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Stream Kurt Cobain’s Experimental Mixtape From Nirvana’s Early Days

'Montage of Heck' sound collage pre-dates 1989's 'Bleach'

picture-23080-1414630131James Grebey // November 3, 2014

Well, here’s an interesting find: A strange mixtape supposedly put together by Kurt Cobain a year before Nirvana released their debut album has recently come to light. According to Dangerous Minds, Cobain composed Montage of Heck around 1988 using a 4-track cassette recorded. The mixtape is a sound collage, and travels to unexpected places using clips culled from obscure sources. Though the 36-minute-long track starts of pleasantly enough, it gets very weird very fast — there’s a lengthy segment about three minutes in that’s mostly a repeated retching sound.

Still, it’s a worthwhile listen just to gain some insight as to how Cobain thought about sound, and to admire the then-21-year-old’s impressive music catalog. Dangerous Minds points out that he must’ve had actual physical copies of everything he samples, as he didn’t have access to any sort of streaming site in 1988. The reported full list of components used in the making of Montage of Heck is below, according to the blog United Mutations.

Montage of Heck Mixtape track list:
 
“The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas
“The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” by The Beatles
“A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
“Eruption” by Van Halen
“Hot Pants” by James Brown
“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” by Cher
“Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
“Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin
“The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr.
“In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“Wild Thing” by William Shatner
“Taxman” by The Beatles
“I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
“Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” by The Barbarians
“Queen Of The Reich” by Queensryche
“Last Caress/Green Hell” covered by Metallica
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Get Down, Make Love” by Queen
“ABC” by The Jackson Five
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
“Eye Of The Chicken” by Butthole Surfers
“Dance of the Cobra” by Butthole Surfers
“The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave” by Butthole Surfers
“New Age” by The Velvet Underground
“Love Buzz” by Shocking Blue
Orchestral music from 200 Motels by Frank Zappa
“Help I’m A Rock” / “It Can’t Happen Here” by Frank Zappa
“Call Any Vegetable” by Frank Zappa
“The Day We Fall In Love” by The Monkees
“Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath (intro)
Theme from The Andy Griffith Show
Mike Love (of The Beach Boys) talking about “Transcendental Meditation”
Excerpts of Jimi Hendrix speaking at the Monterey Pop Festival
Excerpts of Paul Stanley from KISS’ Alive!
Excerpts of Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan
Excerpts from sound effects records
Various children’s records (Curious George, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Star Wars)