Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain: Influenced by the iconic rock band

Kurt Cobain

The Beatles’ influence on music history is nearly impossible to overestimate. Since Beatlemania, the industry evolved with the Fab Four’s innovations and endless hits, transforming significantly from the 1960s. Even now, more than 50 years later, producers and music enthusiasts of all stripes, including Nirvana, continue to be influenced by them.

Kurt Cobain spent the 1990s experimenting with grunge and gore, but the Beatles laid the foundation for rock and roll and popular music. In alternative rock, Nirvana’s frontman cited The Beatles as his inspiration. Despite their darker sound, it contrasts with the upbeat “Here Comes The Sun” or gloomy “Yesterday.”

The Beatles are the biggest influence I’ve ever had,” Cobain once said in an interview with Mimmo Caccamo. “I listened to The Beatles from the time I was five years old until I was in fourth grade—the same three records over and over every night!” I wanted to see The Beatles, so I sang the songs. When I learned on the radio in 1973 that they had been separated for three years, I was utterly devastated!

Eventually, he combined his love of The Beatles with the heavier rock sounds, creating the distinctive sound of Nirvana. In interviews and diaries, Kurt Cobain revealed his favorite albums by the Fab Four. Despite seeming unachievable for fans given the extensive Beatles discography, Cobain shared insights into his musical preferences.

The guitar and simple melodies are my favorite,” Cobain said in reference to his fondness for The Beatles’ Rubber Soul period during the same interview. He also mentioned “This Bird Has Flew (Norwegian Wood)” as his favorite song. Though Cobain’s journals suggested otherwise, Meet the Beatles!, released in 1964, was his favorite record.

Cobain listed his favorite albums, including the early Beatles record, in his diaries. These diaries, controversially published in 2002, provided insights into his musical preferences. While he seemed to appreciate their pop and melodic style, it’s an unexpected choice for the frontman of Nirvana. One might anticipate him to prefer their later, more experimental works.

The album featuring future all-time favorites like “All My Loving,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “I Saw Her Standing There” marked The Beatles’ early years. It successfully charted their rise to fame during that period. It appears to be in sharp contrast to Cobain’s own stylings, but maybe that’s why he enjoyed it so much. Tender rock and roll permeates it.




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