Rock legend Kurt Cobain will forever be known as one of the most influential musicians of his time. The lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana, he lived a tumultuous but exhilarating life up until his death aged 27, which left fans – and the world – devastated.
A collection of his journals published in 2002 shed some light on the musician, including a list of his top 50 favourite albums of all time. Check it out below.
A collection of Kurt Cobain journals published back in 2002 contains a handwritten list of his top 50 albums of all time. Check it out below.
Titled Kurt Cobain’s Journals, the 2002 collection was published by Riverhead Books, and included personal writings and drawings. The book received mixed responses, with fans divided around privacy concerns and the ethics surrounding the decision to make public his personal opinions and thoughts.
Yet one of the inclusions in the book is a handwritten list of Cobain’s top 50 albums of all time, accompanied by some more in-depth thoughts on the bands and their influence on Cobain’s own artistic insight.
Specifically, he writes about his admiration of the band The Vaselines.
“I just have this feeling Eugene [Kelly] and Frances [McKee] had a really cool relationship. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think it’s a really amazing thing when a couple can get on together and write some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard,” Cobain described. “They’re kind of sharing their life with people. Eugene and Frances are the Captain & Tennille of the underground.”
Apparently, in an interview with triple j in 1992, Kurt Cobain described them as “Definitely our number one favourite band.”
Some of the selections on the list don’t come as a surprise, including Mudhoney and Aerosmith. But we also get a glimpse into what he may have listened to on a slower day.
Check out Cobain’s original handwritten list below, as well as a Spotify playlist made up of his top records.
Kurt Cobain’s top 50 albums:
- Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power (1973)
- Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988)
- The Breeders – Pod (1990)
- The Vaselines – Dying for It (1988, listed as Pink EP)
- The Shaggs – Philosophy of the World (1969)
- Fang – Landshark! (1982)
- MDC – Millions of Dead Cops (1981)
- Scratch Acid – Scratch Acid (1984, listed as 1st EP)
- Saccharine Trust – Paganicons (1981, listed as 1st EP)
- Butthole Surfers – Pee Pee the Sailor (1983)
- Black Flag – My War (1984)
- Bad Brains – Rock for Light (1983)
- Gang of Four – Entertainment! (1979)
- Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
- The Frogs – It’s Only Right and Natural (1989)
- PJ Harvey – Dry (1992)
- Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (1988)
- The Knack – Get the Knack (1979)
- The Saints – Know Your Product (1978)
- Kleenex – “anything by:” (1978–1983, collected on 1993’s Kleenex/LiLiPUT anthology)
- The Raincoats – The Raincoats (1979)
- Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth (1980)
- Aerosmith – Rocks (1976)
- Various Artists – What Is It. (1982, erroneously listed as What Is This?)
- R.E.M. – Green (1988)
- Shonen Knife – Burning Farm (K Records version, 1985)
- The Slits – Cut (1979, listed as Typical Girls)
- The Clash – Combat Rock (1982)
- The Faith/Void – The Faith/Void (1982)
- Rites of Spring – Rites of Spring (1985)
- Beat Happening – Jamboree (1988)
- Tales of Terror – Tales of Terror (1984)
- Leadbelly – Leadbelly’s Last Sessions Volume One (1953)
- Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)
- Daniel Johnston – Yip/Jump Music (1983)
- Flipper – Album – Generic Flipper (1982)
- The Beatles – Meet the Beatles! (1964)
- Half Japanese – We Are They Who Ache with Amorous Love (1990)
- Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician (1987)
- Black Flag – Damaged (1981)
- Fear – The Record (1982)
- Public Image Ltd – The Flowers of Romance (1981)
- Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
- Marine Girls – Beach Party (1981)
- David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World (1970)
- Wipers – Is This Real? (1980)
- Wipers – Youth of America (1981)
- Wipers – Over the Edge (1983)
- Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly (1990)
- Swans – Young God (1984, erroneously listed as Raping a Slave)