As the recent soundtrack Montage Of Heck demonstrated, there’s a lot of unreleased and possibly undiscovered material from Kurt Cobain floating around.
Recently, John Purkey, a friend of Cobain’s and musician from Tacoma in the late 80s and early 90s, has shared the recordings from four demo cassettes that Cobain recorded throughout Nirvana’s early years.
Here’s what was uncovered:
1. The first tape features recordings from Nirvana’s first studio session at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle. Recorded in 1988 with Melvins drummer Dale Crover, the songs are explosive, aggressive and still a little rough around the edges. The tape also contains “Montage Of Heck,” a string of ambient noises, experimental sound experiments and samples.
2. The second tape primarily features demos recorded for Bleach, likely recorded in 1988. The recording finds Cobain experimenting with different vocal styles throughout, as well as the band running through some instrumentals.
3. The third tape was unfortunately immediately pulled from YouTube, but contained the Bleach recording sessions.
4. The fourth tape features songs that would be featured on Nevermind, likely with Chad Channing on drums, who would soon be replaced by Dave Grohl, and with Butch Vig producing. There are a few issues with sound, but it’s an incredible document of the sessions that would change music forever.
5. The fifth video shows Purkey explaining his coming to possess the tapes, storing his Cobain-related property, and showing the cassette tapes themselves.