Illiteracy Will Prevail is a notorious compilation of demos and home recordings by Kurt Cobain from the mid 80’s before forming Nirvana. Illiteracy Will Prevail also doubles as an unreleased album from Cobain and Dale Crover (The Melvins) early band that went by the name of Fecal Matter. The Illiteracy Will Prevail/Fecal Matter material has never officially been released, although a handful of copies of the cassette exist and are in the hands of a select few individuals. Songs have leaked from it, but nothing has been concretely confirmed as being legit, or at least some skeptics out there refuse to believe it. The infamous recording was finally released on vinyl, albeit a bootleg, in 2013. It was released by Club 188 Records, based out of Paris, France.
This is a rare bootleg that actually has pressing info, though it may not be 100% accurate seeing as it’s a bootleg. So far there have been two pressings, with the first pressing being done on multiple colors. For the first pressing there are 330 copies on black, “25” copies on blue/black swirl, “250” copies on white, 330 copies on blue,
All the info is noted on a blue sticker found on the front cover, which has hand numbering on it. The numbering is done out of the entire pressing, which is “500” copies. All the stickers say /500, but it’s obvious by the pressing info released by the label that there are far more than 500 copies for the first pressing. So either the total amount of copies pressed or the number(s) of copies per each variant are complete lies. The sticker also reads “The long lost first ever demo recordings of Kurt Cobain. Features tracks from the elusive Fecal Matter ’85 demo cassette heard for the first time in excellent audio quality along with 5 unheard lost demos from ’88.” That statement on the sticker is also a lie, as the Fecal Matter demo has been released on vinyl before, and the statement of “excellent audio quality” is arguable.
The sticker doesn’t lie about the source of the audio though. Tracks A1-A6 & B1 are from the Fecal Matter demo recorded in 1985. Tracks B2-B4: 4 track home demo recorded in 1988, track B5 is from the 4 track experiment recorded in 1988, track B6 is taken from a band rehearsal in 1986 and track B7 is from a 4 track tape collage recorded in 1988.
Here is the track listing:
- Sound Of Dentage
- Bambi Slaughter
- Laminated Effect
- Class of ’86
- Bather’s Log
- Black & White Blues
- Escalator To Hell
- Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
- Montage Of Heck
I think I have a second pressing of this because there is no sticker on the cover. To my knowledge only the first pressing has a sticker on the cover and is hand numbered. My local record store had copies with the sticker on the cover, and when I finally went back a few months later to buy it the only copy they had didn’t have a sticker. Had I known about the multiple pressings I would have bought the copy they had from the first pressing when I first saw it. But it’s not the end of the world seeing as this is a bootleg, and it’s very obvious the pressing info released by the label is anything but true. Pressing info for the second pressing has not been released, but not like it would be accurate anyway.