According to reports, a solo album of Kurt Cobain’s work is to be released this summer. Montage of Heck director Brett Morgen said that he found a number of home recordings previously done by the late singer. There is enough to combine them into a full album, and that is just what Morgen plans to do.
He shared the news with Bedford + Bowery, stating that these are definitely solo songs. Nirvana features nowhere within them. According to Morgen, Cobain does things that nobody will have ever expected to hear from him. “It’s going to really surprise people,” he clarified.
There are 200+ hours of recordings that have previously been unreleased. It is unclear whether the album this summer will just be the first of many. All the recordings were on cassette tape, so it will likely depend on the condition of them. Morgen has not shared which songs will appear on the new album yes, but there are some duets with Courtney Love. Some of the songs are also demos, and there are some “spoken word” items within the mix. It will definitely be something for Cobain fans to look out for when it is released.
Of course, the possible release of the work has led to debate over the ethics. Cobain is not able to give consent for the release of a possible solo album this summer. Some question whether the private work should be released at all. This could have been recorded for his own personal use, never intended for others to hear or see.
Others argue that the work may have been intended for release. Shortly before Cobain’s death in 1994, there were rumors that he was planning on releasing a solo album. It is possible that many of the recordings were demos for that album and had been planned for use.
There are certainly some tracks that were not likely for use. The spoken content may have been his way of logging a diary. Without hearing them, it would be impossible to assume. There are many who wonder whether these spoken pieces will be added to an album in between tracks to give fans a chance to get to know the Nirvana singer better.
Some tracks are also cover versions of songs. One of the recordings was released last month, and was a cover of And I Love Her by The Beatles. Similar arguments over the release of work after death were released.
This is not the first time the debates have been raised. Elvis Presley’s work has been released after his death, and brought up some similar questions. Some of the work has also been re-recorded and sampled for use in other tracks, with others giving legal permission. However, Cobain’s music is very different as it was stashed with his personal items after his death.
There may be other albums released afterwards considering the number of recordings that were found. Morgen and his legal team will have to make the decision. However, there is to be one solo album from Cobain released this year with the previously unreleased tracks.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Maia Valenzuela – Flickr License