Nirvanas Nevermind altered the entire pop culture universe.
Two decades later, no rock album has come close to having such an asteroid crash impact.
And in the digital era, its pretty much impossible such a phenomenon will occur again.
Nevermind came out Sept. 24, 1991.
The debut single Smells Like Teen Spirit, and its anarchistic video, perfectly captured the adolescent rage of the post-Persian Gulf War era.
The song became an anthem.
We sang lines such as here we are now, entertain us in the hallways of Ben Hill Middle School in Tampa just like the students did in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
It took about three months for the punk-rooted Nevermind to replace the self-professed King of Pop Michael Jacksons Dangerous at the top of the all-important Billboard 200.
Fellow Seattle rockers Pearl Jams debut disc Ten also went to No. 1 on the same chart in 1992.
Hair metal had been replaced by grunge and alternative rock.
And the movement went beyond mere music.
Expensive, brand-name clothes and $100 Air Jordan sneakers no longer made you cool.
Your dads old flannel, a basic white T-shirt, faded Levis and a $30 pair of black Chuck Taylor All-Stars were the new fashion.
Thats how Nirvanas Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jams Eddie Vedder dresse, so why shouldnt we?
Listening to Nevermind today, it still has enough sonic thrust to push just about any other rock album out of its way.
The lyrics, though, no longer sound quite so clever.
Cobains words are no longer the cryptic poetry teeming with infinite meaning heard by my teenage ears.
But 20 years ago, he gave voice to the young and disenfranchised, to millions of youth who felt scared and frustrated just like me.
He created a revolution that continued until his suicide in 1994.
By then, bands such as Candlebox and Bush were ushering in the lame post-grunge era that would soon fade in favor of the Britpop of Oasis, Blur and so on.
Meanwhile, hip-hop was replacing rock as the rebel music of choice for teens.
I would be thrilled to witness another rock album that moved me come along and grab the masses by the throat like Nevermind.
But its probably not going to happen.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 745-7057. Visit heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.