Kurt Cobain’s favourite classic rock albums

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, the legendary musician, drew inspiration from various sources to create his unique sound. The Aberdeen native was, in many ways, a product of his influences, ranging from the titans of early popular music to the most exciting pioneers of his generation. His innate ability combined with the knowledge he gained from them proved to be a powerful combination. It would alter the course of popular culture and contemporary rock music.
Examining the insightful Kurt Cobain Journals, which are a mix of writings and illustrations penned by the late Nirvana front man between the late 1980s and his tragic suicide in April 1994, provides another look behind the scenes at Cobain’s creative influences.

Riverhead Books published the piece for the first time in 2002. It has turned out to be a fascinating look into the grunge legend’s mind. Despite the fact that critics of the release may have grown weary of its intentions and denounced it as an invasion of privacy while Cobain’s death was still fresh because it had not even been a decade. The journals play an important role in his story because the information available on such an essential figure is limited.

The fact that Cobain listed his 50 favourite albums in the journals is arguably the most important detail. This list, which the Nirvana frontman put together, is the most extensive and spans from the great troubadour Lead Belly to the punk underground of the 1980s and the work of British heroine PJ Harvey. It demonstrates the broadness of his taste. Numerous significant records are included because he had his finger on the pulse from an early age.

We’ve narrowed down that enormous collection to the timeless records that Kurt Cobain referred to as his favourites. The most well-known of them all is Meet the Beatles!, released in 1964. The Fab Four produced this controversial album during the height of Beatlemania. It features the sweet hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

The frontman of Nirvana once declared, “I like the Beatles, but I hate Paul McCartney,” when talking about the influence of the Liverpool band on him. Without a doubt, John Lennon was my favourite Beatle. I have no idea who wrote what portions of which Beatles songs, but Paul McCartney embarrasses me. It was clear that Lennon was disturbed. I could thus identify with that. And from the books I’ve read, I just felt terrible for him. Even though I’m really skeptical of everything I read, especially in rock books, to be kept confined to that flat. Despite his undying love for Yoko and his child, his life felt like a prison.

Cobain also featured The Man Who Sold the World (1971), one of David Bowie’s albums from before he became a superstar. Produced by Tony Visconti, the album’s standout track is the title track, which Nirvana would make their own during the legendary MTV Unplugged appearance. It features the band that would later become The Spiders from Mars: guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder, and drummer Mick Woodmansey.

David Bowie greatly admired Kurt Cobain’s reworked version of the song. “I was simply blown away when I found that Kurt Cobain liked my work. And I have always wanted to talk to him about his reasons for covering ‘The Man Who Sold the World’. Bowie remarked of Nirvana’s cover. “It was a good straight forward rendition and catchy tune”.

“Talking with him would have been really cool, but it would have been nice to have worked with him,” he continued.

Cobain surprisingly included the Boston group’s 1976 album Rocks on his list. Despite having criticised Aerosmith and their hard rock peers Led Zeppelin for what he perceived to be pervasive sexism throughout their work. The album, featuring “Back in the Saddle” and “Nobody’s Fault,” also influenced Metallica and Guns N’ Roses.

In other places, Cobain noted The Clash’s controversial Combat Rock, an attempt made near the end of their career when the band was beginning to show signs of fracture and their sound was clearly becoming more reggae-influenced. Even so, it remains a brilliant offering with hits like “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah”. Three days before releasing Nirvana’s seminal 1991 album, Nevermind, Cobain told NME, “Combat Rock is my favorite Clash album”. I adore that record so much! Without a doubt, it is superior to Sandinista.

Kurt Cobain’s favourite classic albums:

Leadbelly’s Last Sessions Volume One (Lead Belly-1953)

Meet the Beatles! (The Beatles – 1964)

The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie – 1970)

Raw Power (Iggy & The Stooges – 1973)

Rocks (Aerosmith – 1976)

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (Sex Pistols –1977)

Get the Knack (The Knack –1979)

Combat Rock (The Clash – 1982)





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