This Day in History: NIRVANA’s Debut Album Bleach is Released

On this day, June 15th, 1989, NIRVANA released their debut album, Bleach, on Sub Pop Records. It was recorded and produced by Jack Endino at Reciprocal Recording Studios in Seattle between December 29th and 31st, 1988, and two separate sessions on January 14th and 24th, 1989. Endino billed the band for thirty hours of recording, a total of $606.17. Jason Everman, a friend of Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, paid the bill.

Let’s face it: Nirvana has one of the most perfect discographies imaginable. Their all-too-short existence aided it. It was a perfect run of three impeccable studio albums (Incesticide is a compilation album of b-sides, covers, outtakes, demos and radio broadcast recordings, and is not an official studio album). Of the three, Nevermind is the album that turned the world on its head, In Utero is the self-sabotaging noise rock masterpiece, and Bleach is the birth of it all.

Listening to Bleach with the historical perspective we now have, it’s easy to forget that the Kurt Cobain we all came to know, the iconic frontman who desperately railed against his fame and success, didn’t exist in 1988/1989. His well-chronicled struggles with notoriety and addiction were a speck on a distant horizon. Indeed, the thought of him changing the course of popular musical culture the way he did seemed a laughable fantasy to all involved… read more >

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