The Seattle band performance became the most popular of all MTV Unplugged concerts
On December 16, 1993 MTV premieres Nirvana’s unplugged concert
On November 18th, 1993 Nirvana, together with their new guitarist Pat Smear (formerly from Punk band The Germs) and featuring Classical Cellist Lori Goldstein, performed live at the Sony Studios in New York an intimate concert for the MTV Unplugged series. Nirvana, who were a highly electrical band, accepted the challenge to strip down their heavy Grunge Rock songs into mild acoustic ballads and the result was better than expected. Despite Kurt Cobain’s lack of self-confidence that the show would go well, as the band were not used to play full acoustic sets, he delivered a stunning performance and one of the most acclaimed of his career. The set-list included songs from all three Nirvana studio albums “Bleach”, “Nevermind” and “In Utero”, as well as an eclectic choice of covers from David Bowie, Leadbelly, The Vaselines and Meat Puppets. The long forgotten David Bowie song “The Man Who Sold The World” gained a new popularity when performed by Nirvana at the MTV Unplugged and Bowie himself started including the song back on his set-list. The special guests from Meat Puppets, Kurt and Kirk played three of their tracks with Kurt Cobain solo on vocals, “Oh Me”, “Plateau” and “Lake Of Fire”. The first surprising cover of the concert was “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam”, who Nirvana had been performed on their concerts for a few years but here, not only just acoustic but also with Krist Novoselic picking the accordion and Dave Grohl playing simultaneously drums and bass guitar, The concert closed with “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” a cover of Blues guitarist and singer Leadbelly, that Kurt Cobain was a fan of. Nirvana had previously covered Leadbelly early in their career, however it wasn’t until long after Kurt Cobain’s death that some of those songs surfaced as rarities. Nirvana MTV Unplugged it’s a milestone on music TV shows or specials, one of the most memorable concerts ever to be made for TV, by looking at the dark somber mood of the songs and the stage, decorated with flowers and candles, we cannot help but think of the events that were to take place later in 1994. For some this was Kurt Cobain’s Last Testament, but most important, it’s a performance that offers Nirvana and Kurt Cobain credit as one of the most talented bands over the last 30 years. The concert was first aired by MTV in the U.S on December 16, 1993 and was later released as an album “Unplugged In New York” in 1994 shortly after Kurt Cobain’s death, and remains one of their most popular and best selling works.
Watch Nirvana performing “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” live on MTV Unplugged, 1993
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