A Bunch Of Rare Nirvana Demos Are Now Available On YouTube

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Written by Tom Williams on January 9, 2018

Some super-rare Nirvana demos from the late ’80s are now available to stream on YouTube, thanks to one of Kurt Cobain’s old friends.

Alternative Nation reports that Cobain’s buddy John Purkey — known on YouTube as The Observer — has shared audio from four cassettes of Nirvana demos which Cobain allegedly gave him before the band became one of the biggest rock acts in the world.

The tapes, which you can stream below alongside comments from Purkey and tracklists put together by YouTube users, include early recordings of songs which would eventually appear on Nirvana’s debut album Bleach, as well as cuts recorded with drummer Dale Crover. There are also pre-Dave Grohl tracks which feature Chad Channing on sticks.

Stream all four tapes down below.

RELATED: Someone Auto-Tuned Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ In A Major Key, And Fans Are Pissed

The First Tape:

“This is the first tape Kurt gave to me. Sound quality is not perfect but it’s not too bad. It is listenable. Paper cuts sounds a little warbaly at first and that is exactly how it was when Kurt gave it to me. I got used to it. It slowly becomes clear sounding.”

0:38 – “Paper Cuts”
05:03 – “Downer”
06:53 – “Beeswax”
09:52 – “Aero Zeppelin”
14:36 – “Floyd the Barber”
17:03 – “If You Must”
21:12 – Spank Thru
24:57 – “Mexican Seafood”
27:06 – “Pen Cap Chew”
30:06 – “Montage of Heck”

The Second Tape:

“This is the second of four demos that Kurt game me back between 1988 and 1990.”

00:47 – “Blandest”
04:37 – “Mr. Moustache”
08:23 – “Sifting Instrumental”
13:51 – “Blew”
16:52 – “Spank Thru”
20:08 – “Love Buzz” (Early Single Version?)
23:55 – “Big Cheese”

The Third Tape:

“This was the tape he gave me after they recorded songs for what would become Bleach.”

00:00 – Intro
01:39 – “Scoff”
06:02 – “Swap Meet”
09:17 – “Blew”
12:23 – “Love Buzz”
16:11 – “About a Girl”
19:27 – “Negative Creep”
22:02 – “School”
24:50 – “Big Long Now”

The Fourth Tape:

“Recorded with Chad produced by Butch Vig. I think it is known as the smart studio demo. Kurt started high speed dubbing at the beginning of pay to play. [You] can hear a slight glitch when he pressed the high speed button.”

00:00 – Intro
00:44 – “Immodium”
04:04 – “Pay to Play”
07:39 – “Sappy”
11:17 – “Polly”
14:19 – “In Bloom”
19:00 – “Lithium” (Mix 6)
23:31 – “Dive”



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