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When Nirvana first hit the scene in the early nineties, my husband bought the 2nd album, Nevermind and although there were a few tracks I liked, I thought the rest was too noisy for my liking.
Fast forward a few years and although the tracks had grown on me, the loud grungy style was not my favourite but with Kurt Cobain's death being widely reported on, and the subsequent popularity of Dave Grohl with The Foo Fighter's. my interest in the band and the story behind them increased.
~~So who were Nirvana?~~
Nirvana were an American grunge band formed in 1987 by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. They performed with several drummers eventually settling on Dave Grohl.
They had a major hit with Smells Like Teen Spirit and many hits followed most of which were known for a quiet verse leading to rather loud choruses.
The album I am reviewing was recorded at Sony Music Studios, New York City on November 18th 1993 for MTV.
I never came across this recording till many years after it was recorded. It wasn't till I got into YouTube and happened to find a few of the clips of this fantastic set that I realised the down scaled acoustic versions really really appealed to me.
I have also read a biography on Kurt Cobain called 'Heavier than Heaven' by Charles R Cross which portrays Kurt as a perfectionist but also a very deep and troubled soul.
I must have mentioned them a few times as for Christmas last year, my son (now 20) who ironically was born the same year this album was recorded, bought me it for Christmas and I love it.
Kurt Cobain looks as scruffy as ever with his greasy locks hanging limply but once he starts playing guitar and singing, you can't help but become mesmerised. (I also think he is rather gorgeous!)
There were several arguments leading up to the recording during which Kurt was very particular about how he wanted things done and it was touch and go whether it would actually go ahead but thank goodness it did!
The track list is:
1. About A Girl
2. Come As You Are
3. Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam
4. The Man Who Sold The World
5. Pennyroyal Tea
8. On A Plain
9. Something In The Way
11. Oh Me
12. Lake Of Fire
13. All Apologies
14. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
I won't go into each track by detail but I will tell you about the ones that mean something to me.
The first track...About a Girl only came to my attention when it was on one of the Rock Band games (X Box) tracklist when my son was at school. One of his friends always opted to sing this and it brings back happy memories of my son's school days. The song is pretty good too.
The third track... Jesus Don't want me for a Sunbeam was originally done by The Vaseleines and I first discovered the Nirvana version on a juke box in a pub a few years ago when me and John my husband were having one of our rare drinking days out. We had a brilliant day out and this song always reminds me of it.
The fourth track... The man who sold the world has been done by Lulu and David Bowie but this one is the best in my opinion.
The rest of the tracks are a mixture of covers and original Nirvana material. It shows raw acoustic music at its best and even if you are not a Nirvana fan I defy you to not be able to find a few tracks on here that appeal to you.
It will remain one of my favourite presents from my son as it brings so many memories for me.
If you are interested to get the full feeling of this show I would recommend searching and watching a few of the tracks on You Tube but if you would like to buy the album it is available at all the usual places and at the moment is on sale at Amazon for around the £4 mark A Bargain!!!
Nirvana were a great grunge band and Cobain was a rather introverted performer is some ways and this live unplugged album recorded in New York is a great platform from which to appreciate the strength of the lyrics of many Nirvana songs. In addition for real fans there is a nice blend of some classic songs and some new material in the form of cover tracks.
Without the frenetic guitar riffs and the reverb and feedback that you get in a typical Nirvana live performance there is a pure simplicity to many of the songs performed on this album, that is not to say hat this is just Cobain and a guitar playing, there is a full backing band and string arrangements on show that give depth to the songs.
Tracks like Come as You Are and On A Plain great listen and translate wonderfully into a broken down simpler format, On A Plain is one of my favourite Nirvana tracks and this version is excellent. All Apologies and A bout a Girl also work really well in this format.
1 About A Girl
2 Come As You Are
3 Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam
4 The Man Who Sold The World
5 Pennyroyal Tea
8 On A Plain
9 Something In The Way
11 Oh Me
12 Lake Of Fire
13 All Apologies
14 Where Did You Sleep Last Night
If I have one complaint it is the fact that at times the interaction between Cobain and the audience is rather muted, probably down to his own mumbling delivery and some of the lyrics could be a bit clearer on the recording.
Where Did You Sleep Last Night has a sort of biblical feel to it and works really well as the final track while Oh Me is a great song in its own right and one Cobain really brings to life.
I often like these unplugged albums from artists, there is a purity about the sound that I like and the concerts feel like a more intimate experience and that is the case with this album and hence the main reason why it is worth listening to. Even if you are not a grunge fan it is still very accessible music and well worth the cost of a cd, I paid £4.99 on Play.com when I bought. and it was the best fiver I have spent in a long time.
Nirvana's performance on MTV Unplugged in New York is probably one of the most famous live albums of all time, particularly because it was recorded not long before Cobain committed suicide in the Spring of 1994. The album was released in November of the same year and was a considerable success, reaching number one here and selling millions of copies worldwide. Occasionally, also, you can find the concert being shown on MTV2 in its entirety.
What's remarkable to me is that Nirvana actually seemed to show some technical proficiency here - they took their crudely performed songs and have turned them into accoustic wonders. It's a masterful stroke from a band that I didn't really expect would be able to pull it off, considering some of their songs are very simplistic and would not lend themselves to an accoustic iteration. It appears, though that I was proved wrong, because this is a cracking addition to their output and a very unique experience indeed.
Admittedly this doesn't include a lot of famous Nirvana songs, but it does feature some finely tuned hits such as All Apologies, and also an amazing cover of David Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World, which actually outdoes Bowie's version astoundingly. It all closes on the wonderful Where Did You Sleep Last Night that is both melancholic but also a bit comedic too.
It's a superior concert CD thanks to the rapport between the band which is even better apparent if you actually watch the performance rather than just listen to it. Nevertheless, it gives a greater insight into the mind behind these songs and also the group dynamic as a whole.
A lot of live CDs don't really add anything to the mix, but this is the rare exception - it reveals a lot more about the band and also proves that they can work in synergy in a more sedate environment. I was very impressed.
Unplugged in Newyork is a fantastic live album by the American band Nirvana. It was recorded live in New York in 1993 and there was also a video version released as well as being shown on the television series MTV unplugged. The album is unplugged, basically meaning all the songs on here are acoustic, quite a few of their songs are acoustic any way however its good to hear some of their other songs done acoustically as well.
The first song is about a girl, it starts the album off well. You can hear the crowd singing and once the guitar starts playing clapping along to the song, I think this is a really good live album because of this, you can hear the crowd in parts like the beginning and end however they don't ruin the band performance or the song.
Come as you are is the second song off the album and is my favourite off this live album as well as his voice sonds quite different in this one, it seems that this would be a harder song than most of their others to sing, you can hear him really trying in parts, and he really pulls it off. And the electric guitar solo isn't really missed either as in its place is a kind o slow relaxing acoustic solo instead which is backed up by the usual chords, it sounds great.
Polly is another song I really like, the guitar is really very low on this one to starts off with and then builds up and up until the chorus which I like, his singing is just top notch on this song in particular as well, and its just a song that I like the studio version of as well.
1. About a Girl
2. Come as You Are
3. Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam
4. The Man Who Sold the World
5. Pennyroyal Tea
8. On a Plain
9. Something in the Way
11. Oh Me
12. Lake of Fire
13. All Apologies
14. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
This really is a great live album and its good to hear Nirvana playing acoustically as well, I think most of their songs actually work better acoustically than electric so its really nice to hear them. The album contains some great songs, however it doesn't have all of their biggest hits.
Nirvana unplugged in New York was one of the forst rock albums i ever bought, i was 16 when i made the purchase and it was one of the most influencial albums of my life. If you want to listen to an album, that drowns out the world around you and absorbs all your emotions and evokes the ones you forgot about then this is the record for you. Everyone should listen to this album, its like an invitation from rock music to fall in love with it. You will not find a better live album. If you buy this you will want to keep it for the rest of your life and you will attach memories to it that you will never forget. The summer of 1999 was one of the best of my life, hanging out in margate with my best mates and laying in my friends garage listenign to this :) RIP KC
well.. if this album only had one song and that song was the man who sold the wolrd then it would be woth bying becase at the end of this song the phantastic court cobain said "i did not screw it up". And this album is anything but screw up. it is a classic. People bang on about eric clapton and his unplaged (which was a very good album) but this is without doubt the best album from the unpluged series by a mile.
I first bought this album when it first came out. And listened to it non-stop. I knew every word, chord change.. And then i had a miss - fortune of loosing it or " maybe i lent it out"... and it was lost to me for quite a few years. Having recently repurchase it, i have set down with few vodkas and reaquainted myself with this fantastic life performance with the masters of grunge...l
MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by Nirvana, an American band formed in 1987 with this album being released on November the 1st, 1994.
It reached number 1 in the US, UK, Australia, Spain as well as other countries.
It was shortly released after the suicide of singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain. It sold 5 million coppies in the US alone.
As well as the CD, a DVD version was released in 2007, which features the set list nirvana played.
The album is brilliant in many ways. One of them being the fact that Kurt Cobain and his band members pull off the acoustic versions of usually heavy grunge based songs to extreme quality. I feel that this album provides a unique insight into the quality and togetherness of the band, being able to change your songs and adapt them to give a completely different feel is a hard task to pull off.
The set list features mainly unreleased or songs from their album which were not released. Also a few cover versions of songs are played (David Bowie, Meat Puppets and The Vaselines).
As the album is a live performance, you not only get the songs, you get the little talking bits inbetween the songs, adding to the experience of the CD as a whole. Just listening to the band laugh together gives you a better feel for the group's bond. There are some funny bits in between songs, such as Kurt claiming that he will mess up one of the songs, which he actually doesnt in the end. The audience add to the experience aswell, each song recieving an ovation.
My favourite songs on the album have to be:
'Plateau' for its abstractness and generally different style. The lyrics are strange and interesting at the same time. The song is almost eerie in the way Kurt goes about singing it. Its a great song though.
'Lake of Fire' has great guitars, the strumming is awesome. The lyrics are creepy in a good way, he sounds like he might burst out laughing at one point in the song. The lyric 'They go to a Lake of Fire and fry!' sums up the song for what it is. The song is very good.
'Where did you sleep last night?' has very memorable and interesting lyrics. This is easy to sing along to, having good instruments throughout the song. Kurt's vocals are great.
1. "About a Girl"
2. "Come as You Are"
3. "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam"
4. "The Man Who Sold the World" (David Bowie)
5. "Pennyroyal Tea"
8. "On a Plain"
9. "Something in the Way"
11. "Oh Me"
12. "Lake of Fire"
13. "All Apologies"
14. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"
Nirvana Unplugged is many things. A chance to see the softer side of a loud band. A chance to hear the wonderful pop music behind the distorted guitars. A sign of what would come next from the band, and ultimately a poignant reminder that for all his faults Kurt was truly a once in a generation talent.
A lot of Nirvana fans reacted badly to this gig at first and only really embraced it after Cobain's death. They felt it was a sell out, but ultimately it give Kurt a chance to evolve musically for the first time in many years. There is a rumour that the next musical project for Kurt was an acoustic album with Michael Stipe.
This set is the standard for all past and present unplugged. The bands before them done unplugged exactly the same way they done a normal gig, they simply done acoustic versions of those songs.
Nirvana however done everything differently and the intimate atmosphere seemed to agree with the often shy Cobain. The set list comprise of almost 50/50 Nirvana Originals and cover songs.
Even the covers they done weren't your run of the mill kind of stuff. The 3 meat puppet songs were performed wonderfully (and give a nice boost to the band following this), David Bowies Man who Sold the World was breath taking and Where did you sleep last night sounded like a direct message to Courtney Love as Kurt's voice actually creaks and cracks it's way through the final lines.
The classic About a Girl opens the set and sets the mood showing just how good the chord progressions Cobain used were. Often ridiculed for writing 3 chord songs, this set showed the strip down songs and their wonderful melody behind them.
Polly makes a star showing during the gig also, while it's a horrible story the song is truly a classic. For me the stand out track is Penny Royal Tea, completely different to the recorded album version and sung only with Kurt accompanying himself on the guitar.
This album will probably always be remembered as the last great thing Cobain done, and a fitting tribute it is.
This is the best Nirvana album in my opinion. Basically because of the beautiful rawness of the songs and Kurt's vocals. Nothing is polished like some other studio albums, and the set that they chose is just amazing. There is a couple of covers in there like 'Jesus doesn't want me for a sunbeam' by the 'vaselines' and 'The man who sold the world' by David Bowie. The man who sold the world for me is a real faveorite. It really shows the rawness of Kurt's voice and the ease in which he sings. The album was released after Kurt's death, and you can see when you watch the performance on TV that Kurt isn't one for being so exposed. He looks uncomfortable with the camera so focused on his every word but in a way that is what makes this performance such a key one in the life of Kurt because it is one of a kind. Every Nirvana fan will have this in their collection.
Nirvana Unplugged in New York was recorded for MTV (as part of the Unplugged series) in 1993 and was later released as an album.
The performance and set consisted of Kurt Cobain - lead vocals and guitar. Pat Smear - guitar. Krist Novoselic - bass, guitar and accordion. Dave Grohl - drums, backup vocals. Lori Goldston - Cello. There were also members of the Meat Puppets who appeared as guests (they were touring with Nirvana at the time) to cover three of their songs.
The set list is quite varied and includes the well-known songs from various past Nirvana albums (including 'Come as you Are' and 'On a Plain'), as well as covers (including David Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World').
This album ranks as one of my favourite albums. The songs seem more powerful when stripped down with none of the normal feedback from the amplifier as we normally hear with many Nirvana songs. Kurt Cobain's voice is eerily powerful in many of the songs and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on songs such as 'Pennyroyal Tea' and 'Where did you sleep last night'.
Watching the performance is also highly recommended (you can pick up the dvd quite cheap or it is often repeated on the various MTV channels) as you get a real feel for the band and how much the performance means to them - they do give it their all and it shows through. There are also nice moments in between songs which show a more informal and fun side.
I recently rediscovered this album while I was transferring cds to my mp3 player, I used to listen to it virtually every day when it came out, I was a massive Nirvana fan and remember the excitement the first time I watched the performance and then the desperation to own the cd.
It has not diminished in impact over these years, dont get me wrong, I have often stuck it on as background music over the years at dinner parties and when friends have been round but because of massive over familiarity with it from years of constant rotation I had stopped really LISTENING to it. It has also not diminished in significance either, this album was special when it was released, it has gained cult status over the years and it still stands the test of time by selling solidly now.
Recorded in November 1993, a mere 5 months before the tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain and at a time when his demons were already tormenting him, there are moments on this album where you can hear the anguish in his voice. This collection of stunning accoustic versions of some of their most famous tracks and amazing cover versions hangs together so well, how special it must have been to be one of the priviliged few in the audience that night.
Personally I love the opening track, a sublime, perfect version of About a Girl from their debut album Bleach, sets the tone and it is followed by a strangely haunting version of Come as You Are which sounds different so stripped back but the distinct bassline keeps it true to the original.
The next track is a cover of The Vaselines' Jesus Dont Want me For a Sunbeam, its a delicate song and Kurt does it justice, this is followed by another cover, this time Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World, at the age of 15 this was my first introduction to Bowie and was the only reason I ever listened to him, I thought the guitar riff was the coolest thing I had ever heard (and I still do!), it made me want to learn to play guitar - a few years later I did but im still not good enough to master this. The song influenced me in so many ways and I still tend to think of Nirvana first not Bowie when I hear it.
Next is Pennyroyal Tea, not one of my favourite songs and personally I think the weakest song on this album (but not by much), Dumb and Polly follow this, both sounding really powerful stripped down, Polly is a clean basic song anyway but Kurt sounds so note perfect on this version that it makes you realise how talented a vocalist he was.
On a Plain is next and I prefer this version to the one found on Nevermind, the next track Something in the Way is actually one of my favourite Nirvana songs, Kurt sounds almost in distress on this version and its so haunting to think what might have been going through his mind while he sang such bleak lyrics.
The next three tracks are all covers of songs by the Meat Puppets who Cobain was a big fan of, Cris and Curt Kirkwood from the band joined them on stage for these tracks. Plateau sounds amazing with the layered guitars of Cobain and the Kirkwoods accompanied by Krist Novoselic on a double bass, I had never heard any of the Meat Puppets songs prior to this album and again, I liked them so much it inspired me to search them out. The other two tracks they perform together on this are Oh Me and Lake of Fire, both outstanding cover versions and instantly so distinctive with Kurt's vocals and this unplugged arrangement.
The penultimate track is All Apologies, one of Nirvana's more well known tracks, I love this version and think it sounds even more intense accoustically. The final track absolutely makes you want to stop and listen because Kurt almost howls it, sounding like he might be about to cry or shriek with anger, people speculated at the time about whether it was a reflection of his at times rocky relationship with Courtney Love - it is another cover, this time of Leadbelly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
If you dont own this album you should definitely give it a try, even if you were never a Nirvana fan, it doesnt matter, this transcends genres and moods and scenes - its just a fabulous, important, special piece of music history.
Nirvana show their soft and cuddly side with this little gem. However, they aren't completely unplugged. Kurt and Krist use electro acoustics I believe, but that adds qaulity rather than takes it away. However, they tone down their usual aggressive, angst-ridden sound to a vulnerable whisper and perform semi-acoustic renditions of some of their best tracks as well as some fantastic covers. The most prominent one being Bowie's Man Who Sold The World.
There is a certain intimacy with this album that isn't in any of the other albums, which is probably because Kurt is obliged to soften his vocals, making the music seem sort of vulnerable but also powerful. This is a must-have for diehard fans of Nirvana, but for those who are into grunge and just grunge, this is expendable.
But, nonetheless, this is still worth a listen as Kurt's voice, Dave's toned-down drumming and Krist's hum of a bass is a beautiful whisper and at the same time the same angsty-howl that people remember from Nirvana.
On November 18th 1993, the kings of 'grunge' stepped into a small studio filled with fans to perform an acoustic set. The traditionalist would have expected, or wanted, them to play the obvious likes of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Heart Shaped Box. But what Kurt Cobain had in mind was something beautiful enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
As I gradually review all Nirvana's releases, if anyones checked my other reviews....(hint!).... this cannot be mentioned in the same breathe as say, In Utero, just simply because this is the other side of Nirvana that we rarely saw, and perhaps would have seen more of, had it not been for Cobain's suicide.
Opening song 'About A Girl' is taken from their debut release 'Bleach', which was originally a fairly calm track - very Beatles-esque in places, and with the 'unplugged' ambience, it is even more so now.
'Come As You Are' follows, one of the singles from 'Nevermind', and recieves instant applause from the audience as they instantly recognise it. The echoing screams of Cobain fit perfectly on one of the most basic yet eeriely brilliant guitar riffs you could ever find.
The third track is the first cover of the evening, but yet one of the most obscure ones you could think of Nirvana ever doing. 'Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam' was adapted from the Christian hymn, that I believe the Vaselines also did - as Cobain mentions prior to the songs beginning, and it includes bassist Krist Novoselic on accordian for this track. Although I'll admit there are better covers on this album, as you'll soon read, due to the origins of this song, it certainly does intrigue and interest many.
'The Man Who Sold The World', originally by David Bowie, is a big highlight of the album for me. They do cheat a little by adding light distortion to the guitar, therefore defying the term 'Unplugged', but when the results are this good, I couldn't care less!!
The next two tracks; 'Pennyroyal Tea' and 'Dumb' are off the band's last studio recorded album; 'In Utero'. The former being incredible in this recording - just Cobain and a guitar. Personally, I feel 'Dumb' is better on 'In Utero', only just however.
'Polly', an acoutic track from Nevermind, is a song many 'old' Nirvana fans would have become somewhat bored with, if that's possible. But due to it's recognition, it receives audience appreciation after just a couple of notes, once they realise what it is. I like this track - it's not as bassy as the album version, and not as dark. The distorted version of this song was always better though I felt.
'On A Plain' and 'Something In The Way' are also taken from Nevermind. The latter being an autobiographical piece from Cobain's time when he slept underneath a bridge in his hometown. 'On A Plain' is a interesting addition - it never received as much notice as many of the other songs on Nevermind, but this acoustic version seems to work exceedingly well.
Three covers appear next, originally by the Meat Puppets. They even welcome the band's two guitarists to play on this track along with them. 'Plateau' exemplifies some of Cobain's excellent vocal skills, reaching extremely high notes during the chorus. 'Oh Me' and 'Lake Of Fire' are the two other tracks that follow - 'Oh Me' often gets disregarded as the weaker track out of the three, but I personally believe it's comfortably on a par with the other two tracks - with some excellent guitar parts in it just for safe measure!!
'All Apologies' is taken from In Utero, and is arguably the most mesmeric track off the album. The haunting repetition of 'All In All Is All We Are' by Cobain and Dave Grohl at the end of the song is excellent. A real highlight of the album.
The final track of the album is 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?', originally by Ledbetter, and it has literally saved the best until last. Cobain's screaming towards the end of the song will remain with you for ages - in particular if you've ever seen the television performance of this, where he stares distantly..... if you've seen it you'll understand!!
The album was never released until after Kurt's death, which happened to be only five months after the recording. It's a great shame that he took his life so young, because after looking at the beauty and brilliance of this CD, it's clear that he was far from done in the music world. So enjoy what he left us....believe me, you will.
The final swansong, the funeral if you like, of for me, the greatest band that has ever lived (of course two of them still do but you see my point). This was always something, if you believe what you read, that Kurt never wanted to do. He didn't want to be seen to sell his soul to MTV, the franchise he considered to be pure evil. Having read many books on Cobain, it has become very apparent that Kurt would have done anything to not perform that night in New York. It is said that he flat-out refused to play the day prior to the performance and that he constantly complained about everything. Quite frankly, I, and many other people, are delighted that he did perform, because if he didn't then the world would never have heard the greatest MTV Unplugged performance in history (thats just my opinion). It was also said that MTV officials complained to Nirvana and wanted to know why certain songs (teen spirit, lithium etc) were not on the playlist. The simple answer is that there are certain songs that just would not sound right when done acoustically. When Kurt mentioned to MTV that he had plans for a couple of guests to take part in the performance, the MTV heads went into panic wondering who it was that Kurt had got to join Nirvana on stage. Rumours circulated that it was Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, but they were to be proved incorrect (as if you could see those two on stage together anyway). It was infact Curt & Cris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets that Kurt had persuaded to come along. Once the MTV people found out they were less than pleased, expecting a huge name performer and getting a couple of people that not many would know the music of, surely that wouldn't help MTV ?? The fact that the show is called 'MTV Unplugged' was proved irrelavant for Nirvana's performance due to the fact that Kurt's acoustic guitar was plugged into an amplifier. Another thing that worried Kurt himself, was the fact t
hat he didn't rate his guitar playing that highly and he believed that the audience would be able to hear every mistake from such a close proximity. Kurt's mind was finally brought round to playing and late that night on November 18th 1993, Kurt walked out in his trademark cardigan and jeans and sat down on his rotating chair. He was joined (obviously) by Dave and Krist. Kurt politely spoke ... 'good evening' His indecision of himself and his band was obvious when he started the first song 'about a girl' - "this songs off our first record, most people dont own it". For me that showed that he believed that this audience of suits really didn't know them and were there simply to look good. During the set Nirvana played quite a few covers, most notably Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' and Leadbelly's 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night' of which both were absolutely amazing (if not better than the originals). They covered 3 Meat Puppets's numbers also ... 'Oh Me', 'Lake Of Fire' and 'Plateau' and the thing that caught the fans attention was the fact that most of these songs were on the subject of death (and we all know what happened a few months later). Still the cover songs were done incredibly well also and of course we then come onto the Nirvana numbers themselves. About A Girl, Come As You Are, Pennyroyal Tea and Something In The Way were in my opinion the best performed efforts, with Kurt hitting every note with eerie precision. 'All Apologies' was a great listen, again with Kurt on top form. For a man that supposedly didn't want to be there, he was doing extremely well. Im sure the majority of people will know of the haunting scream that Kurt gives out during the final 30 seconds of 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night', almost as if that was the final part of his soul being sucked out of him and he knew that it was
virtually the end. Im hoping what ive said has convinced anyone who doesn't already own this, to go out and buy it because if you don't, you are not only missing out on a legendary performance, but possibly the greatest single perfomance ever ! Tracklisting 1. About A Girl 2. Come As You Are 3. Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam 4. The Man Who Sold The World 5. Pennyroyal Tea 6. Dumb 7. Polly 8. On A Plain 9. Something In The Way 10. Plateau 11. Oh Me 12. Lake Of Fire 13. All Apologies 14. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Since achieving worldwide recognition with 1991's 'Nevermind,' Seattle-based grungers Nirvana have explored and defined alternative rock, pioneering simplicity and melody as new mediums of expression in music. This record is certainly a testament to this, a selection of old and borrowed songs played to the famous 'unplugged' formula, which attempts to strip down songs, producing a clarity and focus thus gaining wider appeal. The 'unplugged' set up is one of MTV's few gifts to rock musicians, a scheme which such virtuosos as Eric Clapton, Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam and Oasis have been able to take advantage of before and after Nirvana's success. Those who were lucky enough to have seen the live performance would have experienced an extremely relaxed and serene show, certainly a new thing for Nirvana fans who will be used to the bands mischievous live behaviour. The album kicks off with 'About a Girl,' a track from Nirvana?s first album, 'Bleach.' The song is stripped of it's fast and punky beat and transformed into a slow indie ballad. The highlight of the song comes halfway through with an excellent guitar solo, which really fits in well, adding a wholesome tone and a neat twist to the song. From the outset of the album it is clear that frontman Cobain is at the top of his game. Despite the usual technical criticisms, his guitar playing is thoughtful and emotive and his usually stretched vocals, lend themselves well to the acoustic backdrop. Following 'About a Girl' is 'Come As You Are.' Which is comparatively unchanged from the original. The song is hurried through and is quite dull in its acoustic setting, The simple riff has been somewhat overplayed, however it satisfies the ear although the Nevermind version is definitely better. The album's next song is called 'Jesus don't want me for a Sunbeam.' According to Cobain th
is is a rendition of an 'old Christian song' yet its autobiographical significance is clear. Its pace seems to epitomise Nirvana's timeless style with slow and fast parts creating a very interesting and entertaining track. Hand in hand with 'Jesus...' is a David Bowie classic 'The Man Who Sold The World.' This track seems equally autobiographical: Who Knows? Not me. We never lost control. You?re face to face With the man who sold the world. The melancholy pace of this song underlines it as one of the great cover versions of all time as it is able to sweetly polish the meaning of the song, which is delivered flawlessly. It comes as a bit of an anti climax when the songs 'penny royal tea,' 'Dumb,' and 'Polly' which are extremely monotone and are basically just copied from their albums. Sure, everyone likes these songs, but they are played one dimensionally and I feel that instrumentally these songs could have been improved with the inclusion of a small orchestra or something. On their own, these songs come as a bit of a disappointment. Slightly more interesting but nevertheless fatally flawed in comparison to the original is 'On a Plain.' It is a great song, and some sort of bluesy/psychedelic approach would have been far more adventurous. However, this song and those immediately before it do little to silence Nirvana's critics that they are lacking in musicianship. Unfortunately, 'Something in The Way' is indifferent to the Nevermind version. And its simplicity really does show. This is the low point of the album. However, the end of this track hails the beginning of the latter and most intriguing part of the album: B-sides and tracks which no-one has ever heard before. 'Plateau' is a strange, folky song, which is undeniably addictive with its slow pace and catchy riff. It is a dreamy and inspiring track,
which would have suited a place on Nevermind well. The song is given room to breath through use of a 'floaty' mechanism. 'Oh, me' is delivered with impeccable style and attention every chorus, bridge and note is nestled firmly in it's right place with a short but uplifting solo interlude adding balance. 'Oh, Me' comes across as serene and imaginative - an impressive song. As if the folky approach doesn't stop, 'Lake of Fire's' Dylanesque sound and progression are very much appreciated and the tune cleverly contrasts with Cobain's moody vocals. To finish the album is 'All Apologies' a song which is apparently Nirvana's best ever song. Despite it's unchanged formula it is a great song but you do miss the heavy distortion around the chorus. Finally, Kurt Cobain sings the dark, Leadbelly song 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night' which is incredibly simple yet touches the soul brilliantly. This cover version is a great finale to the album. Despite the dip in the middle this is a classic album and is essential for all alternative rock fans, especially since it's becoming cool to like Nirvana again. It provides an interesting insight to the bands personality and the interaction with the late Kurt Cobain will certainly attract those who see Cobain as some sort of Rock God. Nirvana's last live album is a worthy obituary to an extremely influential, revolutionary band.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 About A Girl
2 Come As You Are
3 Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam
4 The Man Who Sold The World
5 Pennyroyal Tea
8 On A Plain
9 Something In The Way
11 Oh Me
12 Lake Of Fire
13 All Apologies
14 Where Did You Sleep Last Night