What. A. Cover.
It’s not very often at all that any artist can do a legend like Kurt Cobain true justice, but Sturgill Simpson released an incredible cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” back in 2016.
And today always feels like a fitting day to share the beautiful tribute every year, because it was on April 5th, 1994 that Nirvana frontman and grunge pioneer Kurt Cobain sadly and tragically passed away at the young age of 27.
Kurt died by suicide according to the official Seattle police report, though there are some who believe he was possibly murdered, which is a story for a whole other post.
He tragically joined Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Amy Winehouse and others in the “27 Club,” the commonly-used name of a list of musicians that have passed away at the age of 27.
“In Bloom” appeared on Nirvana’s second album Nevermind, which was released in September of 1991, after the song was first recorded in 1990 and released as a music video (also in 1991, before it was put out on the record).
Of course, the song was a solo write by Kurt, who actually had aspirations to one day be thought of as more of a true singer/songwriter “like Johnny Cash,” which you can read more about HERE. I just love thinking about that and what could’ve been…
Kurt had also wanted to release “In Bloom” as their first major label debut single after signing with DGC, though it ended up being the fourth single from that record, as their classic song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was ultimately their debut.
It’s hard to argue that wasn’t the right call, but I guess we may never really know how it would’ve been otherwise.
And when it came time for Sturgill to release his third studio album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, he told Rolling Stone that that he wanted to pay homage to Kurt and he had to include his rendition of the song on the tracklist:
“I remember in seventh or eighth grade when that album dropped, it was like a bomb went off in my bedroom.
For me, that song has always summed up what it means to be a teenager, and I think it tells a young boy that he can be sensitive and compassionate, he doesn’t have to be tough or cold to be a man.
I wanted to make a very beautiful and pure homage to Kurt.”
That he certainly did… what a beautiful way to put it, too.
If you’ve never heard Sturgill’s cover before, now is certainly the time to change that.
Here’s to an all-time rock legend, and one of my personal favorite musicians, Mr. Kurt Cobain:
And of course, the iconic Nirvana music video for “In Bloom”: