New Book Reveals Mark Lanegan Co-Wrote Nirvana’s “Something in the Way”

The post New Book Reveals Mark Lanegan Co-Wrote Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” appeared first on Consequence.

The late Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan was close friends with Kurt Cobain during the latter’s lifetime. Cobain performed on Lanegan’s debut solo album, and anecdotes from Lanegan’s memoir illustrated just how tight the two grunge artists were.

It turns out their collaborative efforts apparently went both ways. In the new biographical oral history, Lanegan, the singer’s former Queens of the Stone Age bandmate Nick Oliveri revealed that Mark helped write lyrics for Nirvana’s stark masterpiece “Something in the Way,” but went uncredited. Therefore Lanegan — who often struggled to make ends meet while coping with drug addiction — didn’t receive what would have been massive royalties for the sales of Nirvana’s mega-selling album Nevermind.

“Mark said he wrote some lyrics on ‘Something in the Way’ with Kurt on Nevermind,” Oliveri told author Greg Prato. “But Kurt had played on some of Mark’s solo stuff, The Winding Sheet. So, instead of getting paid, they just did this thing where, ‘Hey man, I added a lyric on your song and you added a lyric on my song. Let’s just call it even. Whatever happens, happens.’ Little did Mark know, if he would have had publishing on ‘Something in the Way’ on Nevermind, he would have had a lot of money. I remember him kicking himself in the butt a little bit about that – ‘If I had that ‘Something in the Way’ publishing…””

Elsewhere in the book, Lanegan’s Screaming Trees bandmate Gary Lee Conner recalled when Courtney Love offered the band the then-unreleased Nirvana song “You Know You’re Right” following Cobain’s death. Screaming Trees went as far as learning it, but Lanegan couldn’t bring himself to sing the lyrics, and the Trees’ version went unrecorded. Once again, it would have likely netted the band a payday, but instead Nirvana’s recording of “You Know You’re Right” would be released as a single for their 2002 self-titled comp and become a posthumous hit for Cobain.

Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan

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“When we were working on songwriting for Dust, during that time, Mark is like, ‘Courtney wants us to do a song,'” Conner told Prato. “And it was that song — ‘You Know You’re Right’ [a then-unreleased Nirvana song]. So, I got a tape of it and we learned it. We never recorded it. But we learned it without Mark, and Mark came down to sing it…and he couldn’t. He changed his mind. And that was the end of it.”

Conner continued, “But who knows? We could have had a big hit with Kurt’s song. [Laughs] I’d imagine it would have been a pretty big deal – in ’95 or ’96 to release a cover of an unknown Nirvana song. I don’t know. That was the idea. But I don’t know if it was the idea of capitalizing on Kurt … although we could have used the money.”

Lanegan died one year ago today (February 22nd) at the age of 57. The previous passages were taken from Prato’s aforementioned biography Lanegan. See further exclusive excerpts from current and former members of Soundgarden, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more here, and pick up the book via paperback, hardcover or Kindle via Amazon.

New Book Reveals Mark Lanegan Co-Wrote Nirvana’s “Something in the Way”
Jon Hadusek

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