It’s been well over two decades since Kurt Cobain died, and with him did Nirvana… But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve heard the last bit of new material from the band… Well, “new” should probably be used lightly in this scenario.
In February 1993, Kurt, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl were at Pachyderm Studios in Minnesota, recording what would become their final studio album, In Utero.
If you’re a fan of Nirvana, chances are that you quite enjoy the album, which contained some of the band’s biggest singles: Heart-Shaped Box, All Apologies, Rape Me, Pennyroyal Tea, etc. etc.
There was a little bit of extra stuff left over after the sessions for In Utero… and I mean, when you look at some more footage from their time there, it seems apparent that they either had a lot of free time, or got their work done really quickly so they had time to screw around…
Well now, some previously unreleased material from that very session has surfaced online. These recordings were made on February 15, 1993, three days into their two weeks at the studio. A reel from the sessions was sold on eBay, and now the person who purchased has shared some of the tracks online. On the reel were two different versions of the song Dumb, which you probably already know. Also there were 3 version of Grohl’s song Marigold, and then these two:
This first one seems to be a solo track from Dave Grohl, and it does kinda fit in with the early Foo Fighters material. A little more on that later, but first here’s the track:
The other one that’s been shared is a song called Lullaby that strikes me as more of a Frank Zappa-esque recording than anything. According to NME, rumours suggest that it was Cobain who played the drums on this track:
It’s not overly surprising that the band had a little extra time to work on projects. In the liner notes for the compilation album Nirvana, it is mentioned how during the sessions for the song You Know You’re Right, Dave and Krist were in the studio for two days screwing around before Kurt showed up on the final day and did the real work in minutes. If that was the case then, who’s to say that didn’t happen during other sessions?
Marigold was one of the first songs (as far as I know, anyway) that Dave Grohl wrote and recorded, and you can hear one of the early versions in this leaked recording (which wasn’t mentioned alongside the other ones, but I’m just assuming it’s from the same sessions… You can hear the outro of that “Dave Solo” track before it starts:
If you haven’t heard the actual released version, here it is. It was released as a B-Side to Heart Shaped Box.
Speaking of that “Dave Solo” track, it does remind me of a few early Foo Fighters tunes. Weenie Beanie, one of my favourites off the Foos’ self-titled debut, is one such song that comes to mind. While not exactly the same, it’s a similar style. Also, that whole first album was recorded entirely by Grohl on every instrument, so the whole “Dave played everything” theory checks out. Have a listen:
Another song that I feel REALLY encompasses that Nirvana/early-Foo Fighters vibe is The Color and The Shape, a song from the album of the same name that wasn’t even actually featured on the album. Instead, it was released as a B-Side for the Monkey Wrench single. Check it:
If you’re into Dave Grohl’s stuff (and I mean, it’s pretty hard not to at least kind of like Foo Fighters), I would highly recommend checking out Pocketwatch, a cassette that Grohl recorded under the pseudonym Late! Here’s a track from Pocketwatch, Just Another Story about Skeeter Thompson.