Nirvana Albums In Order Of Release

In the annals of rock history, few bands have ignited such fervor, admiration, and influence as Nirvana. Their discography comprises several critically acclaimed albums that have made a significant impact on the music industry.

Despite their short-lived existence, Nirvana’s influence continues to resonate with generations of music lovers. And in this Killer Rig article, we are going to explore each of the Nirvana albums in order of release.

Key Takeaways

  • Nirvana released a total of three studio albums during their career. These albums, in chronological order, are “Bleach” (1989), “Nevermind” (1991), and “In Utero” (1993). Each album displays the band’s evolving sound and depth of lyrics.
  • In addition to their three primary studio albums, Nirvana released compilations that offer a comprehensive view of their work. “Incesticide” (1992) is a notable compilation, encompassing B-sides, demos, and covers.
  • The music of Nirvana had a significant influence on alternative rock and popular culture in general. Their fusion of punk, grunge, and pop styles upended the status quo of music and inspired a generation of musicians and listeners.

Nirvana Albums in Order of Release

Here is an overview of the order in which Nirvana’s albums, including compilations, were released:

  1. Bleach (1989): Nirvana’s debut album, showcasing their raw and aggressive sound.
  2. Nevermind (1991): Propelled Nirvana to mainstream success with iconic tracks like “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
  3. In Utero (1993): Known for its raw and introspective lyrics, this album delved into darker themes while maintaining the band’s signature sound.
  4. Incesticide (1992): A compilation of B-sides, demos, outtakes, covers, and radio broadcast recordings, offering a glimpse into the band’s evolution.
  5. MTV Unplugged in New York (1994): A live acoustic album that highlighted Nirvana’s versatility and emotional depth, featuring both originals and covers.
  6. From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996): A posthumous album with live recordings, capturing the raw energy of Nirvana’s stage performances.
  7. Nirvana (2002): A compilation album that brought together some of the band’s biggest hits, B-sides, and the previously unreleased track “You Know You’re Right.”

Nirvana’s album “Nevermind” revolutionized the music industry, becoming one of the defining albums of the 1990s. Each album offers a unique listening experience, showcasing the evolution of Nirvana’s sound and Kurt Cobain’s songwriting skills.

Nirvana Album Breakdown


  • Release Date: June 15, 1989


Nirvana Bleach Album Cover

Nirvana’s debut studio album, recorded at Reciprocal Recording, Seattle. Initially, it did not chart but gained traction after the release of “Nevermind”. It achieved sales of over 1.9 million copies in the US.


  • Blew
  • Floyd the Barber
  • About a Girl
  • School
  • Love Buzz
  • Paper Cuts
  • Negative Creep
  • Scoff
  • Swap Meet
  • Mr. Moustache
  • Sifting


  • Release Date: September 24, 1991


Nirvana Nevermind Album Cover

Nirvana’s major label debut with the introduction of drummer Dave Grohl. The album’s themes range from dark and humorous to disturbing. It achieved worldwide sales of over 30 million copies.


  • Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • In Bloom
  • Come as You Are
  • Breed
  • Lithium
  • Polly
  • Territorial Pissings
  • Drain You
  • Lounge Act
  • Stay Away
  • On a Plain
  • Something in the Way
  • Endless, Nameless (Hidden Track)


Release Date: December 14, 1992


“Incesticide” consists of B-sides, demos, outtakes, covers, and radio broadcast recordings, offering a deeper look into the band’s earlier material and their musical evolution.


  • Dive
  • Sliver
  • Stain
  • Been a Son
  • Turnaround (Devo cover)
  • Molly’s Lips (The Vaselines cover)
  • Son of a Gun (The Vaselines cover)
  • (New Wave) Polly
  • Beeswax
  • Downer
  • Mexican Seafood
  • Hairspray Queen
  • Aero Zeppelin
  • Big Long Now
  • Aneurysm

In Utero

  • Release Date: September 13, 1993
Nirvana In Utero Album Cover


The album sought a complex and abrasive sound and contains references to Kurt Cobain’s personal challenges. It achieved sales of 15 million copies globally.


  • Serve the Servants
  • Scentless Apprentice
  • Heart-Shaped Box
  • Rape Me
  • Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
  • Dumb
  • Very Ape
  • Milk It
  • Pennyroyal Tea
  • Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
  • Tourette’s
  • All Apologies

The Impact of Nirvana’s Music and Cultural Legacy

Nirvana’s music and cultural legacy left a lasting impact on the world. Here’s why:

  • Revolutionizing the grunge movement: Nirvana’s music broke new ground by merging punk and alternative rock, paving the way for the grunge genre that would define the 1990s.
  • Iconic songs that resonated with a generation: Nirvana’s powerful lyrics and raw sound resonated with a generation of youth, serving as a voice for angst, disillusionment, and rebellion.
  • Shifting the music industry: Nirvana’s success challenged mainstream music conventions, highlighting alternative and independent artists and influencing the industry’s direction.
  • Cultural impact beyond music: Nirvana’s music and style became synonymous with a broader cultural movement, influencing fashion, art, and attitudes towards societal norms.
  • Exploring emotional depths: Through their music, Nirvana provided an outlet for people to express and process their deep emotions, creating a sense of catharsis and emotional connection.
  • Legacy of authenticity: Nirvana’s commitment to authenticity resonated with fans, inspiring countless musicians to embrace their true selves and express their individuality through their art.

Nirvana’s music and cultural legacy reached far beyond just the music industry, serving as a catalyst for social change and individual expression.


Nirvana’s meteoric rise and enduring legacy in the world of rock music are undeniably anchored in their albums.

From the raw energy of “Bleach” to the introspective depths of “In Utero”, and the revealing compilations like “Incesticide”, the band’s discography paints a vivid picture of their journey and influence.

While their time in the spotlight was tragically short-lived, the impact of their music continues to inspire and resonate with fans and musicians alike.

As we revisit their albums, we’re reminded of the timeless nature of their artistry and the lasting mark they left on the music scene.


When and where was Nirvana formed?

Nirvana was formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. The band was founded by the enigmatic duo of lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. They later added notable member Dave Grohl as their drummer.

What is Nirvana’s best-selling album?

Nirvana’s best-selling album is “Nevermind,” released in 1991. It sold over 30 million copies worldwide and featured iconic singles like “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Did Nirvana win any awards for their music?

Yes, Nirvana received multiple awards throughout their career. They achieved chart-topping hits, and their success earned them a well-deserved induction into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!