The upcoming soundtrack to the Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck contains a bevy of previously unreleased home cassette recordings by the Nirvana frontman. One of the standouts is a rough demo of “Been a Son,” a raucous track that had previously come out on the group’s Blew EP in 1989 and, in a different form, on the Incesticide comp in 1992.
The version on what is officially titled Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings finds Cobain strumming the song’s chords on an unplugged electric guitar, as he sings the melody with nonsense lyrics that map out the general idea of the tune. When he’s done, he says, “bass part,” and plays what he intended to show Krist Novoselic for the song. Since it’s a demo, the whole thing lasts less than 90 seconds.
The track is one of the earlier songs on the record, which has been sequenced chronologically. Filmmaker Brett Morgen, who put together the compilation, recently told Rolling Stone that figuring out the timing of some of the tunes was occasionally difficult. “I knew the spoken-word stuff [on the soundtrack] was all recorded at Tracy’s apartment,” he said, referring to Cobain’s ex-girlfriend Tracy Marander. “‘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 said that he’d found several different versions of “Been a Son.”
When the soundtrack comes out on November 13th, it will be available as a 13-track CD and a 31-song vinyl release; both will come out digitally. A CD edition of the extended version will also accompany the Blu-ray and DVD releases of the film, out the same day.