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MTV Unplugged in New York Live

4.8 out of 5 stars 742 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, November 1, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

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The last Nirvana collection recorded before the untimely death of Kurt Cobain, Unplugged caught many by surprise with its stripped down, neo-acoustic offerings with a bridled fury. When Cobain sings, "I swear I don't have a gun, I don't have a gun" with clenched teeth (instead of an open howl) and when the haunting strains of "About a Girl"--from their earliest LP--chills even with quieted guitars, you discover a new appreciation for the nuances of one of the greatest bands of recent times. Highlights include covers of three Meat Puppets tracks (featuring special guests Curt and Kris Kirkwood of that influential "college rock" band), the weepy cello on the Vaselines' "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam," and their cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World." --Lorry Fleming
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 1, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: November 1, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: DGC
  • ASIN: B000003TB9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (742 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Nirvana's Unplugged remains one of the band's most majestic moments. Coming hot off the heels of the noisy In Utero album, the band decided to stop into MTV's studios in New York City and play an acoustic set that completely erased any notions that they were just a simple "grunge" band. Kurt Cobain seems completely relaxed throughout, and he gives some staggeringly beautiful vocal performances. Dave Grohl plays the drums with wire brushes and demonstrates that he was just as capable of subtle shading as he was at hard-hitting fury. Krist Novoselic proves himself to be a worthwhile musician as well, playing accordion on "Jesus Doen't Want Me For a Sunbeam" in additon to playing a very solid-yet-laid back acoustic bass. Add former Germs guitarist Pat Smear to the lineup, as well as a guest appearance by the Kirkwood brothers of Tempe band the Meat Puppets, and you have all of the ingredients of that legendary November 1993 night.
All of the most obvious choices from Nevermind are featured here, "Polly," and "Something in the Way" of course, but their acoustic rendering of "On a Plain" is both relevatory and surprising, since I would not have expected them to include this song, and what's more it actually works as an acoustic! The classic "Come As You Are" is given more subtlely and emotion here, and that flanged guitar solo sounds positively stunning on an acoustic (actually he was using a half-acoustic/half-electric hybrid). The band also delivers some of the most mature songs from In Utero, too.
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Format: Audio CD
November of 1994 saw the release of Nirvana's first posthumous album, "MTV Unplugged in New York." The album was recorded just six months before the death of Kurt Cobain and released just six months after. Much like John Lennon's "Double Fantasy," (1980) it's hard to listen to the album and take it out of the context surrounding its tragic circumstances.

"MTV Unplugged in New York City" would be a somber enough album as is, but considering Cobain died shortly after it was recorded, the album takes on special meaning. The album possesses the tone and atmosphere of a funeral, although it's not so depressing that it becomes unlistenable. Rather, "MTV Unplugged in New York City" serves as a tribute and memorial to one of rock's most talented musicians. Much like "Double Fantasy," "MTV Unplugged in New York City" serves as an artist's bittersweet goodbye.

The Nirvana power trio of Cobain, (guitar, vocals) Dave Grohl, (drums, bass) and Krist Novoselic (bass, accordion, guitar) is joined by Pat Smear (guitar). Lori Goldston (cello) joins the band for many of the songs. Curt and Cris Kirkwood (guitar, bass) of the Meat Puppets join the band for three renditions of songs from the Meat Puppets "Meat Puppets II" (1984). A second guitar player thickens the sound and leaves Cobain free to solo. The added cello works very nicely, enhancing and enriching the songs. The added cello especially shines in "Pennyroyal Tea" and "Something in the way."

Stripped down renditions of songs from Nirvana's three albums, "Bleach," (1989) "Nevermind," (1991) and "In Utero," (1993) offer a subtler, but equally exciting take on the classics. While unplugged versions of songs can often yield mixed results, nothing is lost in the sparseness of these renditions.
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Format: Audio CD
Hmmm....where does one start? Well, let's start by saying this; this album is one of the greatest albums ever, if not the greatest. Have you ever heard a song that you can hear a thousand times, yet never get sick of? We all have; but have you ever had an entire album that does that to you? Probably not. Kurt Cobain's talent was, to say the least, beyond anything mortal. It's just that it was always masked by the fury of punk; but you could still see right through that. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is one of the biggest songs ever, it launched Nirvana right out of this world; yet they didn't even play it. Just as well too, none of these songs are upbeat. Hearing "Come As You Are" in it's acoustic form is haunting, Kurt's guitar solo is practicly weeping; I gaurantee you you'll want to weep after hearing these songs. "Something In The Way" is dark and lush; which might be the two best words to describe the album, dark and lush. "About A Girl" is very beautiful, everything about it is perfect; just like the album. "Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam" is very mellow, the accordian migh seem weird for them, but it fits in beautifully. "Dumb" is anything but, Kurt should have retitled it "Genius". "Polly" and "On A Plain" are too much for words, especially "Polly". The covers of the Meat Puppets' songs are amazing, "Lake Of Fire" being the best. "All Apologies" is really sad, the end of it holds your breath. 'All In All Is All We Are' is one of the greatest lines in a song I have heard (my friend said if you listen carefully Kurt changes it to 'All Alone' a couple of times, he's right), the way Kurt keeps repeating it over and over.Read more ›
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