2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and timeless
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...
Published on Dec 22 2003 by Adam Rickards
3.0 out of 5 stars alright for a live album
i'm not much for live albums but this is a good one it shows that they had lots of talents and could still be one of the best selling rock bands today if not for kurts tragic death RIP kurt
stand out songs: The man who sold the world , come as you are, dumb, pannyroyal tea
Published on July 19 2001 by Sean
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and timeless,
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. "Dumb" sounds both blissful and melancholy at the same time, "All Apologies" is one of the highlights here, and "Pennyroyal Tea" stands as one of Kurt's most emotionally naked moments (I actually like the version here better).
Like the Beatles before him, Kurt Cobain had the uncanny ability to take any cover song and make it his own. From Devo to Leadbelly, David Bowie to the Vaselines, Kurt made it sound like all of these songs were his own, and he does this beautifully here as well, especially on their rendition of Bowie's "Man Who Sold the World," and of course, Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." The latter has to be one of Nirvana's most chilling moments of all time, especially near the close of the song, where Kurt is giving it his all. Then, with an impassioned cry of "SHIVEEERRRRR!" he pauses for a couple of seconds before finishing the line. At this moment, I have to say the silence is deafening and is absolutely haunting in the purest sense of the word. It seems ironic that a band who was known for noisy live performances could rip walls out (and hearts) with two seconds of silence. This, if nothing else, stands as a testament to Nirvana's gifts.
As life affirming as this can be to listen to, sometimes it can also be quite sad knowing that this is ultimately the last word from Nirvana before Kurt's untimely death. But if this was the band's (and Kurt's) swan song, it is certainly the best finale that one can have, and I would certainly want something this beautiful to be my farewell, too. Even ten years later (God, has it been that long already?), Nirvana's Unplugged session remains as fresh as it was at the time, and stands as one of their very best live performances (as well as their most unique). Whether you are a casual fan or a diehard, this album is not to be missed and you are doing yourself a grave injustice if you skip out. This isn't just an Unplugged session, it is an experience.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eclectic unplugged masterpiece,
This album is highly unique. When Nirvana decided to play unplugged, it showcased that they were an amazing band. If you ever see clips of the show, you will notice that it is an amazing, very intimate setting. Hearing this album shows exactly that, and you almost feel Kurt's vulnerability. It is possibly Nirvana's best performance, yet it is so difficult to compare it to others because of the differences. This recording is so special and unique, and spooky...
Nirvana really showed their softer side during this performance, which must have been difficult for the band, (especially Kurt, who was very nervous), considering their past albums including the noisy but melodic 'In Utero' and the hardcore-punk/ grunge debut record 'Bleach'. Kurt Cobain's voice shines unplugged, even in the parts where he struggles with the vocals. Kurt does Pennyroyal Tea alone, which became a defining moment for his career, and such a step foe showing a new side. That new side was that Nirvana didn't just have loud punk rock music, but that they could strip it down and show off their talent. MTV Unplugged softened their sound, and the recording is entrancing.
I have head that booking Nirvana for this show was easy. What makes Nirvana unplugged so unique is the set up of their show was completely different than any other band before them. There are basically no Nirvana hit-songs off of this album other than Come as you are (off of 'Nevermind'). Also unlike any other band that has been on MTV Unplugged, Nirvana included a variety of covers, and some one would never associate with the band. They also played their whole show without breaks, or re-doing songs, hence the show was a beautiful fifty-six minutes.
The mix of music Nirvana chose for the night was extremely eclectic. As I mentioned above, they didn't just rip though their hits. The accordion (played by Krist Novaselic) added onto the Vaseline's cover of Jesus Don't Want me for a Sunbeam is awesome. Also for that song, Dave Grohl does not play drums, but instead, he joins in on guitar. (For more Vaseline's covers check out Nirvana's Insecticide. Nirvana was a big fan.) A lot of the songs Nirvana chose to cover were obscure bands that fans would never affiliate with Nirvana, which made the night even more special.
When the crowd heard that Nirvana had invited a "surprise guest" onto the show, they were expecting anyone but the Meat puppets. However, I think it is very appropriate that they did not make it some grunge-phenomenon; the band chose performers that they looked up to. It was very fitting that Nirvana stayed true to their punk-rock roots. It is far too cynical and unfair to wish that they chose anyone but the Meat Puppets, because it really enhances the record. The Meat Puppets play on all three of their songs while Kurt sings. Kurt loved that the vocals on these songs were out of his range and that he had to work at it. (Dave Grohl still on drums)
Choosing the eclectic mix Nirvana did, and playing it acoustically really broke new ground for them. Now Nirvana can appeal to lots of people. For me, after listening to this record, I am unable to express emotion because there is so much on the record. It's incredibly haunting. When someone hit the wrong note or wasn't on cue, it didn't matter, because those tiny flaws make the record real. It stays true to Nirvana, with a raw format and not trying to fix their mistakes. Given what happened five months later, the importance of this record is magnified. It took on a completely different meaning after Kurt died, and the listener can detect the pain and longing in his soul and voice. The whole band put so much effort into this performance, and it turned out magnificently. It is incredibly special, eerie, haunting, beautiful... and, well... an eclectic unplugged masterpiece that only Nirvana could pull off.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Nirvana, this is a must for your collection.,
Amazing album, its a shame that Kurt left us too soon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 10 albums,
The final sigh of the last track wrote the story of the end of Nirvana. You could see it in his face; he was tired and Nirvana was over. But I think it was for the best. He said it himself, it's better to burn out than to fade away. Well, Neil Young said it, I suppose.
There is not a bad track on the album, and it is ghostly real and engrossing on vinyl with a nice set of speakers. A must have.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great vinyl,
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality album.,
Overall sound is good on this album...not sure if there are different pressings being shipped but mine is good. A must have for any Nirvana fan with a record player.
5.0 out of 5 stars nirvana,
i chose nirvana unpluged cause i like nivana and the unpluged version is good listening. i love it might be kinda much, but it is real good.any body that likes nirvana will like this and even if your not a nirvana fan try this one it's good
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nirvana's Second masterpiece....,
Nirvana were the first loud shredding band to come out and strip there songs down to the bone and create a masterpiece. Another brave thing Kurt and the band risk'd was not only stripping the songs down but not preforming there hits from previos outings. The album has influinecced many bands and will countinue to for many years.
1) "About a girl" - "About a girl" was taken off Nirvana's first record bleach. Kurt's vocals shine beutifully and the accustic guitars sound perfect. 10/10
2) "Come as you are" - "Come as you are" is one of the rare hits on the unpugged session. Although it dous not blend as well as the studio version its still classic. Emotion kicks in when you hear Kurt sing "And I swear that I dont have a gun/no I dont have a gun." 8.5/10
3) "Jesus dont want me for a sunbeam" - This is a Vaselines cover written by Eugene Wilson. Ive learned to love the track and Chello and string instruments are beutiful. 10/10
4) "The man who sold the world" - This is a David Bowie song and as a fan of Bowie I was interestid to see how Nirvana could pull this off. Well sure enough Cobain pulls it off with ease and sounds like he could have written it! 10/10
5) "Pennyroyal tea" - "Pennyroyal Tea" is possibly my favorite Nirvana song (refering to the studio version) Although like "Come as you are" it dousent work perfect many argue its the best track on the album. 7/10
6) "Dumb" - Was the only song on "In Utero" that wasnt a Roaring screaming guitar mess (although "In Utero" has its moments) and sounds generly the same but is evana better. 10/10
7)"Polly" - The second half of the album starts with "Polly" taken from "Nevermind". Not a song that stands out but is defently strong. 9/10
8)"On a plain" - At first I thought "On a plain" wouldnt work but I now relise I was compleaty wrong. It worked with flying couler and Kurts voice dominated the song. 9.5/10
9) "Something in the way" - Probally my least favorite track on the album but is not evan close to horrible. 6/10
10) "Plateau" - This is the first of three "Meat Puppets" songs in a row and it also the strongest. Althogh Im not a huge Meat Puppets fan I love this song. 9/10
11)"Oh me" - Not musch to say here but Krist's bass is amazing. 8.5/10
12) "Lake of fire" - I like this track for its Complete feel. Hard to explain but the song has nothing wrong with it and eveyting's there. Figure out for yourself. 9/10
13) "All Apoligies" - What can I say its perfect! Its so much like the album version yet so differnt. 10/10
14) "Where did you sleep last night" - The best song on the album hands down. Ive learnt to admire Leadbelly from this and so have others. Kurt goes from barely singing to Yelling along with the acustic guitars. Yep , Leadbelly would be pround.
Conclusion - Like the Review tells you this is a masterpiece along with Nirvana's first classic album "Nevermind". Another note , those who thought of Cobain as this deppresed Junk head may be wrong because the late Cobain here is upbeat and Jokeing. No , no im not saying Cobain didnt Kill himself but I am saying he might not have been all that deppresed.
Anyways add this to your collection immeditaly and injoy. Oh yeah one complaint - WHY ISNT THIS BEING REALESED ON DVD!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best live recording of the 1990s.,
Although Nirvana's studio work was great (particularly In Utero), this live album of November 1993 solidified the band's legend.
The concept behind Unplugged was decidedly unusual. Here was an intense, loud punk band from Seattle playing acoustic. An odd concept indeed, but Cobain, Grohl, and Novoselic were more than up to the task with a beautiful 14-song set. To my knowledge, Nirvana was the first to play an entire Unplugged session in a single take, which makes the quality of the performance all the more remarkable.
Instead of just playing a list of popular hits (as Alice In Chains did in the Unplugged format), Kurt decided to pay homage to the band's indie roots with covers of the Vaselines (Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam), David Bowie (The Man Who Sold The World, featuring the only plugged guitar), and three selections from Meat Puppets II (Plateau, Oh Me, Lake Of Fire). All of these renditions are pure gold, and I consider them superior to the originals.
Their studio work takes on a new dimension without the electric distortion. About A Girl sends shivers up my spine, Come As You Are sounds even more impressive acoustic, Dumb is filled with beautiful stringwork, Pennyroyal Tea becomes a haunting solo ballad, and All Apologies changes from raw to meloncholy. Most of these songs are at least equivalent to the studio versions, with All Apologies being much better than the harsh In Utero version.
The best track of all though is the unforgettable Where Did You Sleep Last Night. In this Leadbelly cover, Kurt lets all the feeling hit home, especially toward the end with his piercing screams. I've never heard a more emotional song in my life, and I always shed a tear listening to it.
This one ranks as the best live album of the 1990's and among the best ever. If you love Nirvana, definitely buy this one. If you never considered buying a Nirvana album, this one will make you a fan. Trust me.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing,
this in my opinion is one of the best things ever released in music history. I would give it 10 stars if i can, and can't explain how amazing these songs sound. You don't even have to like Nirvana to enjoy this, infact if your anti Nirvana....I recomend trying the album out as you'll hear a totally new, and amazing side most people probably would never imagine Nirvana had.
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