“The Man Who Sold the World” – Nirvana / David Bowie

Video

When I first saw Nirvana’s MTV “Unplugged” appearance, I was pleasantly surprised by this really terrific cover of an otherwise obscure David Bowie song from 1971. I was VERY familiar with the song, being a big fan of Bowie’s pre-Ziggy Stardust album of the same name, which I remember buying on cassette from Fantasia Records in Charlottesville, VA in 1988. Bowie’s original album was quite trippy … and heavy … at the same time. To this day, a VERY underrated album. Thanks to Nirvana for giving the props to this extremely cool phase of Bowie’s career.

I’ve attached Bowie’s original here:

“Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” – Nirvana

This is a cover of Leadbelly’s version of “In the Pines,” a folk song that dates back to the 1870s. In “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn with Sissy Spacek, Lynn sings a version of this song as a lullaby to quiet her baby sister. This cover is arguably Nirvana’s finest hour and like Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” if this doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you’re not human.