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17th Dec 2014

Nirvana Unplugged was broadcast 21 years ago this week so here’s some of our highlights

An album that's cemented in time, laced with melancholy but brimming with quality...

Paul Moore

An album that’s cemented in time, laced with melancholy but brimming with quality…

For Nirvana fans it’s still a small bit difficult to watch their incredible live show in New York on November 18, 1993, which was broadcast on MTV 21 years ago this week.

It’s hard to separate the incredibly raw, talented and moving performance by Kurt Cobain from the obvious turmoil that the haunted singer was experiencing at the time, which led to his tragic passing a few months later.

While it’s easy to reflect on tragedy, we have chosen to celebrate Cobain’s incredible talents as a musician that the whole world could see when Nirvana delivered a stunning acoustic performance.

Anyone who thought that the band were just three musicians who ‘made noise’ were proven wrong with a stellar set.

Amongst the hauntingly prophetic lilies, black candles and crystal chandelier lies some absolute musical gems. Here are some of our highlights.

About A Girl

One of the band’s most underrated yet romantic songs, it is a love letter from Cobain to The Beatles’ unique style of pop music and song writing.

Cobain’s vocal range on this track is just stellar as he seamlessly flits between tender romantic to heartbroken optimist.

We prefer this acoustic version than the original recording on Bleach.

Come as You Are

Probably the finest lyrics that Cobain ever penned and like all good acoustic performances, it instantly commands your attention.

Current Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear’s contribution on this track should also be noted.

The Man Who Sold the World

It takes a special talent to cover a David Bowie track and somehow manage to add an extra dimension to the Thin White Duke’s work but Nirvana managed it effortlessly here.

It’s not quite acoustic because you can clearly hear Cobain’s acoustic guitar being played through his amplifier with an effects pedal but it’s still utterly brilliant.

On a Plain

This JOE thinks that On A Plain is Nirvana’s finest song, which says a lot considering their impressive back catalogue. If you’ve ever wanted an insight into just how much of an amazing ear for melody Cobain had then this is the song for you.

All Apologies

Haunting, melancholic, incredible, mesmeric, incredible, tragic, raw, prophetic, moving, genius and timeless.

Where Did You Sleep Last  Night

The abiding memory that I’ll take from this this song is of Cobain smiling widely before launching into this cover of the popular folk song which is also known as ‘In the Pines’ and ‘Black Girl’.

Despite his apparent problems and mental turmoil, it seems that Nirvana’s lead singer was incredibly happy doing what he did best at this brief moment in time, playing music.