Today on Underground we are going to look at album that turns 25 this year and what many people have called it over the years, the best live album that ever came out of the ’90s and too many the last official album for this band and it is Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York.
The album was recorded on November 18, 1993, at the Sony Music Studios which was also the main set for the Unplugged shows as well. Unlike other bands who would show up and do their set and leave, Kurt Cobain took his time to make the list of music they would play and the setting of the studio to give off a funeral vibe to it. There were reports that MTV didn’t like the set-list they were going to play and when Kurt said that the meat puppets were going to be the guest on the set-list a lot of MTV producers had no idea who they were.
The show and the album were a joy to watch and listen, from beginning to end no song was better than the other. Not only that, but the cover songs they did were one of a kind, different and pure bliss. From The Vaselines “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam,”The Meat Puppets “Oh, Me,” David Bowie “The Man Who Sold the World,” and Lead Belly “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” They Also played hit songs such as “Come as You Are,” “Dumb,” “All Apologies,” and from their very first album Bleach “About a Girl.”
Sadly Cobain passed away five months after the show and seven months before the album was released. Amy Finnerty, who was the Vice President of Music and Talent for MTV at the time said this about the experience after the recording in an interview with The Ringer which was titled “Three Feet From God: An Oral History of Nirvana Unplugged” which is a fantastic read, which you can read here.
“After the show, Courtney [Love] was out of town, and so we went back to the hotel, and we were just hanging at the bar, and Kurt was like, “I want to go upstairs and call Courtney.” And he’s like, “I’m really bummed. I feel like nobody liked it. It was really bad.” I was like, “Oh my God, you’re out of your mind.” I walked him up to the room. I’m like, “People just saw their version of God playing 3 feet in front of them.” – Amy Finnerty
Take some time this week and listen to this masterpiece of an album.