Embattled Nirvana Track Surfaces Online As Hits LP Nears Release

By | September 24, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Kurt Cobain fans are closer to Nirvana than they have been in years.

A studio version of the unreleased Nirvana track “You Know You’re Right” has surfaced online in its entirety. The song, which was reportedly recorded in January 1994, less than three months before frontman Cobain took his own life with a shotgun in his Seattle home, is expected to a appear on the long-awaited Nirvana greatest-hits album, which, according to Courtney Love, is due by Christmas.

A Universal Music Group spokesperson, however, said that while the LP would come out, there was no specific release date.

By Monday morning (September 23), several Web sites were streaming or had otherwise made available “You Know You’re Right,” another bursting confessional by the tortured Cobain, akin to tunes such as “Rape Me” and “Stay Away,” with Nirvana’s trademark soft/loud dynamic best displayed in “Milk It,” and a similar sentiment to “All Apologies.”

Prefaced with atonal harmonics, Cobain moans the opening lines, “I would never bother you/ I would never promise to,” while a harrowing, rumbling melody trudges along. The chorus, in typical Nirvana fashion, explodes with inarticulate rage as Cobain repeatedly holds his scream of “Pain” for a full four measures before slurring into the song’s title. Squalling guitar lines pierce through the manic fuzz, twisting around each other to cascade into a noisy maelstrom by song’s end.

Portions of “You Know You’re Right” appeared online in May; and a live version was recorded for a 1993 bootleg, but the full, studio version remained buried until now. Cobain’s widow/ Hole frontwoman Courtney Love performed a version of the song during her band’s stint on MTVs “Unplugged” in February 1995.

If “You Know You’re Right” winds up on the as-yet-untitled best-of collection, the song would be the first posthumous release of any previously unreleased Nirvana studio recording to be issued in the U.S.

On Friday, Courtney Love announced on the syndicated morning radio program “The Howard Stern Show” that the Nirvana greatest-hits set would be in stores by Christmastime. She added that she had settled her lawsuits with both the surviving members of Nirvana, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, over future business decisions regarding the group, and major-label conglomerate Universal Music Group. In the latter suit, Love made the claim that artists’ standard seven-year recording contracts are unfair.

However, Love’s publicist handling the UMG suit said the disagreement had not been officially settled but was close to a resolution (a hearing scheduled for September 17 was adjourned to October 1). Neither Love’s lawyer on the Nirvana case nor her manager returned calls by press time.

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