Today would have been Kurt Cobain's 46th birthday. To mark the occasion, we created a playlist of twenty-seven tracks that he pointed to as influences on his music, his style, and his approach to art.
Kurt was never shy about crediting other bands as influences: the band covered many artists, including Meat Puppets, The Vaselines, The Cars, David Bowie, The Beatles and Lead Belly.
The playlist includes some of the more well-known influences on Cobain's style - Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Melvins, Butthole Surfers, Buzzcocks, Earth - as well as nods toward various artists that Kurt admitted to borrowing some ideas from (for instance, he said "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was an attempt at writing a Pixies song, and that the main guitar figure was "so close to a Boston riff").
There are also some unexpected choices, like Terry Jacks' version of "Season in Sun" - which Nirvana recorded an impromptu cover of, and which Kurt said made him cry as a child - and "Back In Black," the first song a 14-year-old Cobain learned to play on guitar. Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin make the list because Kurt and Krist Novoselic listed those bands as influences when they were advertising for a drummer. And Creedence Clearwater Revival is in there because the first band Krist and Kurt played in was a Creedence cover band.