In the spring of 1994, Nirvana were on the cusp of implosion. Shortly after what would turn out to be his last concert with Kurt Cobain, drummer Dave Grohl returned to Seattle from Germany to record a couple of tracks for a project of his own. This demo recording of ‘Mountain Of You’, is one of two songs he emerged with. Trust me when I say that if you haven’t heard this particular oddity you need to drop everything, put on your headphones, and give it a spin.
‘Mountain of You’ is a song of contrasts. Clean guitar lines meet pounding drum lines just as whispered vocal melodies transform into strained, Cobainesque wails. There’s a whiff of ’70s heavy metal about ‘Mountain of You’ but it’s in no way anthemic. Rather than euphoria, the demo seeks to evoke angst, bringing the listener’s blood to boiling point with each fresh chorus.
In 1994, Nirvana’s morale was at an all-time low and, according to Grohl, Cobain was keen to go home. The drummer remained in Germany to record a promotional video for the Backbeat Band while Cobain headed to Rome to recover from the stresses and strains of touring. Unfortunately, the frontman wound up in a coma following an overdose on Rohypnol and Champagne. When news of Cobain’s condition broke, the tour was cancelled. Shortly after, both Cobain and Grohl made their way back to Seattle.
To take his mind off things, Grohl decided to book a session in Barrett Jones’ Laundry Room Studio. The first track Dave laid down was ‘Big Me’, which he’d originally recorded with Novolesic just a couple of months before. ‘Mountain of You’, on the other hand, was an entirely solo effort, with Grohl entering Paul McCartney mode to record all the instruments himself.
The track remained lost until 2004 when it was shared online by Foo Fighters fans under the name ‘Mountain View’. Dave Grohl was the one to go online and correct the mistake, posting a message on the band’s official message board reading: “It’s ‘Mountain of You’, and it’s old as fuck”. While Grohl’s recording of ‘Big Me’ was given an official release in 2015 on Songs From The Laundry Room’, this cassette recording is the only version of ‘Mountain of You that exists. Make sure you check out the rare demo if you haven’t already. It’s well worth your time.