The Jury – Lead Belly EP

I’ll wrap up my posts that have a Nirvana connection with this what-if EP. In 1990, Kurt Cobain and Screaming Trees lead singer, Mark Lanegan decided to make a record and wrote a number of songs together. They told Sub-Pop, their record label, that they wanted to work together on making an album out of these songs. However, by the time they got to the studio, they had forgotten how the songs they had written actually went. Cobain and Lanegan had neglected to record any demos to help them later on. Instead of wasting the studio time, they decided to record an albums worth of Leadbelly covers. They were joined in the studio by Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel and Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. This collective was to be known as The Jury. 

Four tracks were recorded but interest in the project soon dwindled. It would seem that the problem was neither Cobain and Lanegan wanted to take the lead on the project. The first song recorded was ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’. This ended up being released on Mark Lanegan’s first solo album, ‘The Winding Street’. The other three didn’t appear until 2004’s ‘With The Lights Out’ box set. ‘Grey Goose’ was left as an instrumental because the vocals were never added, even though Lanegan notes that he was meant to add them at a later date which never happened.  

This is a case of what if the record company had not sat on these recordings but put these out as an EP, especially as both singers on this project would become quite well known in the next couple of years. 

Side A

  1. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
  2. Ain’t It A Shame

Side B

  1. Grey Goose
  2. They Hung Him On A Cross

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