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Throwback Thursday: Celebrate Kurt Cobain's 47th Birthday with 'MTV Unplugged In New York'

by Carolyn Menyes   Feb 20, 2014 15:45 PM EST

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Music Times believes that it's never too late to go back and try something old. Throwback Thursdays will go back and pull out an album that's at least 10 years old, so that you can find something new, or revisit something you've forgotten about.

Week of 2/20/14

Who: Nirvana

What: MTV Unplugged In New York

When: Nov. 18, 1993 (recorded), Nov. 1, 1994 (released)

Today (Feb. 20) marks what would have been Nirvana frontman/grunge leader Kurt Cobain's 47th birthday. Though, of course, this year marks 20 years since he took his own life, his groundbreaking music continues to live on.

Even though Nirvana have released a slew of posthumous releases since 1994, for today's #ThrowbackThursday, we'll look at the very first one, and the album that somehow ended up feeling like a tribute to Cobain: Nirvana's acoustic record MTV Unplugged in New York.

Recorded in November 1993, Nirvana largely backed away from its major hits - "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Heart-Shaped Box" - for lesser-known catalogue songs and a slew of obscure alt-rock covers.

These included the show opener and Bleach single "About A Girl," in addition to "Dumb," "Polly" and "All Apologies," all of which fit swimmingly into the acoustic, intimate Unplugged vibe.

More stunning than any versions of its own song, Cobain and the rest of Nirvana truly shined with their covers of others' songs, including David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World" and The Meat Puppets' "Plateau," "Oh Me" and "Lake Of Fire."

With heartfelt songs and the personal nature of the show, the performance is largely heralded as one of Nirvana's finest and one of the finest of MTV's Unplugged series.

After Cobain's death in April 1994, the taped broadcast of the show and its music received a renewed interest. MTV aired the show back-to-back after his suicide, and eventually, an album with some of the show's music was released. It has since gone five times platinum.

The meaning that Nirvana's MTV Unplugged in New York holds to the band's fans is huge and the performance has acted as a tribute of sorts to Cobain.

The real highlight of the album? A cover of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." Watch that below.

See More Nirvana, Kurt Cobain

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