Load Previous
Nirvana, 'MTV Unplugged in New York' (1994)
50
10/50

10. Nirvana, 'MTV Unplugged in New York' (1994)

Strip away the fuzz and bluster and Nirvana were nothing but raw emotion. For a taping of MTV's Unplugged series, they gave the most legendary performance of their brief career, stripping down deep cuts and select covers to acoustic guitars, softly played drums and Kurt Cobain's gravelly, heartbreaking voice. Special guests and underground heroes the Meat Puppets joined the band on stage for a trio of songs ("[MTV execs] thought a bus from Seattle was gonna come down and Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were all gonna come out and and jam with Nirvana," said director Beth McCarthy-Miller with a laugh), but it's the hauntingly unhinged delivery of the Leadbelly arrangement of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" that steals the show, capping off the series' most iconic episode on an unsettling note. As revealed in Charles Cross' biography of Cobain, Heavier Than Heaven, the melancholy nature of the show had been aesthetically intentional: the singer confirmed to the show's producers that the set should be decorated "like a funeral." Brittany Spanos