Nirvana’s Nevermind cover designer Robert Fisher recently discussed creating the cover in a new Milanote interview. He also discussed ideas Kurt Cobain had for the cover.
“Kurt wanted a baby being born underwater. Back then before the Internet you would have to go down to the local bookstore and go through child birthing books and try to find photos. So that’s what I did. But it was just like … there’s no way we can make an album cover out of this. I couldn’t find any really good pictures and they were all way too graphic to use.”
After ruling out the childbirth idea, Fisher started exploring other options featuring babies underwater. But he realised the image needed something else.
“We thought ‘Ok, we’ve gotta make it more than just a baby underwater’. So Kurt came up with the idea of adding a fishhook to make it more menacing. We spent the afternoon sitting around thinking of all the funny things we could put on the fishhook. One idea was a piece of meat, like a big raw steak. Another was a CD or something to kind of symbolise music. We went to lunch and we were like ‘How about a burrito?’ ‘Oh there’s a dog, what about a dog?’ … it just went on for hours. I don’t remember who said dollar bill but everyone was like ‘That’s pretty good,’ and that’s what it ended up being. The thing with the whole process … Kurt didn’t come with like a grand plan or a message he wanted to get across. It all kind of came together organically you know, it was like one step led to another step that led to another.”
September was the 27th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s landmark album Nevermind, and Kurt Cobain’s daughter posted a photo of a pool along with what she is thankful for. It’s unclear if she specifically did this to mark the anniversary, but a baby chasing a dollar in a pool is seen on the Nevermind album cover.
Cobain wrote, “I am grateful for:
Large bodies of water
Possessing deep empathy
Chronic pain, because it forces me to humble myself & acknowledge what my body is saying (even when it’s screaming)
The color periwinkle.”