Old Favourites: Nirvana – “In Bloom”

“Spring is here again, reproductive glands…”

Part two of our anniversary tribute – let’s talk about Nirvana. I’m a suburban kid who grew up in the 90s, so of course Nirvana’s been a big part of my life. Interestingly, though, I didn’t quite understand the full story about them until the early 2000s, where the Nirvana phase went through my entire grade, coinciding with the self-titled greatest hits record. The story is one that has confused me, troubled me and shaken my foundations as a kid, and one that I’m not quite sure I fully comprehend – let’s not forget I was all of four years old when Kurt Cobain ended his life. With all that in mind, though, I feel it’s important to talk about Nevermind and the impact it had across all walks of life and all fields of pop culture.

For the In Bloom video, the band targeted the American dream. A parody of the Ed Sullivan Show, where the band are described as “wholesome, clean cut young men,” Nirvana take very clear stabs at their own success (complete with Beatlemania parallels) and what it means to be a cool, accessible rock band (the “clean” footage is mixed with the band cross-dressing and trashing their equipment). Most people will easily pick Smells Like Teen Spirit as the defining video of the Nevermind era, but I find myself coming back to In Bloom considerably more – it’s a smart, scathing clip that perhaps best summises what life was like for the band: clear skies one moment and thunderstorms the next. You never quite knew which to expect.

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