Nirvana’s The Man Who Sold the World Performance was Haunting

Nirvana The Man Who Sold The World

Photo By Ryanw2313 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Nirvana’s haunting version of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” was filmed on November 18th 1993. The performance was part of the MTV Unplugged television series. The show was recorded at Sony Studios in New York City. For the show, Kurt Cobain and his bandmates decided to perform cover versions of lesser known songs from other artists. The band also explored some of the less common songs from the Nirvana catalog. For the performance, Nirvana re-imagined such songs such as  Vaseline’s “Jesus Want’s Me For a Sunbeam,” The Meat Puppet’s “Plateau, ‘Lake of Fire’, ‘Oh Me,” and Where Did You Sleep Last Night,'” which was a traditional song with an arrangement by Lead Belly. However, the most astonishing augmentation of the night was Kurt Cobain’s arrangement and performance of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World.”

When first hearing Kurt Cobain’s opening guitar lick to the David Bowie song, one may wonder why his acoustic guitar sounded electric. It was later discovered that Cobain had run his acoustic guitar through a fuzz box that he could trigger with a pedal. Utilizing the fuzz box enabled Kurt Cobain to switch back and forth between the strumming sound of an acoustic guitar and the harsh dark sounds of his guitar on the song’s lead licks.

Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” performance was mesmerizing. Kurt Cobian’s haunting vocals overtook and descended the Bowie lyric into an arena of darkness and hallucination that seemed to be David Bowie’s original intent. On stage, Nirvana was joined by the Meat Puppets Cris and Kurt Kirkwood. Their presence, along with Cobain’s lyrical phrasing and gritty yet humbling resonance, left the audience spellbound. Sadly, Kurt Cobain committed suicide before the MTV Unplugged album was released.

David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” was originally released on David Bowie’s third studio album under the same title. The Man Who Sold The World album was issued first in November of 1970 in the United States. The album was later released in the United Kingdom in April of 1971.

Nirvana’s The Man Who Sold the World Performance was Haunting article published on Classic© 2022 claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Do not steal this article from We will pursue legal action against any website that steals our articles. Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Maroon 5 Songs
Top 10 Maroon 5 Songs
Charles Brown Songs
Top 10 Charles Brown Songs
Easton Corbin Songs
Top 10 Easton Corbin Songs
Lead Belly Songs
Top 10 Lead Belly Songs
Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Top 10 Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Rolling Stones Albums
Top 10 Rolling Stones Albums
Van Halen Albums
Top 10 Van Halen Albums
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
10 Best Final Albums Released By Classic Rock Artists
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Interview
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Brings Backroads Blues Festival To Bethel Woods NY
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single "Crazy Times."
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single “Crazy Times.”
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl
Best Websites To Buy CDs and Vinyl
David Gilmour The Beatles
David Gilmour’s Great Cover Of The Beatles Here, There and Everywhere
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Rock Stars Appearing And Selling Their Songs Out In Commercials
Discovering U2
Discovering The Band U2
Classic Rock History Rock And Roll Quiz # 4
Classic Rock History Rock And Roll Quiz # 4
Vulgar Display of Power – Pantera : Album Review
Electric Light Orchestra's Out Of The Blue Album
Why We Loved Electric Light Orchestra’s Out Of The Blue Album
Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain
Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain: Album Review
Frank Zappa Trilogy
Zappa Trilogy Review: Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt, Orchestral Favorites
Devo Albums
Complete List Of Devo Albums And Discography
Jennifer Hudson Albums
Complete List Of Jennifer Hudson Albums And Discography
Children Of Bodom Songs
Top 10 Children Of Bodom Songs
Harry Chapin Albums
Complete list Of Harry Chapin Albums And Discography