Today, 20th February 2017 would have been the 50th birthday for the music icon. While many today still find his music inspirational, I find it almost hard to believe I am older now than what Kurt ever was and I still find him a massive influence on my musical taste. The world sadly lost Kurt in 1994 when he was just 27 years old, though he showed us so much in his short time. Today I can only imagine many others are honouring Kurt Cobain in their own way. Imagine what the world would be like if Kurt was still here? Would Nirvana still be going strong? Would the Foo Fighters ever have formed? We really will never know.
But in a small tribute, I would like to make a mention of some of the tracks which I grew up to and still love today.
The Best Ever Cover Song?
You know you have covered a song well when even fans of the original artist don’t even know it was actually their song. David Bowie spoke of when people said well done for covering a Nirvana track, not knowing Bowie had released the song over twenty years previously. No disrespect to David Bowie, ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ is indeed a classic on both sides, but Nirvana really gave the song life and still today stands as one of the greatest cover songs ever!!
The Loud Debut!
The first album BLEACH featured many rough and ready tracks, signalling a change in the music we had become accustomed to. Nirvana didn’t know how far their brand of grunge was to take them. While the album is filled with many favourite songs, ‘About A Girl’ is one necessity to start any rock playlist.
The One Everyone Knows!
Of course you know this one, this is the song that put Nirvana to the top. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was not only a massive hit worldwide, it helped make the album NEVERMIND a massive seller (over 30 million albums sold). Even Weird Al Yankovic gave this song a parody and the results were fantastic…and Kurt liked the cover too!
The One With The Questionable Title!
How many bands could get away with a track called ‘Rape Me’? Not many! Have you ever dealt with censorship? It isn’t fun! This track from the IN UTERO album earned much praise for being a straightforward song and giving a great anti-rape message. Kurt would also agree that it had more meaning to him personally, but you can’t disagree with the impact this song has.
This One Makes You Rock Out!
I think it has already been said that Nirvana created many great songs. After originally making ‘Lithium’ for a follow-up on their independent label, they eventually re-recorded it for 1991’s NEVERMIND. Kurt said that there was a lot of fictionalised elements in the song, but he did also use real experiences in the album. Plus, it is so damn good!
The fourth album that wasn’t the fourth album!
I am referring to the fantastic MTV Unplugged session that the band recorded in 1993. Taking mostly unreleased songs and covers, the band sculpted a mighty fine performance which today is still enjoyed and studied. So many people are glued to this release and even those who may not be fans of the grunge band still find this release popular.
R.I.P. Kurt Cobain and happy birthday, you will never be forgotten.
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove