Video Roundup: Nirvana’s Cover Songs

On the 20th anniversary of his death, KEXP is celebrating the life of one of Seattle’s greatest musicians. On April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain took his own life but left an indelible legacy for musicians and fans across the world. Throughout the day on Friday, April 4, KEXP DJs are playing a variety of songs celebrating Cobain, Nirvana and the Seattle grunge scene he helped shape. On the blog, we have a special video roundup. Whereas in the past, we’ve gathered a diverse number of Cobain’s influences and other bands’ covers of Nirvana’s grungy jams, here we’ve collected videos of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana covering other musicians’ songs. The list ranges from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s down-home “Sweet Home Alabama” to Terry Jacks’ “Seasons in the Sun.” The videos showcase not only Cobain’s body of knowledge and appreciation for music, but also his manifold talents and otherworldly stage presence. Come as you are, and honor Cobain here:

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  1. Jason Geer
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I will never forget going to seeing Nirvana at King Cat Theater for the Mia Zapata benefit show as they played the entire “In Utero” album before it was released. It changed my life. Thank you John, Sheryl, and Kevin for bringing up such great memories.

  2. David Hogan
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Just like the above commenter, I came on to mention the amazing Mia Zapata benefit at the King Cat Theater. In addition to playing In Utero in full, pre-release, they played one song from each of their albums, School from Bleach, Drain You from Nevermind, and Aneurysm from Incesticide. Also, I remember they covered No Quarter from Zeppelin but what really stood out to me was their cover of Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun which they performed it in the style of “Next verse same as the first, but a little bit faster, and a whole lot worse” It started out all nice and sweet like the embedded video, but on each verse they switched out who sung, and played it louder and faster and crazier until finally by the end it was full on punk mayhem! Such great times! Damn I miss Nirvana, they were so amazing live. RIP Kurt.

  3. Jason Geer
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    David, I forgot about those songs that they played. Thank you for reminding me. It was such a great show, the best live performance I ever witnessed.

  4. afriend
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Wild. Fun. Sad. Just a few of the emotions I’m feeling while reminiscing over the big news 20 years ago. I loved reading all the tributes, memories, and posts. For me personally, it’s a drawl on who loved him first: me or my 13 year old son at the time. No matter…Kurt’s music lives on directly; I rock Nirvana and Foo Fighters everyday on my run. And indirectly I ca relate to the struggles with inner demons. Jeez, I just wish he found help; but that was not to be. RIP! xoxo

  5. The Colonel
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Along with the aforementioned songs like the monumental rendition of “Aneuryism”, that benefit at the King also featured a cover of Men Withou Hats ‘ “Safety Dance” which much like that night’s version of “Seasons In The Sun” showcased Kurt Cobain’s humor and generosity as a performer. To wit: “Does anyone remember painter pants? They’re baaaaaack!”

  6. Demis Foster
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I was at the King Cat benefit for Mia too. I remember waiting in the line for hours to get in. While Tad was playing, Kurt walked up next to me with a case of longneck beers. He took one out of the box and offered it to me. I didn’t know what to say except “Thanks.”
    I remember the painter pants comment but forgot the song. Thanks to everyone for bringing me back to that night. It was one of the most profound moments in my life hearing them play in such an intimate setting.

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