"Montage Of Heck" is a collage that Kurt Cobain assembled with a 4-track cassette recorder around 1988. It features sounds from Kurt's extensive and bizarre record collection, manipulated recordings of the radio, elements of Nirvana demos, and sounds created or recorded by Cobain.
Kurt used to include "Montage Of Heck" on demo tapes.
There are TWO complete and different versions of this "song" to surface:
- a long stereo version (about 36 minutes long)
- a short mono version (about 8 min long).
Some material in the short version isn't on the long version, and vice versa.
For instance, the clip of a Nirvana song referred to as "The Landlord" -- where Krist sings that "the landlord is a piece of shit from hell!" -- only appears in the short version.
The two versions are mixed very differently. In the long version, layers of sound move around in two speakers. The short version tends to highlight certain sounds by themselves, rather then presenting them as layers.
Kurt used part of the short version as an intro for the Love Buzz single
and this short snippet is often referred to as "Buzz Cut."
Cobain made some other 4-track experiments, too. One of these is often incorrectly referred to as "Montage Of Heck Pt 2" on bootlegs; it is listed in this guide as "Escalator To Hell
." It features Kurt recording his voice backwards to say "she's selling the escalator to hell" and some obnoxious guitar noise.
The following songs are featured and/or hidden in either version of "Montage Of Heck" (NOT in this order):
The following Nirvana recordings can be heard in "Montage Of Heck":
- "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).
The following Cobain-made sounds can be heard in "Montage Of Heck," especially the long version:
- "The Landlord Is A Piece Of Shit From Hell" - demo (short version only)
- "Blandest" - studio version (brief snippet in short version only)
- "Help Me" - demo (brief snippet in long version only)
- Unidentified Song - demo (near the end of the long version only)
- "Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves" - jam w/ Dale Crover (at the very end of the long version only).
- Somebody taking a piss (probably Kurt)
- Kurt vomiting into a toilet
- Krist ranting about having some pot and whiskey
- Kurt moaning and various other distorted vocal sounds
- Kurt imitating James Brown
- Kurt mimicking some foreign vocal music
- Various phrases muttered by Kurt.