There are multiple artists tracked as “Nirvana” on Last.fm. Following are six, listed in order of prominence:
(1) Nirvana was a popular and highly-influential American grunge band. The band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987, and it was part of the Seattle grunge scene of the late eighties, alongside bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. As their popularity rose, alternative rock became a dominant genre on American and Canadian radio and music television during the early-to-mid nineties.
In late 1987, Cobain and Novoselic recruited drummer Aaron Burckhard. The three practiced material from Cobain’s Fecal Matter tape. After losing contact with Burckhard, the pair instead practised with Dale Crover of The Melvins, and Nirvana recorded its first demos in January 1988. Their first single, a cover version of “Love Buzz”, a song by Dutch group Shocking Blue, was released in November 1988 on the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop. Their debut album, Bleach, was produced by Jack Endino and released in June 1989. Later that year, the band recorded the Blew EP with producer Steve Fisk.
At the start of the new decade, the band commenced their first recording sessions to the follow-up album with producer Butch Vig, replaced their drummer by Dave Grohl, and signed to DGC Records. The result, Nevermind, would eventually sell over seven million copies in the United States, and over thirty million worldwide.
In early 1993, Nirvana released “Puss” / “Oh, the Guilt”, a split single with The Jesus Lizard, on the independent label Touch & Go. Meanwhile, the group chose Steve Albini as the producer to record its third album. In Utero debuted at number one on the Billboard album chart in September the same year. As Nirvana’s frontman, Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the “spokesman of a generation” and Nirvana the “flagship band” of Generation X. In Utero was considered by some to be a conscious attempt to shed their audience.
In November 1993 they recorded for the television show MTV Unplugged. The session was released on CD as MTV Unplugged in New York and topped the charts in 1994.
Nirvana’s brief run ended with the suicide of Cobain in 1994, but the band’s popularity expanded in the years that followed. Eight years after Cobain’s death, “You Know You're Right”, an unfinished demo that the band recorded two months prior to Cobain’s death, topped radio playlists around the world. Since their debut, the band has sold more than fifty million albums worldwide, including more than ten million copies of Nevermind in the U.S. alone. Nirvana remains a consistent presence on radio stations worldwide.
In 2004, the box set With the Lights Out, a collection of radio sessions, home demos, studio demos, and outtakes, was released. A year later, Sliver: The Best of the Box was released, a compilation with three new tracks including a track from the famous Fecal Matter demo.
Band members: Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar, 1987–1994), Krist Novoselic (bass, 1987–1994), Dave Grohl (drums, vocals, 1990–1994).
Prior members: Aaron Burckhard (drums, 1987–1988), Dale Crover (drums, 1988, 1990), Dave Foster (drums, 1988), Chad Channing (drums, 1988–1990), Jason Everman (guitar, 1989), Dan Peters (drums, 1990).
Touring members: Pat Smear (guitar, 1993–1994), Lori Goldston (cello, 1993–1994), Melora Creager (cello, 1994).
(2) Nirvana is a U.K.-based progressive rock band formed in 1967, primarily active in the late 1960s to early 1970s and still sporadically active to the present day.
The band was formed in the summer of 1967 in an era when melodic pop/rock music with baroque and chamber arrangements and instrumentation was highly-prized. The band consisted of two songwriter/performers — Greek-born Alex Spyropoulos and Irish-born Patrick Campbell-Lyons — who met in London. They produced a number of singles (notably “Rainbow Chaser”, “Pentecost Hotel”, and “Tiny Goddess”) for the fledgling Island Records label.
The band was signed by Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell in the era when he also signed the bands Traffic and Free.
In October 1967 the band released its first album — a concept album produced by Blackwell titled The Story of Simon Simopath. The album was probably the first narrative concept album ever released, predating story-driven concept albums such as The Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow (December 1968), The Who’s Tommy (April 1969), and The Kinks’ Arthur (September 1969).
Musically, the group blended myriad musical styles including rock, pop, folk, jazz, Latin rhythms, and classical music — primarily augmented by baroque chamber-style arrangements.
In 1968 their follow-up album, All of Us, featured a similar broad range of musical styles. Their third album To Markos III was released on the Pye label in 1969.
In 1971 the duo amicably separated for a while, with Campbell-Lyons the primary contributor to the next two Nirvana albums, Local Anaesthetic (1971), and Songs of Love and Praise (1972). Campbell-Lyons subsequently worked as a solo artist and issued further albums: Me and My Friend (1973), Electric Plough (1981), and The Hero I Might Have Been (1983) though these did not enjoy commercial success.
The band reunited in 1985, successfully touring Europe and releasing a compilation album Black Flower (1987) containing some new material. (Black Flower had been the provisional title of their third album.) In the 1990s two further albums were released. Secret Theatre (1994) compiled rare tracks and demos, while Orange And Blue (1996) contained previously unreleased material including a tongue-in-cheek cover of the song “Lithium” originally recorded by the American grunge band Nirvana who released its first album in 1989, and who the band had successfully sued over use of the name Nirvana. The undisclosed terms of the settlement has apparently allowed the original Nirvana to continue using its name and issuing new recordings.
In 1999 the band released a three-disc CD anthology titled Chemistry including several previously-unreleased tracks and some new material.
Top musicians who played on Nirvana sessions include: Lesley Duncan, Herbie Flowers, Billy Bremner (later of Rockpile/Dave Edmunds fame), Luther Grosvenor, Wynder K. Frogg, Clem Cattini, and the full lineup of rock band Spooky Tooth.
The group was in the school of baroque-flavored, melodic pop-rock music typified by The Beatles’ Rubber Soul and Revolver, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, The Zombies of Odessey and Oracle, the Procol Harum’s of A Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed, and The Kinks’ of Something Else by The Kinks. The majority of the tracks on Nirvana’s albums fall into that broad genre of contemporary popular music not easily categorized but perhaps best described as the baroque or chamber strand of progressive rock.
Their first three albums were reissued on CD by Universal in 2003 and received critical acclaim. In 2005 Universal (Japan) reissued Local Anaesthetic and Songs of Love and Praise.
As of late 2005 the founding members Alex Spyropoulos and Patrick Campbell-Lyons are still sporadically writing and recording.
(3) Nirvana was a short-lived Finnish punk band formed in 1980, whose sole release was a 7" vinyl disc with tracks “Kielletyt leikit” and “Kuljen kaupungilla” with two hundred pressings.
(4) Nirvana was a Dutch pop group, formed in 1985 by producers Bernard Oattes and Rob van Schaik. The group consisted of Anthony Moendir, Frits Broekrits, and Annie Alberti and released one single, “Say When”, which became a big hit. The group split up in 1987.
(5) Nirvana is a side project of The Skaters’ James Ferraro. Primitive droning drum beats and swirling synthesizers.
(6) Nirvana was a Slovenian hard-rock band in the early seventies. They appear on several collections (YU Record Collector Dream, Boom Festival 72).