On this day in 1991, photographer Michael Lavine took what would be the publicity shots for the relatively unknown grunge group Nirvana’s Nevermind album. The idea for the now iconic front cover shot of the baby swimming came after Kurt Cobain and drummer Dave Grohl saw a TV documentary on water babies.
Cobain mentioned the idea to his record label Geffen’s art director Robert Fisher who found some stock footage of underwater births but they were too graphic for the record company, (and the stock house that controlled the photo of a swimming baby wanted $7,500 a year for its use), so instead Fisher hired photographer Kirk Weddle to take some shots.
The album, (the first to feature drummer Dave Ghrol), had the working title of ‘Sheep’, something Cobain came up with as an inside joke towards the people he expected to buy the record. As recording sessions for the album were completed, Cobain grew tired of the title and suggested that the new album be named Nevermind. Cobain liked the title because it was a metaphor for his attitude on life, and because it was grammatically incorrect.
Nevermind has now sold over 26 million copies worldwide and was responsible for bringing alternative rock and Nirvana to a world-wide audience, and critics subsequently regarded it as one of the best rock albums of all time.
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