Fans of Kurt Cobain will either be thrilled or annoyed at the latest exploitation of the late grunge rock icon.
The game will feature two playable songs from Nirvana’s repertoire, the 1991 smash hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and a live version of “Lithium” taken from a performance at England’s Reading festival in 1992.
“Kurt Cobain is one of the most recognizable frontmen in rock-and-roll history,” states the Activision press release, “and it’s an honor to have two of Nirvana’s masterpieces included.”
"'Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is a song that we’ve had at the top of our wish list ever since I came to Guitar Hero,” Tim Riley, Activision’s Vice President of Music Affairs, told Rolling Stone. “Then after three years of working with the different parties, it was like the perfect storm.”
Activision’s long process of acquiring the rights to Nirvana properties involved getting the seal of approval from Courtney Love, Cobain’s widow, as well as former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and Universal Publishing.
“Courtney supplied us with photos and videos and knew exactly what she wanted Kurt to look like,” Riley told Rolling Stone. “She picked the wardrobe and hair style, which turned out to be the ‘Teen Spirit’ look.”
Nirvana was at the forefront of the Seattle grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and changed the face of music with their release of the teen angst anthem "Nevermind." The band’s fame was cut short when Cobain committed suicide in 1994, citing popularity as being a source of his woes in a final note written to fans.
In 2001, Love sued surviving band members Grohl and Krist Novoselic over ownership to Nirvana’s music. After a year of deliberation, the case ended in a settlement.
Guitar Hero, the popular video game series where players simulate the role of a guitar player in a live rock band, is played by matching a series of rhythms and patterns on a special guitar-shaped controller to an on-screen display.