2. Nirvana - 'Nevermind'
Nirvana had a staggering amount of classic songs ready to go when they began recording Nevermind in the summer of 1991. "What I've realized is that you only need a couple of catchy songs on an album, and the rest can be bullshit Bad Company rip-offs, and it doesn't matter," Kurt Cobain told Rolling Stone in 1993. "If I was smart, I would have saved most of the songs off Nevermind and spread them out over a 15-year period. But I can't do that. All the albums I ever liked were albums that delivered a great song, one after another: Aerosmith's Rocks, the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks . . . Led Zeppelin II, Back in Black by AC/DC."
Just months after it came out, Nevermind knocked Michael Jackson's Dangerous out of the Number One spot. It went on to top the charts all over the world, selling millions upon millions of records. While it didn't change the record industry quite as quickly or dramatically as you often read, it certainly did cause record labels to start looking towards less mainstream bands. Giant Eighties bands like INXS, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Dire Straits suddenly seemed very old. Everyone knows how the Nirvana story ended, but when Nevermind started selling like crazy, it truly seemed like Nirvana was going to rule the music world for years to come.