Nirvana Unplugged In New York
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- Released: October 1, 1994
- Originally Released: 1994
- Label: Geffen Records
Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.56Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 10/1/94, pp.120-1214 Stars - Excellent - "...Nirvana's performance is stirring and occasionally brilliant, electricity be damned....Without the wild blasts ordinarily produced to fire Nirvana's sound, Cobain's love-buzz vocals are the focus..."
Spin - 1/95, p.71Highly Recommended - "...UNPLUGGED captures the moment of Nirvana bathing in its own richly deserved light, and though the moment couldn't last, nothing in the music suggests that there was anything inevitable or natural about the next chapter of the story..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/4/94, pp.70-71"...Listening to MTV UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK is an unsettling experience....the band...concentrates on the numbed-out chamber-grunge numbers....delicacy and intimacy of these acoustic re-arrangements hint...where Nirvana...could have gone..." - Rating: A
Q - 12/99, p.82Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q - 12/94, p.1474 Stars - Excellent - "...stripped of the noise...the band sounds most moving, possessed of a ragged glory. And...it becomes clearer than ever just how much Nirvana owed to less feted Americans such as The Sneakers, dBs and Mitch Easter's Let's Active..."
Alternative Press - 1/95, pp.63-64"...UNPLUGGED is about as fine a memento mori as anyone could hope for..."
Melody Maker - 10/29/94, p.35"...gut-twistingly poignant....a fine and unreservedly recommended album, a melancholy masterpiece..."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #4 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) - p.64Ranked #09 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Brittle and heartbruised, Nirvana's songs were stripped bare and scratched out on an acoustic guitar."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/95, p.51Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994" - "...a performance of raw vulnerability that served as the perfect epitaph for poor Kurt Cobain."
New York Times (Publisher) - 1/5/95, p.C15Included on Neil Strauss' list of the Top 10 Albums of '94 - "...These songs...[are] strings of epitaphs delivered in a blistering, electrifying unplugged show."
NME (Magazine) - 8/12/00, p.29Ranked #27 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums".
NME (Magazine) - 12/24/94, p.22Ranked #4 in NME's list of the 'Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
NME (Magazine) - 10/29/94, p.459 - Excellent Plus - "...this album makes its makers sound legendary. Your hankies should be at the ready..."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Nirvana: Kurt Cobain (vocals, acoustic guitar); Dave Grohl (vocals, bass, drums); Krist Novoselic (guitar, accordion, bass).
Additional personnel: Cris Kirkwood (acoustic guitar, bass); Pat Smear, Curt Kirkwood (acoustic guitar); Lori Goldston (cello).
Recorded live at Sony Music Studios, New York, New York on November 18, 1993.
UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK is part of MTV's "Unplugged" series.
UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance.
Personnel: Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar); Dave Grohl (vocals, drums); Krist Novoselic (guitar, accordion); Cris Kirkwood (guitar, background vocals); Curt Kirkwood, Pat Smear (guitar); Lori Goldston (cello).
Recording information: Sony Studios, New York, NY (11/18/1993).
Photographer: Frank Micelotta.
Sadly, MTV Unplugged stands as Nirvana's last album. While it's an album of covers and old songs, it ranks as one of the band's most cohesive records. Instead of relying on the trio's overpowering sonic force, Unplugged concentrates on Kurt Cobain's subtly shaded songwriting and Nirvana's deceptively simple musical power. Every version of their previously recorded songs, with the possible exception of "On a Plain," dramatically improves the original, and the covers reveal more about Cobain than he intended. By the time Nirvana close with a wrenching, spine-chilling version of Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," the emotional complexity of Nirvana's music is clear. It's also clear that they could have made even greater music. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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