Kurt Cobain’s Late-1980s Mixtape “Montage of Heck” Is As Weird As You’d Expect
Why would you listen to what sounds like a man vomiting, mixed with what sounds like the orchestral soundtrack of a 1950s musical? Because Kurt Cobain put it together in the late 1980s, and it’s a look into the mind of the forward-thinking visionary who would be the world’s most famous rock star just a few years later.
Dangerous Minds reveals Cobain’s process for putting together the mixtape, showing what an encyclopedic collector of music he was:
Kurt assembled “Montage of Heck” around 1988 using a 4-track cassette recorder. It features sounds from Kurt’s wide-ranging collection of LPs, manipulated recordings of the radio, elements of Nirvana demos, and sounds created or recorded by Cobain. The list of artists that Kurt appropriated for “Montage of Heck,” reproduced at the end of this post, is fairly mind-blowing for a 21-year-old punker with (remember) no access to Napster, Spotify, Discogs, or Allmusic.com. In short, Kurt was the real deal—as if we didn’t already know.
So, give it a listen, if you can take 36 minutes of intense, Revolution 9-ish weirdness.