Monday, September 30, 2002
Seattle A long-anticipated Nirvana song, the subject of much speculation and litigation, finally surfaced on airwaves last week, more than eight years after singer Kurt Cobain killed himself.
Cobain's estate closely guarded "You Know You're Right." The band, which launched the early 1990s "grunge" movement, recorded it in late January 1994, less than three months before Cobain's death.
It's unclear how the track finally aired. Several radio stations said it first surfaced on the Internet, which was where they obtained it.
The release ï¿½ whether official or not ï¿½ followed comments last week from Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, indicating that lawsuits involving the song had been settled for "a lot of money" and that "You Know You're Right" would come out before the holidays.
Love and surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have long fought over the song and Nirvana's legacy. She sued them in May 2001 to block the release of a boxed set including the song. They countersued for breach of contract, calling Love "irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable."
"You Know You're Right" is chilling, especially given its proximity to Cobain's death. It opens with the lines "I would never bother you/ I would never promise to/ If I say that word again/ I would move away from here," and descends into Cobain's elongated, tormented wail. "Pain," he cries, stretching the word out for nearly 10 seconds.
Other lines appear sarcastic: "Things have never been so swell/ And I have never been so well."
Cobain biographer Charles Cross cautioned that the version released on the Internet may not be the one the record label planned to release. He said he heard a substantially better version while researching his Cobain biography, "Heavier than Heaven," which came out last year.