#627: 1994, Nirvana, The Man Who Sold The World

by George_East on February 22, 2013

After the excruciating train wreck that was One Direction covering Teenage Kicks and One Way or Another at the Brits on Wednesday night, there is only way to make up for it and that is a to start our second covers week here at Allthatsleft and show how it should be done

Our first covers week was about 300 songs or so ago, so a second week of covers is long overdue.  It is our 17th theme week and the first where the theme has been repeated.

This, for me, is one of Nirvana’s finest moments.  From their wonderful Unplugged album, which was released more than 6 months after Kurt Cobain’s suicide, this version of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World, was one of four covers on the album.   All of them are brilliant (I could have just as easily posted their version of Leadbelly’s blues classic, Where Did You Sleep Last Night?).

The Unplugged album as a whole showed a forgotten melodic (if no more happy) side to the band, only a year after their sometimes unlistenably bleak  final studio album, In Utero.

If the cover is not one that re-invents the song, it does in some way reinvent the band. It has a fragility and melancholy about it that makes the song sound almost autobiographical, through the prism of knowing what had happened to Cobain by the time it was released:

I must have died alone…’.

I prefer it to the Bowie original, I think.

In any event, this is what a cover version is supposed to sound like you irritating little fucks.

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