Nirvana's Nevermind album was released on September 24, 1991. By the beginning of 1992, Nevermind was the No. 1 album in the country.
The producer of Nevermind was a Wisconsin man named Butch Vig.
Bryan David "Butch" Vig was born in Viroqua, Wisconsin on August 2, 1955. As a child, Vig played the piano. But, he switched to drums after watching The Who perform on The Smothers Brothers (an infamous performance).
Throughout much of the 1970's and 1980's, Vig was a fixture in the music scene of Madison, Wisconsin. He played in a band called Spooner and he co-founded a recording studio called Smart Studios.
Vig produced albums for a lot of bands at Smart Studios. One of those bands was called Killdozer. The band's 1989 album Twelve Point Buck is one of the most influential albums in rock music because it connected Vig to Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Butch Vig worked with the Smashing Pumpkins on what would become their debut album, Gish, from December of 1990 until March of 1991. He then worked with Nirvana on Nevermind from May until June.
The two albums are both widely regarded as two of the best of the alternative rock era of the early 1990's.
As the producer of Nevermind, Vig is credited with helping transform Nirvana from just another Seattle garage band into the most influential rock band of the 1990's.
Vig was able to convince Nirvana's leader, Kurt Cobain, into using techniques, like vocal double-tracking, by convincing him that "John Lennon did it."
Gish was not the commercial breakthrough for Smashing Pumpkins that Nevermind was for Nirvana. But, Vig also produced the band's next album, 1993's Siamese Dream, which helped launch the Pumpkins into the mainstream.
After working with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, Vig spent a ton of time on various alternative rock albums. The producer eventually got burned out from the production process, so he started he is own band in 1994.
The band was called Garbage. Over the next ten years, Garbage would go on the sell 17 million records.
When Garbage went on an indefinite hiatus in 2005, Vig returned to producing albums. He reunited with former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighter front-man Dave Grohl in 2009 to help produce Foo Fighters' Greatest Hits album. He worked with Foo Fighters on their 2011 album Wasting Light and also produced their upcoming album, which is expected to release in November of 2014.