Kurt Cobain's Pre-Nirvana Demo Tape Leaks Online

Nirvana fans have had a wild year. This year saw the release of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the HBO doc that aimed to portray the punk icon in a more realistic light. Since the film’s release, there’s been more Cobain news than we know what to do with, and it’s not done yet. A tape of Cobain’s first ever recorded demo has just been anonymously leaked online.

As many punk aficionados know, before Nirvana came Fecal Matter, Cobain’s 1985 band with to-be Melvins drummer Dale Crover. Together the band only put out one thing, Illiteracy Will Prevail, the almost hour long demo tape that the Nirvana frontman himself described as “totally abrasive.”

Cobain had only circulated the tape among friends (eventually getting it to Krist Novoselic and forming Nirvana), but now you can listen to the original 15 tracks for free online. The grainy, grungy sound of an 18 year old Cobain is unmistakable and features an early version of ‘Downer,’ from Nirvana’s debut album Bleach. The demo tape also includes the first recording of ‘Anorexorcist’ and ‘Spank Thru’ which also appear later in Nirvana’s discography.

With the release of the demo, fans get a snippet of Cobain’s early career, and a sneak peak to his prolific career before he even knew the life he would end up leading. Check out the demo tape now, before it gets taken down!

Illiteracy Will Prevail Approximate Tracklist:

01. Sound of Dentage (00:00)

02. Bambi Slaughter (04:50)

03. Laminated Effect (08:24)

04. Blathers Log (10:42)

05. Class of ’86 (13:19)

06. Boatakk (17:15)

07. Love My Family (19:21)

08. Accusations (28:28)

09. Spank Thru (33:05)

10. Insurance (36:55)

11. Buffy’s Pregnant (38:24)

12. Vaseline (42:41)

13. Downer (45:08)

14. Instrumental version of Boatakk (48:09)

15. Riffs & “Turnaround” by Devo (49:48)

Photo by Youri Lenquette

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