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Nirvana anniversary sparks grunge books


It’s 20 years since the release of Nevermind by Nirvana and the mainstream media have been all over this anniversary. Last week I listened to NPR interviewing the album’s producer at length and today the Daily Telegraph reviews a book called Everybody Loves Our Town: A History of Grunge by Mark Yarm.

This entertaining book…. does not set out to answer why Seattle, previously a backwater of the American music scene, suddenly produced a clutch of bands, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, that would change the sound of rock music and capture the attention of the world. Instead Yarm charts the phenomenon in the words of the lumber-jack-shirted protagonists themselves, gathering hundreds of interview transcripts and piecing them together into a rip-roaring melodrama fuelled by musical passions, youthful insolence, oscillating fraternal and romantic allegiances, alcohol, tall stories and, increasingly towards its demise, drugs.

If you don’t like the look of that book then you could always go for The Strangest Tribe: How a Group of Seattle Rock Bands Invented Grunge by Stephen Tow – another book released this year.

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Richard Davies

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