Wednesday, August 25, 2010

23 - "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," Nirvana

1994 was a bittersweet year for Nirvana. They released one of their most diverse albums - "In Utero." It quited complaints about their breakthrough "Nevermind" album sounding too mainstream. "In Utero" featured hits like "Serve the Servants," "Rape Me," "Pennyroyal Tea," "All Apologies," "Heart-Shaped Box," and more. In addition to that album, Nirvana also participated in one of the most popular editions of MTV's "Unplugged" series. Stripping down their sound and showing their true ability as musicians, Nirvana opened themselves up to new opportunities and new exposure.

Nirvana was on top of the world. And then Kurt Cobain killed himself.

We're not going to go into the conspiracy theories here, but the widely-accepted story is that Kurt Cobain disappeared on a several-day-long heroin bender, then shot himself in the head with a shotgun.

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana left behind a rich legacy as the voice of an angst-ridden generation of early 90's youth. With the success of their "In Utero" album and the widespread acclaim they were winning over for their "Unplugged" performance, they were opening themselves up to becoming one of the biggest bands of the decade. As it stands now, they were huge for a very short period of time.

Some of their music doesn't quite stand the test of time. A lot of it does. One of the last things Nirvana did musically was their "Unplugged" performance. The final song from their set is a cover of a 1940's blues song by Leadbelly. Nirvana's performance of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" really shows the depth that this band had. They were a lot more than loud grunge. They were musicians and they were good.

They could have been one of the greatest bands of all time, if whatever happened to Kurt Cobain that fateful day hadn't happened. Now, history will show that they were an important band that could have achieved so much more.

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