Alice in Chains or Nirvana: who had the better Unplugged?

General discussion, shows, and everything else.

Postby UrbanSavage » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:13 pm

Both sets had interesting backstories and both were great performances, I can't think of anyone who was better on Unplugged than these two.

http://sabotagetimes.com/music/alice-in ... n-thursday

By the time of their 1996 MTV Unplugged performance, Alice in Chains had not been seen live for two years, and Staley himself appeared frail and vulnerable. Still, that show has gone down as one of the greatest of the unplugged series, alongside Nirvana’s set which aired in 1993. In many ways, though, that gig would mark the end of Alice in Chains. They never performed live again with Staley, whose dependence on drugs and increasing isolation would continue to grow at an alarming rate. True, the singer did return to the studio to track two new songs with his band in 1998 (‘Died’ and ‘Get Born Again’), and music videos were even recorded. But by that time he was in no state to tour. Alice in Chains’ guitarist, Jerry Cantrell, recorded and released two solo albums in the interim, but for all intents and purposes, the band was no more.




http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news ... 31014.html

Coletti elaborated on the network's distress in a 1995 Guitar World article. "I said to MTV, They're going to bring some guests on.' And at first everybody's eyes lit up, like, ‘Who's it gonna be?’ They wanted to hear the 'right names' — Eddie Vedder or Tori Amos…But when I said 'the Meat Puppets,' it was kind of like, 'Oh, great. They're not doing any hits, and they're inviting guests who don't have any hits to come play. Perfect.'"

It got worse. The day before the taping, Cobain informed MTV he was pulling the plug on the taping altogether. "He did it just to get us worked up. He enjoyed that power," MTV's Amy Finnerty said in Charles R. Cross's Cobain biography, Heavier Than Heaven.

Cobain quickly reneged on his no-show threats. But the next day, when the band did a dress rehearsal a few hours before the real taping, it went so disastrously that MTV execs might've been wondering if he should have pulled the plug.

"We played the songs through a few times," said the Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood, who joined Nirvana on stage for three Meat Puppets cover songs, "but never a rehearsal set. There was never any concerted practice." It showed. In the ominous dress rehearsal, they were never able to get through "Pennyroyal Tea" or their version of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" without a major flub aborting the tune.

It wasn't just laziness driving Cobain to distraction, but physical pain, from his gastrointestinal problems and withdrawal from heroin. "The morning of Unplugged, Kurt spent an hour filling out a physician's questionaire on his eating habits," Cross revealed, adding that Cobain had been "vomiting bile and blood."

MTV's panic grew when it was suggested that maybe someone could score some, uh, medicine for Cobain. Finnerty revealed to Cross: "They told me that 'he's not going to make it on the show if we don't help him out.' And I was like, 'I've never done heroin, and I don't know where to find it.'" He reportedly made it through the night with the mere help of some Valium.


In Heavier Than Heaven, they say that MTV employees were trying to score for him up until hours before the show was set to start until Kurt was finally able to do it himself so he didn't have to perform while sick.



I always thought Nirvana's set benefited heavily from including a half dozen covers while AIC stuck with all their own material. For me, closing with Where Did You Sleep Last Night edges it out for them. Kurt seemed to agree that it was him at his best.

The final mini-dispute came after the band left the stage. Coletti had everyone else in the band ready to do an encore, "but Kurt just wasn't into it. I was just doing my job for MTV at that point, trying to get that one extra song in the can, to see if the night could produce one more gem. The pleading went on for about five minutes. Finally Kurt said, 'I can’t top that last song' [a cover of Leadbelly's morbid folk song 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night']. And when he said that, I backed off. 'Cause I knew he was right.”

Finnerty felt the same way: "When you saw the sight of his face brefore the last note, it was almost as if it was the last breath of life in him."
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Postby guyfleegman » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:15 pm

alice in chains hands down you dopey bastard
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Postby krujones » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:16 pm

Nirvana is the best Unplugged ever recorded
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Postby k-shaps » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:22 pm

krujones wrote:Nirvana is the best Unplugged ever recorded
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Postby Thieves Dont » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:27 pm

Alice in Chains in my super fanboy opinion. Just a classic. Both are great, though.
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Postby Dodson » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:30 pm

I probably like watching the Alice in Chains one more but I like listening to the Nirvana one more.
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Postby capsule hotel » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:24 pm

Nirvana
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Postby Avoidance Learning » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:27 pm

k-shaps wrote:
krujones wrote:Nirvana is the best Unplugged ever recorded

That David Bowie cover is so fucking good.
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Postby dead baby fetus2 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:35 pm

Nirvana, I still get goosebumps seeing the performance of Where Did You Sleep Last Night
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Postby capsule hotel » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:41 pm

dead BAYBAYYYYYY fetus2 wrote:I still get goosebumps seeing the performance of Where Did You Sleep Last Night

Same. That scream at the end and then the exhale.
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Postby distort me » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:59 pm

Nirvana always. The AIC one though is most definitely top notch and is probably my second favorite Unplugged.
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Postby Rico Suave` » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:21 pm

AIC but Nirvana is right there. Can I add the Pearl Jam unplugged as a close third?
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Postby TheWood » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:06 pm

Love both bands. Can't listen to either of these anymore. Thank you MTV/radio.
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Postby daveradar » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:10 pm

This is relevant to my interests. I've been listening to these for the past couple weeks non stop.
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Postby hostee » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:13 am

Alice in Chains for me, but both are amazing
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Postby Detlef Schrempf » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:33 am

pearl jam.
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Postby sharkfromjaws » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:53 am

distort me wrote:Nirvana always. The AIC one though is most definitely top notch and is probably my second favorite Unplugged.


Its so hard to choose sometimes, i've listened to both more times than i can count. I remember watching the AIC unplugged when it premeired with my pops, because at 9-10 years old I only knew them via record. It was cool to see them in an intimate setting doing a much more mellow set.

But I have to agree that Nirvana ending with "Where did you sleep last night" put them over the top in my opinion. Kurt was about out of gas, and put everything he had into that song.
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Postby sharkfromjaws » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:57 am

Also I will have to add, I also used to annoy every single one of my friends by continuously playing the intro to "Angry Chair" on guitar.
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Postby benten » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:04 am

Alice in Chains for me. Watching is so eerie. Layne is death warmed over but the voice is so there. Like, he just opens his mouth and out it comes, like a cartoon almost. Nirvana is great too, of course. Two of the best sets ever in the history of music.
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Postby onefootinhell » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:08 am

Posting to confirm the post above. He spent many nights playing that fucking AIC song, both drunken
And sober and always to annoy.

Its such a good song though.

I listen to nirvanas set more but love the AIC
Set. Picked up the AIC unplugged several months ago at the flea market for a buck.
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Postby BRABANT » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:48 am

Nirvana without a doubt.

But the Alice In Chains set is great indeed.

Back when you could actually hear good music on MTV.
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Postby nigguh p » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:37 am

AIC but both are amazing
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Postby dead baby fetus2 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:36 am

AIC has a better opening song.
Nirvana has a better closing song.
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Postby XCrandallX » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:47 pm

Alice In Chains, hands down. As close as you can get to a perfect performance.
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Postby oldorder » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:52 pm

The AIC ones is one of my favorite albums ever. I don't even really care that much for their studio albums, but the unplugged one just puts their songs under a different light. The Nirvana one is great for sure, but the AIC one takes songs I don't really care that much for and turns them into gems. Now I want to go listen to Angry Chair.
EDIT: Down in a Hole is my favorite song to play on guitar and the lyrics take self depreciation to the next level. Morrissey would eat a cheeseburger to write lyrics as good as "I have been guilty of kicking myself in the teeth. I will speak no more of my feelings beneath."
EDIT 2: dingbat is apparently a word filter for Morrisse.y. That's awesome.
Last edited by oldorder on Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eilers » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:59 pm

Nirvana for sure.
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Postby .45andaShovel » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:06 pm

Alice In Chains no contest. Love em both.
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Postby oldorder » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:12 pm

You want your heart to break? They still do the unplugged series, you don't want to see with who though.
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Postby Mouth Of The South » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:13 pm

Never really listened to the Nirvana one much, never was a huge fan. But god damn I love the AIC one. Gotta download that. First CD I bought with my own money.
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Postby KeithBroChill » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:14 pm

trick question:

dashboard confessional.
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Postby theb00box » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:21 pm

dead BAYBAYYYYYY fetus2 wrote:AIC has a better opening song.
Nirvana has a better closing song.


This. Love both sets, but I still get chills whenever I hear that version of Nutshell and just how everyone comes in. Nirvana's a close second though.

Not to sidetrack, but I got a chance to interview Curt Kirkwood and we talked about the Unplugged performance for a while. Dude was mad cool and it didn't hurt to hear his story about it.
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Postby DregsOvPluto » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:18 am

I fucking love AIC, vast times more than Nirvana but that Lake Of Fire cover alone seals the deal for Nirvana.
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Postby UrbanSavage » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:50 pm

Not really relevant to the thread but some might find it interesting.

http://gawker.com/new-photos-from-kurt-cobains-suicide-released-1548474981

Image

Image

While Seattle police found no new information in their reexamination of Kurt Cobain's death, they have released previously unseen images from the scene of his suicide nearly 20 years ago.

These two images were released to the media on Thursday afternoon. According to a report from the Associated Press:

One was an image showing a box containing a spoon and what appear to be needles on the floor next to a cigarette and sunglasses. The other showed the paraphernalia box closed, next to cash and a wallet that appears to show Cobain's identification.

After reviewing the case and the previously undeveloped photos, Detective Mike Ciesynski, the man in charge of reexamining Cobain's death, confirmed it was a suicide. "Sometimes people believe what they read—some of the disinformation from some of the books, that this was a conspiracy. That's completely inaccurate," Ciesynski said. "It's a suicide. This is a closed case."
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Postby blackhawks#1 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:04 pm

kurt's voice gets on my nerves so AIC.
AIC is one of my favorite bands ever though.
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Postby righteous jad » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:16 pm

Nirvana, just, both are amazing though. Pearl Jam 3rd.
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Postby righteous jad » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:01 pm

Been listening to both of these a lot lately. So hard to choose, and I’d probably say a different one on different days. Right now I’m thinking AIC though. I think another poster summed up why I love the AIC one so much, songs like Sludge Factory and Frogs, songs I didn’t adore on their records, sound so much better live.
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Postby captainsunshine » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:08 pm

i never realized until just this second that in the nirvana one he is legitimately sitting in a swivel office chair haha
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Postby memoryfailure » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:10 pm

KeithBroChill wrote:trick question:

LL COOL J
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Postby xXxBretWeedxXx » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Team Nirvana.
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Postby like disco lemonade » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:51 pm

although nirvana will always be my answer, this is tight

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Postby PiranhaSauna » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:00 pm

Alice In Chains had the best unplugged of all time.
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Postby pizzapower518 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:09 pm

KeithBroChill wrote:trick question:

dashboard confessional.


Given the two choice I'd give the edge to Nirvana, but the Dashboard one blew me the fuck away when I was like 13. I remember the ads leading up to it being constant and I hadn't heard of them so I couldn't have cared less. I happened to catch it the second time it aired real late and I was amazed.
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Postby Excursions » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:25 pm

Hole
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Postby Queefer Sutherland » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:12 pm

I like the Nirvana one for sure.

Neil Young's will always be my favorite:
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Postby yiffcore » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:15 pm

Queefer Sutherland wrote:I like the Nirvana one for sure.

Neil Young's will always be my favorite:


That's kinda cheating since Neil always had an acoustic element to his music.
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Postby 87demo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:15 pm

Alice In Chains.
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Postby Queefer Sutherland » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:26 pm

yiffcore wrote:
Queefer Sutherland wrote:I like the Nirvana one for sure.

Neil Young's will always be my favorite:


That's kinda cheating since Neil always had an acoustic element to his music.

But there wasn't a broom being played.

Dashboard Confessional literally had no electric songs before that Unplugged was recorded. Neil Young has full albums of incredible non-unplugged songs.
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Postby UrbanSavage » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:03 pm

righteous jad wrote:I think another poster summed up why I love the AIC one so much, songs like Sludge Factory and Frogs, songs I didn’t adore on their records, sound so much better live.


They really do. I never would've expected to like them in an unplugged setting as much as I do, if I'd only ever heard them on the records.
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Postby yiffcore » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:06 pm

Queefer Sutherland wrote:
yiffcore wrote:
Queefer Sutherland wrote:I like the Nirvana one for sure.

Neil Young's will always be my favorite:


That's kinda cheating since Neil always had an acoustic element to his music.

But there wasn't a broom being played.

Dashboard Confessional literally had no electric songs before that Unplugged was recorded. Neil Young has full albums of incredible non-unplugged songs.



Broom? I don't recall Neil Young ever releasing a jug band album.
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Postby like disco lemonade » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:53 pm

this thread put me on an mtv unplugged kick
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