Theo Cateforis (Syracuse University)
From What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and its History, Fourth Edition, by John Covach and Andrew Flory (W. W. Norton & Company, 2015)
On April 30, 1991, Nirvana signed with Geffen Records, leaving behind the tiny Seattle indie label Sub Pop, who had released their acclaimed 1989 debut LP Bleach. The trio from Aberdeen, Washington, soon released Nevermind in the fall of 1991, an explosive blend of abrasive punk and melodic pop smarts that would knock Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the top of the charts and help launch the alternative rock movement. Nevermind would become a global phenomenon, eventually selling over 30 million copies worldwide for Geffen. As part of Sub Pop’s contract buyout, however, the label stipulated that their logo be placed alongside Geffen’s on every Nirvana album, a strong reminder of alternative’s underground roots.