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MTV Unplugged In New York

Nirvana

1994

Buy At Rough Trade
MTV Unplugged In New York
Album Summary

MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by American rock band Nirvana, released on November 1, 1994, by DGC Records. It features an acoustic performance recorded at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993, for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Beth McCarthy and aired on the cable television network MTV on December 16, 1993. In a break with MTV Unplugged tradition, Nirvana played mainly lesser-known material and covers of songs by the Vaselines, David Bowie, Lead Belly and Meat Puppets. Unlike prior MTV Unplugged performances, which were entirely acoustic, Nirvana used electric amplification and guitar effects during the set. They were joined by rhythm guitarist Pat Smear and cellist Lori Goldston, plus members of Meat Puppets for some songs. MTV Unplugged was released after plans to release the performance as part of a live double-album compilation titled Verse Chorus Verse, were abandoned. It was the first Nirvana release after the death of singer Kurt Cobain seven months prior. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was certified eight-times multiplatinum by the RIAA in 2020. It won the Best Alternative Music Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards, Nirvana's only Grammy Award win, and has since been ranked one of the greatest live albums of all time. The performance was released as a DVD in 2007.

Wikipedia

Rating

4.21

Votes

12848
Genres
Rock
Grunge

Reviews

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Tue Nov 14 2023
5

I've never bought into the "Cobain was the voice of a generation" crap. This surprisingly intimate, honest live album is so much more than just KC, especially viewed in context of the greater music industry. Much of the major label music released after 1993 is extremely overproduced and polished; even stuff that was supposed to be raw and edgy is now sterile and safe. Those of us old enough remember that MTV itself went to shit starting in the mid-90s, moving away from music to TV and "reality" shows. So it's not unreasonable to regard this album (and the live event it captured) as a funeral for rock.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
1

Go ahead and unplug me too while you’re at it.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
5

Nothing like a 5-star record on a Saturday! I love this album so much, and I don't think there is a better album that represents Nirvana's talent more that this set. Beyond cool renditions of their own stuff, which was pretty new at the time, they did an amazing cover of Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World. From beginning to end, they have never sounded better and the gritty Where Did You Sleep Last Night is Cool Whip on top for me. Where would listening to this album be the best?....IN THE PINES, IN THE PINES!

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Tue Dec 07 2021
2

I never could understand all the hype about Nirvana and Cobain, but since the band and this album are so highly rated on 1,001 I figured it deserved a good listen. Well, I still don’t get all the hype. I also think you need to be a fan to like hearing them do stripped down versions of their hits because I think the studio versions are better. The best song on this album IMO is The Man Who Sold The World, and that’s Bowie song, so take that for what is worth.

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Wed May 19 2021
5

A bunch of album tracks and half a dozen cover versions doesn't necessarily sound like the recipe for a killer acoustic live album but 'Unplugged In New York' turns out to be something special. The bands material translates wonderfully well into intimate, acoustic arrangements, and their cover versions are often better than the originals. A tantalizing look at what Nirvana might've evolved into, and still a fitting if sad way for the band to go out despite the large shadow Kurt Cobain's death casts over this record.

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Tue Feb 07 2023
1

Nirvana was not a good band. I will die on this hill.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Really cool to have a live album that became so ubiquitous and got serious airplay! I feel if you mention 'unplugged', you're talking about this album...or have to seriously clarify. Love that Nirvana pushed against the hitfactory MTV wanted and was able to make something unique and profound. I'd probably give this a 4 if it was only the music, as some of the tracks aren't my favorite, but the covers, story, guests (this is what intro'd me to the Meat Puppets, rad!) and legacy gotta bump it up to a five for me!

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

When I was at school if you liked guitar music you were either into Britpop, Grunge, or Metal. The kids of Wyvern weren't having people crossing over and liking different Genres. I had quite a happy childhood so I joined the former bandwagon. Now as a miserable 30 something I can appreciate Nirvana a lot more. I still have no time for metal though. Stripped back these songs actually sound better which is a testamant to the song writing on show. What you are hearing here is a superstar at the absolute peak of his powers. One of, if not the best live album ever made featuring the greatest cover version of all time in Man who sold the world. 5/5

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Sat Jan 16 2021
1

I hate Nirvana. I will not listen to this album. Fuck Kurt Cobain.

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Fri Oct 16 2020
5

There are a few of the Unplugged series that will go down in music history. This is one of them. Who would have guessed that these Nirvana songs and covers would translate so well into acoustic gems to make an amazing album. Performances are top-notch and memorable, and you only want to revisit this concert again and again.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

One of their best performances; the last track is haunting.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Amazing album, lots of great covers. Originals are spot on. Kurt messes up a few times but the band is pretty spot on. Something magical about this performance maybe it's nostalgia.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Where did you sleep last night completely blew me away. A truly powerful performance

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

This album can’t be denied. It makes me ask, was Nirvana potentially a better acoustic band? Is this their most iconic album? Was this the catalyst for Indy Rock? It’s close, but I think Nevermind is still the most iconic and evidence that their just as good as rockers. This album is so good though, so many perfect covers chosen from an eclectic swath of artists. Also had great renditions of original songs. Kurt’s scratchy voice, the acoustic guitars with electric pickups, the cello, the pump organ, the acoustic bass, the banter and KURTS SWEATER, maybe it’s because I’ve listened to it so many times, but it just feels nearly perfect, especially considering I generally hate live albums and would always prefer an album recorded on the studio. A+

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

This is an easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. A concert that will still be talked long after we are gone (although I’d argue Alice in Chains unplugged is a better set for the unplugged format) it cruises to a five on the strength of the covers alone - Lake of Fire but especially Where did you sleep last night which just gave me goosebumps for the trillionth time this morning 😍

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

As probably predicted this is ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. A concert that will still be talked long after we are gone (although I’d argue Alice in Chains unplugged is a better set for the unplugged format) it cruises to a five on the strength of the covers alone - Lake of Fire but especially Where did you sleep last night which just gave me goosebumps for the trillionth time this morning 😍

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

I heard this before In Utero or Bleach so these versions are still somehow more familiar to me. Weird. The thing that makes this album great is that they very easily could've just gone out their and played their biggest hits acoustically and called it a day. But they really only played one hit song and really focused on curating a performance that worked best for that setting and created a certain mood.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
2

Some of the instrumentals were nice. But overall I found this terribly boring.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

This is a close to a perfect album. In one performance, Nirvana showed the world that they didn't need to scream or play really loudly to completely blow you away. After stripping things down acoustically they revealed how incredible their songs really are. Many of the songs in this performance surpass their album counterparts. Kurt also used this moment to introduce the world to some of his favorite artists by doing inspired renditions of songs like "The man who sold the world", "Lake of Fire" and "Oh Me". This album is still relevant 30 years later and a true testimant to what an amazing band Nirvana was.

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Fri Dec 18 2020
4

Heard it a million times and it's pretty good... but I gotta say AIC and PJ did the unplugged albums better. 10 points to Cobain for making the setlist mostly deep cuts though. and the bowie cover is really goodl. 4/5.

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Tue Dec 13 2022
2

i went into this album thinking that i didn’t like nirvana. i came out of this album only liking one song, which was a david bowie cover. just not my thing

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Sun Jun 11 2023
1

I don’t get the Nirvana hype; this is just background music to me and I can’t stand his voice on this album. I was begging for this to end. Begging for mercy. The 30 seconds of clapping at the end of each song still echoes through my ears like a terrible memory. Because having to listen to Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York IS a terrible memory.

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Mon Nov 02 2020
5

Pretty Frickin great. I like the little Meatpuppets suite at the end. This album really demonstrates the strength of Kurt Cobain's songwriting I think.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Just a classic. Interesting this threw up one I've played a thousand times for my first one, but glad it did! Graham

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

I like this album. The live aspect wasn't too intrusive. Contained some of Nirvanas best hits.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
5

You know what, I thought this would be good, but it was better.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Excellent album. Great to hear a different side of the band and a very upfront and real portrayal of unique covers.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
5

One of the best MTV Unpluggeds ever. Nice memories from back in the day. Plus, for some reason 1001 Albums Generator threw me two Nirvana albums in a row, which is never a bad thing.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
5

Wow what a great performance. I’m not the biggest Nirvana fan in the world, but this feels like such a slice of time. And the unplugged venue really showcases Cobain’s vocal strengths. This is probably the second best version of Man Who Sold the World. But it’s close.

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Loving this. Some covers. Some nirvana. All great. Last track "Where did you sleep last night" was Kurt Cobain's last recorded song before his suicide.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

The gold standard for live acoustic albums and probably my favorite Nirvana album. The cover of ‘Lake of Fire’ is awesome. RIP Kurt.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck between two worlds. I don’t mean that in the sense that my mind is unraveling or I’m losing my grip on reality. I mean it in the sense that, having been born in 1981, I have memory what the world used to be and the reality of what it has now become. I lived a good portion of my life without the internet or cellphones, I was alive to see the Berlin Wall fall and understand what it meant, was alive for hair metal on MTV, alive when Nirvana changed the world… That’s not to say that I think everything was great then and it’s all shit now. There were shitty things back then and there are shitty things now. Shit is a constant. Maybe I should put it this way: I was 13 in 1994. Primed for rebellion, I was the exact demographic that would benefit from having a band or genre of music that “came out of nowhere” and completely upended the natural order of things, showing that there was a different way of doing things than what you had been told was “normal”. Nirvana blew the doors wide open and with them came an entire world of underground music that might have otherwise been relegated to history. I cannot overstate the impact that had on my life as a bored suburban kid. It was like being shown an alternate reality, except…it actually existed. You could be weird, you could be raw and real, you could record an album in your basement and it could mean something, because even if you didn’t always see them in your everyday life, there were other people who thought like you did. I don’t believe Kurt Cobain to be some kind of rock and roll Jesus Christ. He was more of a catalyst, responsible for an unbelievable change of tides (though his role as catalyst is even debatable, given that it was at Sonic Youth’s urging that Geffen Records even signed Nirvana in the first place, but that is a debate for another day). For better or worse, he is the face of that change. Maybe it’s part of getting old, thinking about what could’ve been and how things could’ve (or should have) turned out differently and having to square the two in order to make sense of your place in the world. Would I be the person I am today without the alternative rock explosion of the early 90’s? I don’t think so. I certainly don’t think I would be as open to unconventional sounds or ideas as I am now. So, while I’m not the Nirvana fan I once was, the impact of their music on my life is making it hard for me to not rate at least one of their albums a 5. It’s basically a straight line from them to the person I am. That is probably really fucking lame to some of you, but it’s the truth and I fear that because of how fragmented we all are in the internet age, because of our lack of a shared cultural experience, it might not happen again for others.

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Sat Jul 08 2023
4

There are few live albums that really cut through and this is one. It's a gentle and brilliant run across their catalogue and covers that just kind of works.

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Tue Jul 11 2023
4

the songwriting is impeccable and this performance just lets that shine

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Thu Nov 18 2021
3

This album is the embodiment of why I'll never pick live music over "produced". Yes, it is clear that there's a huge amount of talent there, but you know what? Producers are talented too, and they make music sound better. I don't need or want to hear people whooping appreciatively and cheering - I can enjoy the music without a live studio audience yo let me know what I should think about it. Let's hear it for studio producers. The most underrated people in music.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
3

Got the unplugged ball rolling. Love how raw and unedited it is. Will probably never voluntarily listen to it again.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
2

Not much going for this. A live set on a TV show. No great shakes. But an event happens and it gets elevated to some crazy status the performance does not merit. The unplugged moniker is simply for the franchise, it is merely the band pared down. Some songs work most do not.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
1

MTV unplugged also, Perle der Hochkultur die uns auch 25 Jahre später noch Meisterwerke wie Marius Müller Westernhagens Greatest Fails präsentiert, neu arrangiert und mit grotesk prätentiösem Wagenrad auf dem Kopf. Um den Hals hätte ich auch gut gefunden, als Analogie zu dem dicken Nagel den dieses „Konzert“ hier in Kurt Cobains Sarg geschlagen hat. Die Seuche der massenfabrizierten sogenannten Authentizität brach Anfang der 90er über die Welt, und „MTV Unplugged“ war der erste große Fieberschub. Gar nichts war da handgemacht und weniger noch von Herzen, das war und ist fucking Marketing, Kerzenschein aus Halogen und Verstärker im Souffleusenkasten. Konsequent nur, dass es ab da immer schneller immer weiter abwärts ging. MTV Real World, RTL Big Brother, die DFB National MANNSCHAFT powered by Coca Cola, Michael Wendler, Marc Zuckerberg und Donald Trump. Es. Ist. Nicht. Auszuhalten. Suizid wegen Kein Bock mehr auf all die Phonies, Speichellecker und Arschgeigen turned Grungeionistas. So sitzt Kurt nun da in diesem Sony-Studio, depressiv, auf Entzug und dann auch noch Ärger wegen Meat Puppets. Singt seine Lieder und klagt sie, schön, dringlich, unheimlich sogar und zeigt dieser ganzen Welt, was er von ihr hält: nichts. Sie tut ihm weh, er hält es nicht mehr aus, und Schuld sind die ganzen Wixer von MTV und von Sony. Die ihm hier diese vorgezogene Begräbnisfeier hingestellt haben, garniert mit weißen Lilien und schwarzen Kerzen auf dass sich die Platte achtfach Platin verkaufe; mit irgendwelchen Claqueuren im „Publikum“ deren hohle Ergriffenheit ja selbst auf Platte kaum auszuhalten ist. Die Idee, einer dreckigen Punkband aus Sellout-Gründen die Verzerrer wegzunehmen ist keinen Deut besser als eine Metalband die sich für Wagner hält und ein Symphonieorchester auf die Bühne holt. Und kann natürlich auch keinen Zehntelpunkt mehr bekommen, egal wie beeindruckend die Band das tatsächlich umsetzt. Here‘s to you, Reality Bites.

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Sat Dec 05 2020
5

Jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Just a perfect listening experience.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

One of my favorite all-time albums. LOVE the Bowie cover and the Meat Puppets inclusion. Gold standard acoustic transformation

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

One of the best live albums. Really shows the versatility of the band

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

I watched this to get the full experience and it was perfect

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

Is this the best acoustic set ever played?

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

One of the best live, acoustic albums of all time.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Nirvana is always gonna be top for Me. Interesting takes on the unplugged version of songs

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Man, nostalgia for this one. High school all over

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Great set from them. Gave some of the songs even more feeling

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

I dig the acoustics and grohl in a sweet sweet turtleneck

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

An absolute classic from my youth. Raw, emotional.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Great memories!! Best unplugged ever?

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Amazing album with my favorite covers

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Not much to say. Its a cultural touch stone.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Jut a series of really great tunes

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Loved this! Classic live album

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Great album, superb arrangements and so evocative of the time.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

An old fav, big feels. The sound for this show is so good.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

If I could have 6 stars I'd give them to this album

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

The final track is worth the top mark on its own, it's stunning. This album reignited my appreciation for Nirvana when it waned a little following my Nevermind obsession period. The Unplugged sessions were such a great idea and produced some amazing musical moments. This is always a great listen, it can't really be faulted.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Great and well known songs by Nirvana, even I have some weak spot in my heart for them.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

What can I say? I start to play guitar with this album. I love it

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

Stunning. They are absolutely wonderful here. The song choices are perfect, the Meat Puppets are a great addition to this and Where Did You Sleep Last Night? is incredible. If I could have been at one show, this would have been it.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Big love for this album forevs

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Sat Mar 13 2021
5

You dont have a friend in me

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

Best Track: Where Did You Sleep Last Night

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

Still great, the meat puppets colabs are the stand out tunes. Listened while playing with Gabe, he liked Plateau because of the funny words and the way ‘the man’ said birrrrrds! Can’t argue, an iconic live tv event, strong cardigan game. Special shout out to All Apologies...Mary, ya ya ya yayayyaaaa

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

Obviously an album I still listen to regularly after almost 30 years

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Excellent album, which had recorded in live MTV event.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

What can I say, I loved this album, I want to play it again & again. I tried not to love it, because its Nirvana and everybody loves Nirvana, but it was great and No Apologise's makes this album a 5 star.

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Mon May 03 2021
5

best album i´ve heard so far in this app. A classic.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Ho consumato questo album fino ai miei 17/18 anni tanto che ricordo a memoria i cazzeggi di Grohl alla batteria tra un pezzo e l'altro come se fossero parte delle canzoni, così come dove Kurt prende fiato all'interno dei pezzi. Risentirlo mi ha riportato indietro ai pomeriggi passati a cantare Where Did You Sleep Last Night o a studiare l'assolo di Lake Of Fire dei Meat Puppets. Questo album per me è l'apice della carriera dei Nirvana ed è stato bello riuscire a capire che dicono tra un pezzo e l'altro dopo tutti questi anni o a vedere la performance su YouTube visto che all'epoca o c'avevi la cassetta o non c'era modo di vederlo. Pensavo che oggi m'avrebbe fatto un effetto diverso, ma quando Kurt apre a Where Did You Sleep Last Night m'è venuta la pelle d'oca come quando c'avevo 16 anni. 5 facilissimo.

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Sun Jun 27 2021
5

What an amazing album. Grew up with it and love it but I appreciate it even more now. Kurt's voice sounds great when it's exposed in this "acoustic" setting. So much raw emotion there. Great songs.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

One of the best albums of all time

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Tue May 25 2021
5

Really good. Never been much in to Nirvana but I like the stripped down versions.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

Damn good album. def heard it before but still really good. kinda falls off halfway through though

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Tue May 18 2021
5

From my favorite band of all time, this record is amazing!

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