Who Is The Baby On The Nirvana Album?

Spencer Elden holding the album cover where he was featured
Spencer Elden holding the album cover where he was featured ( Source : twitter )

Who Is The Baby On The Nirvana Album? The baby on the cover of the Nirvana album Nevermind is Spencer Elden. He was born on February 7, 1991.

Nevermind is the sophomore studio album that propelled Nirvana to international fame, making them widely known as the biggest band of the 90s.

As for the baby, he was just four months old when his dad got a call from one of his friends, Kirk Weddle, who specialized in underwater photography, asking if they could borrow their son for a photoshoot.

Spencer, who recently turned 32, sued Kurt Cobain's estate for the harm caused by their second album cover, despite having tattooed a "Nevermind" artwork on his chest.

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Nirvana Nevermind Album Cover Lawsuit

Nirvana Nevermind Album Cover Lawsuit was filed by Spencer Elden, the baby in the artwork accusing the band members of child exploitation in August 2021.

The iconic album cover features a naked baby in a pool, grabbing a dangling dollar bill hooked on a fishing line.

Stephen, who is 30 years old now, filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of Nirvana and Cobain's estate and photographer Kirk Weddle, who reportedly paid $200 to Elden's parents to take the iconic shot.

He claimed the use of his likeness on the artwork was made without the consent of his legal guardians or of himself and the lack of censoring made him the victim of child exploitation.

Elden reportedly sought £130,000 in damages. However, the case was later dismissed by a judge on January 3, 2023, after Stephen's lawyer missed the deadline to respond to the defendant's motion.

Why Did Nirvana Use A Baby?

Nevermind album cover displays a naked infant under the water
Nevermind album cover displays a naked infant under the water( Source : twitter )

Why Did Nirvana Use A Baby? Nirvana used a baby for their cover based on the frontman Kurt Cobain's vision.

In an interview with Guadian, Elden mentioned the band originally desired an image of a woman giving birth underwater, but the record denied it, deciding it would be too graphic. 

After ruling out the initial idea, the members started exploring other viable options and came up with the idea of babies underwater, which further led to the concept of a dollar attached to the fishhook.

The band hired Kirk with all the responsibilities regarding the image, who would send 40-50 shots from 5 different babies, but only one stood out from the rest with and perfect look on the face and arms stretched out as if it were trying to grab something.

However, Elden had his own explanation, claiming he was chosen because of his genitalia since most of the other babies were females.

Nirvana Nevermind Album Cover Meaning

Nirvana Nevermind Album Cover Meaning is open to interpretations, but it reflects the desire to create a provocative image that goes against societal norms.

Elden had his own understanding of the artwork, he expressed "It's about an abandonment of innocence and everyone chasing money sooner and after" in an interview with Guardian.

Another source cited that it is a "symbolic representation of what is wrong with society, as even a baby can't resist chasing the almighty American dollar".

Nirvana Album Covers In Order

Nirvana Album Covers In Order include 1. Bleach 2. Nevermind 3. In Utero. Each cover has its own artwork and symbolizes a unique meaning.

Nirvana Bleach Album Cover

Art cover from Nirvana debut studio album Bleach
Art cover from Nirvana debut studio album Bleach( Source : facebook )

  • Designed by Lisa Orth

Nirvana Bleach Album Cover displays an inverted image of the photograph of the three band members taken by Cobain's former girlfriend during a concert.

The significance of the "Bleach" album cover comes from its depiction of Nirvana's early years and the DIY aesthetics of the underground music scene.

Nirvana In Utero Album Cover

Art cover for the final album In Utero
Art cover for the final album In Utero( Source : facebook )

  • Designed by Robert Fisher

Nirvana In Utero album cover depicts a transparent anatomical manikin with angel wings superimposed in the background.

Cobain reportedly wanted to name the album I Hate Myself and I Want to Die taking it trivially, but Novoselic convinced him to change the title in fear of facing legal action.

Composed by Kurt, the lyrics on this album are unified by a powerful presence of medical imagery. Thus, the album cover went hand in hand with the overall theme of the album.

According to an excerpt from Kurt Cobain's journals (224), it stated:

This album is dedicated to dead relatives. They are safe, warm, and full of happy smiles.

How Many Albums Does Nirvana Have?

How Many Albums Does Nirvana Have? Nirvana has three full-length studio albums in total. They have sold over 27.6 million albums solely in the US.

Although their discography is relatively short due to the tragic death of their lead singer, Kurt Cobain, their creations have left an indelible mark on the music industry.

Nirvana Albums In Order

Here is the list of the Nirvana albums in chronological order.

Studio AlbumRelease Date
BleachJune 15, 1989
NevermindSeptember 24, 1991
In UteroSeptember 13, 1993

Releasing their debut studio album, Bleach, in the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as a key element of the Seattle grunge scene.

Despite not selling well, the album received positive reviews from critics during its initial release.

Credited for terminating the dominance of glam metal, Nevermind, was the band's first major label album, issued through DGC Records.

By far the band's best-selling as well as chart-topping creation, the sophomore album was a huge commercial and critical success, becoming their first and only Diamond-certified album by the RIAA.

It spawned some of the biggest hits of the era including "Smell Like Teen Spirit", "Come As You Are", "Lithium" and more, with the first one garnering two Grammy nominations.

Ultimately, the third and final studio album, In Utero, also became a huge global sensation, topping the US Billboard 20 as well as the UK Albums charts.

As of today, the album has accrued 15 million sales internationally, including 5 million in the United States, for which it achieved 5x Platinum certification from the RIAA.

Furthermore, Nirvana's discography includes 5 live albums, 4 compilation albums, 2 extended plays, and 21 singles.

The five live albums that the three-piece band produced are:

  • MTV Unplugged in New York - November 1, 1994
  • From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah - October 1, 1996
  • Live at Reading - November 3, 2009
  • Live at the Paramount - April 5, 2019
  • Live and Loud - August 30, 2019

Similarly, here are the four compilation albums that the grunge acts have created:

  • Insecticides - December 14, 1992
  • Nirvana - October 29, 2002
  • Silver: The Best of the Box - November 1, 2005
  • Icon - August 31, 2010

Likewise, the two EPs are as follows:

  • Blew - December 1989
  • Hormoaning - February 5, 1992

Some FAQs

Why Did Nirvana Break Up?

Nirvana didn't necessarily broke up but disbanded after the lead singer, Kurt Cobain, ended his life in April 1994.

How Many Nirvana Albums Are There?

Nirvana only released 3 studio albums during their time together. They also released 2 EPs, 3 box sets, 4 compilation albums, and 5 live albums.

What Does Nirvana Mean?

In Buddhism, Niravan means a transcendent state outside of suffering and desire. The late Kurt Cobain chose this name for the band as he was interested in Buddhism.

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