It’s often interesting to see how songs evolve over time and how what may be something fully energized and realized on the concert stage can come from something very simple and stripped back. Such is the case for Nirvana‘s “Been a Son,” as fans can now hear an original Kurt Cobain demo for the song.
The demo has been posted online ahead of the Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings collection, which arrives on Nov. 13. As you can hear, Cobain’s vocals come in quite clear while the lone guitar is a little more in the background. Cobain offers up some lyrics for the song, but toward the end he utters “Bass part,” a signifier that he wanted Krist Novoselic‘s input in that section. All in all, it’s an interesting peek behind the curtain of what would become one of the band’s standard live favorites.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Montage of Heck filmmaker Brett Morgen offered, “I knew the spoken-word stuff [on the soundtrack] was all recorded at Tracy [Marander]’s apartment. ‘Been a Son’ was from that period as well. But Kurt did not date stuff. One of the things that made his journals complicated was he would go back and rewrite stuff. Even his journals were not necessarily chronological.” Morgen also revealed he found several different versions of the song while searching through Cobain’s recordings.
“Been a Son” first appeared on the 1989 Blew EP, then a more fully realized version turned up on the 1992 Incesticide collection. To hear what the song sounded like in live form, check out the video below.
Nirvana, “Been a Son” (Live)
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