"Marigold" (originally titled "Color Pictures of a Marigold") is a song written and composed by Americanrock musician Dave Grohl, that was first released on Pocketwatch, an album Grohl issued under the pseudonym Late! in 1992.
The song is perhaps best known for the version that was recorded and released in 1993 by Nirvana, as a b-side to the "Heart-Shaped Box" single. A live version was later featured on the Foo Fighters' release Skin and Bones in 2006, garnering "Marigold" the notable distinction of being the only song released by both Nirvana and Foo Fighters, Grohl's two most distinguished bands.
"Marigold" was originally recorded by Dave Grohl during a session at Upland Studios in Arlington, Virginia with producer Barrett Jones on December 23, 1990, taking place just several months after Grohl joined Nirvana. The session was executed in a similar way to how the Foo Fighters debut album would later be conceived, with all vocal and instrumental parts done solely by Grohl. With Late! as the moniker, the session was combined with four songs recorded in the summer of 1991, to create the album Pocketwatch, released on Simple Machines in 1992 as part of the labels Tool Cassette Series. The song is listed in the liner notes under its original title, "Color Pictures of a Marigold" and is one of just two songs on the album to feature only vocals and guitar.
In February 1993, Grohl entered Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota with bandmates Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, to record what would eventually become In Utero, the third and final studio album from Nirvana, produced by Steve Albini. Towards the end of the session, Grohl decided to re-record "Marigold," this time with a more detailed arrangement including bass and drums. Like the Late! version, lead and backing vocals and guitar were done by Grohl, who also recorded the drum parts. Although Novoselic contributed bass, it has been said that Cobain was absent during the production of "Marigold", despite exhaustive rumors insisting his involvement singing backing vocal and playing either drums or guitar. The song didn't make it to the final album, however it would see limited release in August 1993 as a b-side, along with "Milk It", to "Heart-Shaped Box", the first single from In Utero (interestingly, Grohl is credited for playing drums and singing lead vocal on "Marigold", but not guitar or backing vocal). The song would later appear on the third disc of the posthumousbox set, With the Lights Out in 2004. Grohl, in an interview with Rolling Stone debunked the rumor that Cobain had no involvement, "We sat there and played it a few times. I would do the high harmony, he would do the low harmony".
"Marigold" was performed live for the first time by Grohl during the Foo Fighters set at the Berkeley Community Theatre on July 14, 2006 and would be played throughout the rest of the tour. A performance the following month at Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California featuring the song with an eight piece band, was released as the live albumSkin and Bones on November 7, 2006. This version by the Foo Fighters, recorded over twelve years after the previous Nirvana version, marks further recognition for the song, released by not only the two bands Dave Grohl is best known for being a member of, but also two of the most seminal alternativerock acts of all time, Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. "Marigold" would be the third song taken from Pocketwatch to be re-recorded and released by the Foo Fighters, along with "Winnebago" and "Friend of a Friend".
The following is a list of the only official releases to feature the song "Marigold" and the personnel that contributed to them. The song is also notable for being released on an array of different formats. Pocketwatch was only issued as a cassette, despite later interest from Simple Machines to release the album on CD. The "Heart-Shaped Box" single was released on many formats including 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl, CD and cassette. With the Lights Out was a box set that included three CDs and one DVD. Skin and Bones was a live album issued on both CD and DVD.