If there is one band out there that will always generate interest it’s Nirvana. People go crazy for almost anything related to the band when it gets pressed on vinyl, including myself. I have more than my fair share of Nirvana bootlegs, so much so that I have live performances that overlap onto other bootlegs I’ve bought. I’ve even foolishly bought the same exact bootleg, only under a different title. I’m a bit more careful now, as I have photos of every bootleg I have to check the track listings. So when it was announced that a Kurt Cobain documentary was being worked on, what some people were calling the definitive biopic, and that an accompanying soundtrack would be released, many people were exited, myself included of course.
Montage Of Heck is the title of the documentary and corresponding soundtrack. The soundtrack is comprised of never before heard demos, outtakes, covers and various other early recordings Kurt Cobain recorded over his lifespan. Some of the songs are Cobain just tooling around and predate Nirvana, while others were written intended to be Nirvana songs. After listening to the soundtrack it is a bit of a letdown however. There is nothing earth shattering on it, and some of the songs have made the rounds online through Nirvana collector circles. If you’re like me and are a huge Nirvana fan/nerd and want to hear everything the band or Kurt Cobain has done, you’ve heard the demo version of “Sappy” and “Been A Son” before. This is just the first official release they’ve seen the light of day on.
There have been many complaints about the sound quality of this soundtrack. And all those complaints are unfounded. It’s nothing to do with the pressing, it being on vinyl, the mastering, etc. Some of these songs were literally recorded into a hand held tape recorder Kurt set up. So the source audio was far from worthy of being mass produced and released to the public. But with that said, the soundtrack itself is not worth buying for the casual fan. You should only buy this, on any format, only if you’re a diehard fan or completist. And you should definitely not buy this for full retail price.
Retail price on this soundtrack is $35. For that money you get a double LP pressed on black 180 gram vinyl, a gatefold jacket, insert and download card. Despite what the hype sticker says; “320 kbps MP3s,” that is not what you get via the download card. The download cards yields WAV files. A nice touch for the price, but useless files for most people. You can’t play WAV files in iTunes, they have o be converted to MP3. And since there are 31 tracks on this soundtrack, the file is well over 1 gig in size.
The soundtrack for Montage Of Heck was released over one year ago (December 11, 2015) as of posting this. And prices are still not coming down enough. Many distros are still charging way too much for this. Some are still charging full retail. Your best bet to find this soundtrack on the “cheap” are places like ebay or discogs. Prices on the secondary market have dropped significantly; to around $15. That is more than 50% off. While a deal can be had there, distros are marking this down to $30, or $25, in a pathetic effort to move old stock. I bought this soundtrack, brand new, for $10 shipped on ebay.
Pressing info has never been released, and never expect it to be because it’s a major label release.