did with the drummer from the Melvins. They tried to redo them, but the drums sucked. Chad Channing was the definition of average. Dave Grohl was (and still is with Queens of the Stoneage) amazing.

Anonymous (April 16, 2003)

rancid kicks a$$

Anonymous (April 16, 2003)


RightCliqificus (April 16, 2003)

most of you out there take them for granted, but you would've never heard AT LEAST half (if not all) of the bands you now listen to because of them. Their influence reached to the lowest depths of the underground punk scene. They shifted the entire music scene in one year. To deny that is just naivety.

Anonymous (April 15, 2003)

what's the difference between nirvana and a bucket of shit?

the bucket

Anonymous (April 15, 2003)

I was in a very similar situation as the reviewer. The only difference is I lived in a 95% Roman Catholic country with not a whole lot of diversity and needless to say, absolutely no independent music scene. Nirvana was the first "punk" band I was able to get ahold of and by exploring their influences I became more deeply involved in the Punk Rock and Hardcore scene. It cost me close to $30 to have an Epitaph CD imported back in those days.

Kurt Cobain is by no means a hero, but his talent and influence on a generation of songwriters is undeniable. It is true that Nirvana opened the door for sub-par bands like Bush but you can only hold the record execs accountable for that and not Nirvana. I have never been a big Pearl Jam fan but I believe they have become more legitimate artists over time.

Anonymous (April 15, 2003)

Nirvana made it possible for bands like Pearl Jam, Bush, Live, and the Smashing Pumpkins to become mainstream. . .I'm not sure if any of those bands are any better than hair bands

Kurt Cobain was heroin addict
He killed himself...leaving behind a daughter, a wife, and a million desparate fans

yet some consider him a hero

red (April 14, 2003)

This album was the best all the songs were great.Damn i just thought u should all know he didn`t kill himself.Courtney Love killed kurt she hired the butler to kill kurt.The suicide letter wasn`t written by him and the gun was purchased for his safty after knowing by someone that he was in danger.When he was found barracaded in his room dead he was dead and he was using heroin.He couldn`t have pulled the trigger he would have been totaly out of it.

Anonymous (April 14, 2003)

"So what you are telling me is any band that goes platinum or sells millions of albums isnt overrated... well id have to disagree with you."

Yeah, thinking back on that statement, maybe I didn't word it the right way....

let me kind of rephrase.... Nirvana wasn't one of those pop bands that was over hyped before their first Major release.... They released a single and it blew up, only because it was a great song.... then the hype came.... the hype was well deserving, and I can only say that about a hand full of bands.... I don't think they were overrated, I think they were justly put in the spotlight.... they were an influence and will be an influence on thousands and thousands of bands.... Like calling the Beatles overrated.... It's blasphemy..... You can't deny the fact that they reshaped the face of music.... you can't deny the influence they have on bands today.... I'm not arguing your point, i'm just clarifying....

jheisel (April 14, 2003)

this review did kind of blow informationwise, but i liked it anyway. maybe because it is 9am and i just got in to work and it's going to be a long day and now i've got nirvana songs in my head and it's working so much better than the coffee to wake me up.

Anonymous (April 13, 2003)

"When I was in junior high, the fact that I was into AC/DC, Judas Priest, and Metallica was enough to label me as a freak amongst my teachers and classmates."

And a freak among me, too.

BostonMusicGuy (April 13, 2003)

"Every album they did went at least double platinum and over 10 million in the us with Nevermind, obviously they weren't overrated"So what you are telling me is any band that goes platinum or sells millions of albums isnt overrated... well id have to disagree with you.As for the album, I like it, but I like "In utero" much much better. Also, who cares what anybody has to say about this album that came out in 1989... if you ask me a column on how nirvana has influenced the author and other acts is more important. The score is for thr well written column.-BostonMusicGuy

Anonymous (April 13, 2003)

nirvana doesnt wash their hair

Anonymous (April 13, 2003)

This review reqlly sucked.

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

If this was the TV show American Idol for music reviews, that simon guy would say in a snobby accent.....

That was terrible, I learned everything about you getting into music and hardly anything about the album....next!

Its a good album though

degenerate (April 12, 2003)

Ha Ha, one on the guys on the album sleve let all that grunge go to his 'head'. Wow that was funny.

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

I wish the people who don't own this album could get a review and not your life story you fucking tosser.

Anyway, this album kicks ass and was produced for $600(?), which just makes it even better. Nevermind and In Utero are the same sound and style the only difference is Albini's production. Bleach is the only really interesting one. Just listen to "Negative Creep."

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

if you're gonna give anyone credit for "re-opening" the underground scene, give it to the record label who took a chance on nirvana, not to nirvana, at that point in time popular music was so shitty that any whiny shitty punk rock type band would've done the same, i don't know why you'd worship some heroin addict who killed himself leaving behind a daughter, a wife, and a legion of fans

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

word up. that's the exact same way i got into punk, hc, indie rock, etc. rock on. oh, and while this cd has less awesome tracks than say..in utero, its still pretty damn rock.


Fuzzy (April 12, 2003)

There's one paragraph about the album. Good column about Nirvana and how they helped revitalize interest in the underground scene. The score is for that.

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

nevermind is the shit

unconcerned (April 12, 2003)

to the guy below me... this album is unlistenable but incesticide is??? are you a tool?? this album is the catchiest thing they ever did... best drummer they ever had... best damned album they could ever have done... if they would have broken up after this album and never went on to the hype this album would still be worth owning... get shoot yourself

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

I worship Kurt Cobain and I honestly do put Nirvana as, if not my favorite band of all time, in the top five... but this album sucks. This is the only one I don't own just because compared to every other album, it's just not listenable.

FortyMinutesWest (April 12, 2003)

Its not that I dont like Nirvana, its that I think theyre not as good as a lot of people do...I don't know, I'd elaborate but I'm out of it right now.

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

Everyone has a personal taste, saying a band is overrated because you don't like them, means nothing. Saying a band is overated because critics like them and people don't, makes sense. Every album they did went at least double platinum and over 10 million in the us with Nevermind, obviously they weren't overrated.

With that, Nirvana also got me into punk. I found the Supersuckers, Sex Pistols, Nofx, Mudhoney, the Dwarves all those great bands of the late 80's early 90's that came out of that "scene" and much of what came out on Sub Pop.

Am I the only one that thinks Incesticide is one of the greatest albums ever (even if it is a B-sides and rarity album)? That and In Utero are two of my all time favorite albums.

I do agree however, you could done a review of the album, although i enjoyed reading your comments.

FortyMinutesWest (April 11, 2003)

I'll agree with the Nirvana is overrated comments.

waste_elite (April 11, 2003)

you said "punk rock 101" in the review and totally ripped off kurt's sucide note. bogus.

i'll agree with evildeadalive or whoever it was that said that this has some good songs and bad songs. they were still developing so it has its weak points. in utero is the choice nirvana record.

gabe (April 11, 2003)

honestly, is it really necessary to review albums that have been out for a reallllly long time? Maybe these should go in another section or something...


Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

I agree with the guy a couple of levels downstairs, Nirvana was an ok band and the very best and are definitely one of the most overrated bands out there.

evildeadalive (April 11, 2003)

There's some great songs on here, but there's some pretty shitty ones too.

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

its hard for me to call this band overrated considering i as well would never have got into ramones, clash, etc etc etc if i hadn't heard of nirvana. call em overrated, call em grunge, call em lucky for being at the right place at the right time, whatever-but don't deny the fact that if it wasn't nirvana, not many of you would have gotten into punk. for those of you who say you got into punk b/c of rancid/greenday-again, w/o nirvana, the mid 90's punk "revival" never happens. as for the review-why don't you make it up and write like a mini review with your thoughts on the actual songs in the comments section?

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

In Utero is the only Nirvana record that I'd consider classic, much less owning.

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

i couldn't DISAGREE with you anymore than I do, nirvana, while an ok band at most, is by far the most overrated band out there

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

some good ol' grunge

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

you know, for a review on the album, there could have been a little more ABOUT THE ALBUM!

TheOneTrueBill (April 11, 2003)

not much of a review, but an interesting read nonetheless

Mr_Pink (April 11, 2003)

I was a huge Nirvana fan back in the day, finally got to see them live after In Utero and it was really sad. Kurt was barely there. I've never been so disappointed by a performance. Half Japanese opened and made it all worthwhile, though. More of an anecdote than a comment, but this wasn't really a review, was it?

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that NOFX doesn't have any platinum records... Punk in Drublic is gold, maybe that's what you're thinking.

I could be wrong on this...


Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

Going retro is fine as long as the reviews aren't just personal diaries of musical influence. Come on, one sentence on the actual album? Do you really think that we needed the lecture on Nirvana's influence? I would've much rather heard about Bleach as it compares to Nevermind, In Utero etc. Maybe what the songs were like... Next time you should probably focus on the reviews first.


Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

all right. punknews.org has gone retro. the songs "school" and "negative creep" rock. i still like "in utero" more.


Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

i learned nothing about this album from this review. i know of the album but if i wanted to buy this album and i was going by this review to buy it or not, i would say no. because this guy told me again, NOTHING.

thanks for everything.

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