Music lovers around the world were whipped into a frenzy a few weeks ago after a close friend of former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain revealed the enigmatic songwriter had recorded an album worth of solo material just prior to his death in 1994.
And when last year saw the twentieth anniversary of ‘Nevermind’, Nirvana’s seminal grunge masterpiece which changed the face of music and launched Kurt Cobain into worldwide celebrity, many were left wondering when the public may get a listen to the rumoured solo tracks.
In fact, speculation has persisted about unreleased Nirvana or Cobain material ever since his suicide in 1994.
While there were some newly discovered rough studio recordings alongside previously unreleased acoustic demo of Nirvana’s last recorded track ‘You Know You’re Right’ included in the release of Nirvana’s With The Lights Out box set in 2004, the world is yet to get a look in to any other material.
Speaking justs weeks ago about the solo album to a US TV station, Cobain’s close friend Eric Erlandson revealed, “He was headed in a direction that was really cool. It would have been his ‘White Album’. That’s really what he was going towards, a solo album but working with different people.”
“I was really excited about some of the stuff he was working on. I got to see him play it in front of me. That’s why I was really sad when he died. He was cut short. Who knows where this music would have gone?”
But fans who were hoping for some kind of release shouldn’t hold their breath.
‘Nevermind’ producer Butch Vig, who sparked further rumours on the solo material when he entered a recording studio with Cobain’s former bandmates Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic earlier this month, has told NME that Erlandson’s assertions are nonsense.
“He was working on songs, but they were just in his head,” Vig said. “He might have just played some songs to Eric. Around that time period he only wanted to talk about Courtney’s album. I never heard any of his new songs.”
Vig recent collaboration with Grohl and Novoselic, was in fact part of Grohl’s documentary on Sound City recording studios, where Nirvana produced their seminal album ‘Nevermind’.
In the interview, Vig also asserted he had reservations talking about Nirvana after Cobain’s death, but goes on to describe how over time he learned to re-appreciate his work on ‘Nevermind’, “I got tired of answering questions. Then time goes by and I started working with Dave and Krist about getting the box set together, and you learn to appreciate it again.
“You sort of have a different take on it, and we’re all so immensely proud and lucky to have made that record.”