David Browne has a piece in today's Rolling Stone about Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York, which was released 25 years ago today. Browne does an excellent job of putting us back in time ... his angle is that he attended the taping for the show, which was a year earlier. As Browne notes, by the time the album was released, Kurt Cobain had been dead for more than half a year, which affected how the album was perceived.
The high point ... not sure that's the right term ... came when Cobain performed the traditional "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", a song recorded by many, including Lead Belly, who put out several versions in the 1940s. Cobain was working off of one of Lead Belly's recordings for his arrangement.
Browne writes of Nirvana's cover, "[T]he moment we all remember – when Cobain, pushing his voice up a register, shreds the word 'shiver' in the last chorus with a phlegmy rasp – remains one of the most jolting things I’ve experienced at a concert." Christgau wrote of the entire album, "The vocal performance he evokes is John Lennon's on Plastic Ono Band. And he did it in one take."