Why did it take so long for Nirvana Unplugged In New York to be released on DVD? I have no idea. Perhaps the best performance that has ever come out of MTV’s Unplugged.
As a longtime fan of Nirvana, I remember anxiously
awaiting the CD release of Nirvana Unplugged In New York. For die-hard Nirvana fans, to own the uncut video of Nirvana Unplugged is something of equal significance. And the DVD is more than just the raw footage of the performance – though that would have been enough satisfy.
Included in the DVD as bonus material are Nirvana’s rehearsals for their Unplugged performance. Perhaps the most significant gem from the five songs from the rehearsal is “Pennyroyal Tea,” which was rehearsed as a band arrangement, with Pat Smear doing backup guitar and vocals, and tried again with Dave Grohl doing backup guitar as Pat did backup vocals. This was clearly not working, which explains why Kurt Cobain ended up performing the song entirely by himself for the actual performance.
Seeing the uncut performance offers a new glimpse of Nirvana’s rare acoustic concert. While most fans were familiar with the MTV broadcast and/or the album release, the raw footage offers more chatter between songs by the band, video of songs “Something In The Way” and “Oh, Me,” as well as some short comical cover of “Sweet Home Alabama.” Other comical moments occur throughout the DVD, including a call for requests where one fan yells “Rape Me,” to which Kurt replies “I don’t think MTV will let us play that,” an obvious reference to Nirvana’s appearance at the 1992 MTV Music Awards when he started playing the controversial song in protest, then switching to Lithium just before MTV was about to cut them off.
Even if you’re a fan who taped Nirvana’s Unplugged performance back when it was first broadcast, you’ll have to get this DVD. The old VHS tape recorded off the TV can officially take the backseat to this superior DVD loaded with all it’s goodies.