LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY 1987–1988 - Cobain residence, Olympia, WA, US View in Google Maps

  • Cobain, Kurt (vocals, guitar, percussion)
  • [X] Vendetagainst
  • [X] Unknown #1
  • [X] Unknown #2
  • [O] About A Girl
  • [X] Unknown #3
  • [O] Unknown #3
  • [O] Polly
  • [O] Seed
  • [X] Sappy instrumental
  • [O] Sappy
  • [U] Unknown #4
  • [O] Clean Up Before She Comes
  • [O] Clean Up Before She Comes
  • [O] Beans
  • [O] Unknown #5 instrumental
  • [U] Unknown #6
Source ID Quality Complete Runtime Lowest Gen Tracks Featured Notes
AUD #1 9.5 TBC Unofficial CD (Dressed For Success) • About A Girl
AUD #1 CLIP a 8.5 TBC ANA(X)>CDR(X)>FLAC • Vendetagainst
• Unknown #1
Vendetagainst and Unknown #1 appear as samples in an audio collage titled "Montage Of Heck (long version)."
AUD #1 CLIP b 9.5 TBC Official CD (Kurt Cobain - Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings) • Unknown #2 Unknown #2 appears as a sample in an audio collage titled Montage of Kurt.
SBD #1 9.5 TBC TBC>FLAC • Polly
• Seed
• Sappy
• Clean Up Before She Comes
• Unknown #4
• Beans
• Unknown #5 (instrumental)
This source is sometimes referred to as the Oscar leak.
SBD #2 9.5 TBC TBC>FLAC • Polly Alternative mix. Polly features some pre-song noises not found on other sources.
SBD #3 9.5 TBC Official CD (Kurt Cobain - Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings) • Unknown #5 (instrumental)
• Beans
• Clean Up Before She Comes (alt. take)
• Sappy
• Unknown #3 (alt. take)
Alternative mixes. Unknown #5 (instrumental) appears under the title The Happy Guitar. Unknown #3 appears under the title She Only Lies.
SBD #3 CLIP 9.5 TBC Official Blu-ray (Cobain: Montage Of Heck) • Sappy
• Sappy (instrumental)
• Sappy (instrumental)
Alternative mixes, further upmixed to 5.1 surround sound by Steve Pederson, 2014. All tracks are cut and feature voice-over and/or other extraneous sounds. The last track is back-masked on this release.
SBD #4 9.0 TBC ANA(2)>CDR(1)>FLAC • Beans
• Unknown #6 (long version)
• Unknown #3
This source is sometimes referred to as the Touch & Go demo or Kurdt's Kassette. Unknown #3 appears as a sample in an audio collage titled Montage Of Heck (short version). Beans is without the intro found on other sources.

While these songs are grouped together here, they are not thought to have been recorded at the same sitting. All are Kurt Cobain home demos, recorded some time between 1987 and 1988, presumably at Cobain's contemporary residence.

Circa Summer 1988, Cobain was dubbing many of these songs onto cassette compilations and sending them out to prospective record labels. One example of such a compilation can be found on page 81 of Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana, where Cobain annotates Polly, Seed and Sappy (Sad) as Mellow 4-track shit. (1)

Beans is an odd acoustic number that sees Cobain adopting a cartoonish falsetto and experimenting with the speed on his vocal track. Cobain had apparently considered the song for inclusion on Bleach, but the idea was dismissed out of hand by Sub Pop co-owner, Jonathan Poneman. He thought we were retarded, Cobain told NIRVANA biographer, Michael Azerrad, believing that the band had been bulldozed into suppressing their more diverse and experimental tendencies to fit the label's grungy formula. (1)

Another experimental track makes reference to the backwards masking of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven, with Cobain recording some phonetically reversed speech and then back-masking it to say, She's selling the escalator to Hell!

  1. Azerrad, Michael, 1993. Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana. Doubleday.

© Alex Roberts. August 28, 2011