Everybody likes Nirvana right? Right. So, apparently, before they hit big with their debut album, a 21-year-old Kurt Cobain would make mix-tapes... Except, they’re not exactly mix-tapes. Apparently, he would use a 4-track tape recorder, and compile a bunch of stuff from whatever he could. At least, that’s what it sounds like. Even for those of you who might listen to some bizarre music, this will probably surpass it in terms of weird-ness.
The Medley of Heck features excerpts from a myriad of different artists, cartoons, Nirvana demo tracks, and even Cobain himself. Some of the artists include Simon and Garfunkle, The Beatles, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Van Halen, and Frank Zappa. It’s just bizarre, that’s the only word. Actively listening to this thing will probably give you a headache of epic proportions. Just hearing the amount of screaming that has been distorted to sound a lot like someone having an orgasm, and the orgasms that are distorted to sound a lot like someone screaming for their life is enough to turn a lot of people off from listening to this thing. It is worth a listen, though, just for morbid curiosity
You can listen to the medley here:
It’s not the audio, however, that’s the most fascinating part about this stuff. The amount of songs featured on the tape is amazing. They’re from all over the place, and even includes recordings from children’s tapes like Curious George, The Flintstones, Sesame Street, and Star Wars. And since this was made in 1988, the only way you could do it was to take songs from albums that you own. It gives an insight into 21-year-old Cobain’s music collection, as well as his personality.
Not only that, but there are apparently two versions of the tape: one Mono 8-minute version, and one Stereo 36-minute version. Both of the versions feature the same material, but the short version features sounds that stand out by themselves, as opposed to the stereo version where layers of sounds just kind of drift between two speakers. There are also different Nirvana demo recordings on the 8-minute version from the 36-minute version.
Both versions of the Medley were discovered on various Nirvana bootlegs, however the 36-minute version is the only one to make it to the internet so far. The 8-minute version is probably somewhere in the deep dark crevices of the web, but so far, this 36-minute version is the only one to be found.
livenirvana.com did the research and came up with a complete tracklist for both versions, which you should check out too. They go into detail about where the Nirvana recordings can be heard, as well as speculation on what some of the sounds made by Cobain could be.