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Looking at the pop charts now, it's hard to remember that 20 years ago Saturday, an album was released that, for a time, changed music.  That album was Nevermind by Nirvana.  By January, thanks to its hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nevermind replaced Michael Jackson's Dangerous at #1 on the Billboard chart, and the alternative rock movement of the '90s had officially begun.  Grunge and flannel replaced hairspray and spandex, and soon the charts were filled with bands like Pearl Jam, STP, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and countless others who would've previously been thought to be too "rock" or "weird" to appeal to pop kids.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl said that he knew Nevermind was a hit when the band was asked to play on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1992.  “That, to me, was the moment where I thought, 'OK, we’re a big band now,'” said Grohl.  “I grew up watching SNL.  It’s still my favorite television show of all time…while we were in the dressing room, we got the call from 'Weird Al' Yankovic to ask if he can do a parody of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'  It was like, ‘OK, we’re not that little band in the van anymore.'  Something happened.”

"Weird Al" Yankovic tells ABC News Radio that at the time, he loved alternative and indie rock, and he was thrilled when Nevermind became a hit, because it meant that it was popular enough for him to do a takeoff on it: "Smells Like Nirvana," which was one of his most successful singles ever.  "I was just a big fan of that album and it just kind of blew my mind when it transitioned over and became a big mainstream hit," he says.  "And I was like, 'This is so cool, I can do a Nirvana parody!'  And it's still one of my favorite songs to play live."

Even bands who are considered pop nowadays were deeply affected and influenced by Nevermind.  Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik tells ABC News Radio, "The day I heard [it], I thought to myself, 'Wow, nobody's going to hear this album. So I might steal a few parts of it!'"  Johnny couldn't have been more wrong about that but, he notes, "Looking back on it now, it really was the turning point in music and I don't think a band like us would have been able to get played on mainstream radio if it hadn't been for Nirvana blowing the doors out."  

A special 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind will be released on September 27 along with Nirvana: Live at the Paramount on DVD and Blu-ray.
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