Twenty-five years ago Saturday, Geffen Records unleashed Nirvana’s Nevermind on the public like a demon from the depths of hell pulverizing anything and everything in its path. The album presaged the musical revolution that would eventually be termed grunge, but it also brought what many people had deemed alternative music into the mainstream. And whether you like the band or think they sold out punk rock, they changed music forever.
Eventually displacing Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the top of the Billboard charts, Nevermind broke through in a way that The Pixies, Hüsker Dü, Sonic Youth and The Replacements never could.
On the flipside, the album’s massive popularity ultimately paved the way for artists such as Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead, all of which have enjoyed somewhat surprising commercial success.
And more than two decades later, Nevermind continues to be one of the most influential albums in the history of rock. Below, a striking variety of artists share their thoughts about the unprecedented effect the album and the band had on their lives and careers.