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Nirvana — The Man Who Sold The World
Album: Unplugged In New York
Avg rating:
7.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3306









Released: 1994
Length: 3:40
Plays (last 30 days): 2
We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there
He said I was his friend

Which came as a surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Oh no, not me
We never lost control
You're face, to face
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home
I searched for form and land
For years and years I roamed

I gazed a gaze-less stare
We walked a million hills
I must have died alone
A long long time ago

Who knows, not me
I never lost control
You're face, to face
With the man who sold the world

Who knows, not me
We never lost control
You're face, to face
With the man who sold the world
Comments (357)add comment
Personally I can't see the point of a cover which is essentially a note-for-note facsimile of the original (apart from the woeful guitar solo).
Proof that talented and capable musicians can play almost any style or song and pull it off. Music is music and there’s a lot all the genres have in common. Go find Garth Brooks rap work for example.
zesty cover
Thanks RP.
Это лучшее, что могло бы быть. Каждый раз слушаю и получаю космическое удовольствие!
 Larrygrrl wrote:
How can you play this right after Bowie?  Is it to highlight how sad Cobain's voice is?  Such an inferior cover.  Thank you for the PSD button.
 
What?? 
I have the bonafides as someone who saw David live 18 times and has every record he ever put out - now matter how rare - to say how moved i was to hear this great groundbreaking band launch into this tune when I saw it live in '94.  Kurt had the "right" idols, as most great artists, they recognize another one.
maybe I dont understand the concept behind UNPLUGGED.  I thought it meant there was no electricity involved but clearly this has electric guitar dominating it.   wfhat the hell is unplugged about this?  
Лучшее исполнение этой песни!
How can you play this right after Bowie?  Is it to highlight how sad Cobain's voice is?  Such an inferior cover.  Thank you for the PSD button.
If this was the original version of this song, I would never have liked it. Cobain is just way too much a whiner - ruins everything otherwise good about this. 
 Proclivities wrote:

It's all acoustic guitars on this - even the bass (and cello).  Granted, they are acoustics with pick-ups installed in them, and Cobain's has more gain applied during the riff parts to get that overdriven sound, but there are no solid-body (fully) electric guitars on this recording.   Still. it's not technically "unplugged", though very few of the performances of "Unplugged" actually were anyhow.
 
To truly be "unplugged" they should have made them sing into a megaphone, am I right? 
In my opinion, this is a really good cover. It is just as good as Bowie's  1970
classic and that is saying something 
Not bad for a pub band. Not good either, but they tried.
Hey!  I think I'm understanding a theme in the past few songs ...

VOTE 2020.
 memoryboxer wrote:
I saw Bowie during his final Reality tour in 2003 and he introduced this song by noting how many times he'd had young folk tell him how cool he was to be covering a Nirvana song. Given how nearly every album he produced contained a cover or two they could almost be forgiven.
 
Funny, especially since he says, "That was a David Bowie song," at the end.

Cobain's vocals have never done it for me, unfortunately.
Long Live                                                                                                                              Radio Paradise     
To me                                                                                                                                      8 - Most Excellent
 GatoDeNieve wrote:


And it happened just like that, again, after 7 years...
Lady Grinning Soul by Bowie followed by The Man Who Sold The World in the style of Nirvana...
 

And it just happened again, nine months later.  Is AI taking over rp? or laziness?
I saw Bowie during his final Reality tour in 2003 and he introduced this song by noting how many times he'd had young folk tell him how cool he was to be covering a Nirvana song. Given how nearly every album he produced contained a cover or two they could almost be forgiven.
I used to have this on tape and listen to it on the Walkman while I mowed the lawn.  Volume had to be turned way up to hear over the riding mower.  There was a long stretch of dead air at the end of side B.  Long enough that if I was concentrating on mowing I'd forget that I had music on.  Then it would flip to side A and the sudden sound of the applause at the beginning would startle me enough to jump up off the seat and activate the kill switch on the mower.

Anyhow, I always think about mowing when I hear this album.  That and flying, but that's a different story.
Very nice playlist today! You are specially inspired :-)
Nice transition bill ! 
Sorry this is a straight 10
I also love this version here from Adam Ben Ezra...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

In general I would find it great if Bill would play some stuff from Adam Ben.
Especially the Tango is a 10 straight in my opinion!
 MrMelons wrote:
Lulu nailed it
 
Agreed, and whoever substituted that sax riff. Except it goes on a chorus too long.
Lulu nailed it
 sirdroseph wrote:


I was thinking the exact same thing!{#Yes}
 

And it happened just like that, again, after 7 years...
Lady Grinning Soul by Bowie followed by The Man Who Sold The World in the style of Nirvana...
 Steely_D wrote:
Except for the electric guitar. 
 
 The_Enemy wrote:

Which must've been an unplugged electric guitar, sort of making it acoustic.

Look, how can they sell something called "Unplugged" if they're using an electric guitar? If they are, then I suggest everyone ask for their money back.

Or better yet.... let's get a class action suit against MTV (no point suing Kurt).
{#Roflol}
 
It's all acoustic guitars on this - even the bass (and cello).  Granted, they are acoustics with pick-ups installed in them, and Cobain's has more gain applied during the riff parts to get that overdriven sound, but there are no solid-body (fully) electric guitars on this recording.   Still. it's not technically "unplugged", though very few of the performances of "Unplugged" actually were anyhow.
 Skydog wrote:
Could you imagine what Bowie and Colbain would have come up with if they collaborated{#Good-vibes}

 
Probably the correct spelling of Kurt's last name for starters.
Love Bowie's original {#Hearteyes}
 Steely_D wrote:

Except for the electric guitar. 

 
Which must've been an unplugged electric guitar, sort of making it acoustic.

Look, how can they sell something called "Unplugged" if they're using an electric guitar? If they are, then I suggest everyone ask for their money back.

Or better yet.... let's get a class action suit against MTV (no point suing Kurt).
{#Roflol}
 sktillman wrote:
The live, acoustic, grunge version of Bowie's brilliant, well produced studio original. Simple by comparison, yet uplifting and compelling in it's sincerity. A great original artist covering a great original artist. I love it.

 
Except for the electric guitar. 
 Skydog wrote:

sounds old and it drags, 
Bowie's original still crackles 

 
Damn right!
 DavidS_UK wrote:
I agree with bc - useless cover, and a waste of Cobain's wonderful talent.  Unplugged means that, producing a new and totally different rendering of a song, not a lame replica.

 
"Unplugged" (to MTV back then) generally meant using acoustic instruments, which is how this version was performed.  I'm not sure where you get "new and totally different" from.  This recording is from an "unplugged" gig they played for MTV - they were not recording the song for a new Nirvana album.  They probably just thought it would be cool to play a cover of a relatively obscure Bowie song.  Many bands do unexpected covers during live shows that they may never release on an album. They weren't trying to make some earth-shattering statement.  It's a faithful and reverent version, though I prefer the original. 

sounds old and it drags, 
Bowie's original still crackles 
Good, but not as great as the original
Am I the only one that thinks this is a harsh version of the original?  It causes a burning sensation right behind my ears. 
 justin4kick wrote:
This cover adds nothing new to the excellent original.

 
Fully agree. 
A solid PSD
This cover adds nothing new to the excellent original. If you want to hear a cover (but still, why would you?) play Lulu's version instead. At least that was back in the day a fresh interpretation of the song.
It's mmmkay as a cover and I dig Nirvana, but not worth 7.7, given the preceding genuine article's 7.5.
 Meltz wrote:
Getting a little tired of this tune as a segue from a previous random Bowie tune. I'm a Bowie fan but let's hear something different. 

 
RP is structured in playlists.  If you are a regular listener, it is quite common to predict the following tune.    It seems that there are between 5 and 10 tracks swapped out daily .
5. Cold pi55ing Play
 Skydog wrote:
Could you imagine what Bowie and Colbain would have come up with if they collaborated{#Good-vibes}

  A double shooting suicide?

 Stratocaster wrote:

4. Talking Heads.

 
5. U2.
Getting a little tired of this tune as a segue from a previous random Bowie tune. I'm a Bowie fan but let's hear something different. 
from wiki

"Bowie bemoaned the fact that when he performed the number himself he would encounter "kids that come up afterwards and say, 'It's cool you're doing a Nirvana song.' And I think, 'F#$k you, you little tosser!'""

 
 justin4kick wrote:
I would like to nominate the following bands for the RP PSD-award:

1. Grateful Dead
2. RHCP
3. Nirvana 

 
4. Talking Heads.
The live, acoustic, grunge version of Bowie's brilliant, well produced studio original. Simple by comparison, yet uplifting and compelling in it's sincerity. A great original artist covering a great original artist. I love it.
Could you imagine what Bowie and Colbain would have come up with if they collaborated{#Good-vibes}
RIP David Bowie.

Decent cover version this.
Now back to Bowie please Bill...
Puleeze, play Bowie version on the day of his death. This album of his (1970) actually rocked
I would like to nominate the following bands for the RP PSD-award:

1. Grateful Dead
2. RHCP
3. Nirvana 
A Man Sold The World
A long long time ago,
And still another one turned it
Into sweet memories.
 wgsu_1978 wrote:

How do I flag this heartless garbage? You need to grow up, Junior.
 
ok, im sorry, in retrospect that wasnt funny, but I have no pity for such an action.
He probably didnt feel a thing but imagine the collective pain he inflicted on everyone who loved him.
Its a chickens way out.

A poor cover version.
instant classic!! {#Dancingbanana_2}
 hempmandan wrote:
Best Bowie cover. Period.
 
 
Might be. But nothing new added.
And Bill always plays Dylan after playing a Dylan cover. Right honestly.

MrsTom wrote:
Hmm - preceded by a song from Aladdin Sane.  I see what you did there Bill! 
 


 stunix wrote:
is this cover why he shot himself in the face?    1

 
How do I flag this heartless garbage? You need to grow up, Junior.
 stunix wrote:
is this cover why he shot himself in the face?    1

 
Not funny.
Not a good Bowie tribute band, if that's what they are. Even their name is a cover.
**********************************************************  1
 versalog wrote:
Goat.

 
Thank you for clearing that up.
Goat.
Best Bowie cover. Period.
 
Hopefully all my Radio Paradise friends are enjoying Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways that is currently running on HBO.
 Sloggydog wrote:
Well for so many better reasons than just being contrite I will say that this is a fantastic cover from a fantastic album.  Love it.

  I second that emotion.  As a huge Bowie fan getting into Nirvana at the time of this broadcast, I was freaking blown away.


 ScottN wrote:
The grunge treatment of this Bowie classic added nothing.  Disappointing.  Why bother?

 
Ummmm.... How about to introduce a whole new generation of people to the great work of Mr. Bowie.
Well for so many better reasons than just being contrite I will say that this is a fantastic cover from a fantastic album.  Love it.
Hmm - preceded by a song from Aladdin Sane.  I see what you did there Bill! 
The grunge treatment of this Bowie classic added nothing.  Disappointing.  Why bother?
Yes yes yes!
 treatment_bound wrote:

That was a David Bowie song.

/nods off...

 
yeah, horrid. no creative reworking, just change great vocals to the whine. 
Real crap cover!! What were Kurt & Co. thinking of!!!! {#Beat}

That was a David Bowie song.

/nods off...


Cowpie?
 Stephenater wrote:


Hard to believe that show was recorded twenty years ago this week!

Check out this article about the performance on Yahoo: 

https://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/remembering-nirvana-unplugged-cobain-battles-nearly-pulled-plug-014731014.html

The amp was Cobain's idea, and the network was against it.  Turned out better than the original IMHO...

 
Covering the song is a mark of respect for the original and Cobains version is great.. but I do enjoy the original more.
The unplugged clip is a gem and his genius shines thru stronger with his own material. What a sad loss


 dogpound wrote:
Unplugged was a great show, this was one of the best sessions.

 
.......... most definitely was
I agree with bc - useless cover, and a waste of Cobain's wonderful talent.  Unplugged means that, producing a new and totally different rendering of a song, not a lame replica.
 bc wrote:

Sorry.  I never got it.  The concept was that musicians were forced to re-imagine their songs with new acoustic arrangements.  But so many just played acoustic guitar instead of the electric guitar and amplified their acoustic guitars to be loud enough to go with the drum kit (but hey -- the drummer used brushes).*

But this song is the epitome of the laziness of the people on the show.  They couldn't even leave an amplified acoustic guitar alone.  They had to slap a switch on the acoustic guitar for the lead fuzz tone.  Incredibly lame.  Incredibly lazy.  Incredibly unimaginative. 

Unplugged?! 
Yeah, and I'm the pope.

Look, you wanna cover Bowie?  Go ahead.  But don't pretend like it's some genius unplugged arrangement.  It's just a cover, and in my opinion, one that contributes nothing to the original.



---------
*  Yes, there were some who seemed to accept the challenge or rearranging their music, but it seems that too many of them took the lazy way out.

 

Hard to believe that show was recorded twenty years ago this week!

Check out this article about the performance on Yahoo: 

https://music.yahoo.com/blogs/music-news/remembering-nirvana-unplugged-cobain-battles-nearly-pulled-plug-014731014.html

The amp was Cobain's idea, and the network was against it.  Turned out better than the original IMHO...
 dogpound wrote:
Unplugged was a great show, this was one of the best sessions.

 
Sorry.  I never got it.  The concept was that musicians were forced to re-imagine their songs with new acoustic arrangements.  But so many just played acoustic guitar instead of the electric guitar and amplified their acoustic guitars to be loud enough to go with the drum kit (but hey -- the drummer used brushes).*

But this song is the epitome of the laziness of the people on the show.  They couldn't even leave an amplified acoustic guitar alone.  They had to slap a switch on the acoustic guitar for the lead fuzz tone.  Incredibly lame.  Incredibly lazy.  Incredibly unimaginative. 

Unplugged?! 
Yeah, and I'm the pope.

Look, you wanna cover Bowie?  Go ahead.  But don't pretend like it's some genius unplugged arrangement.  It's just a cover, and in my opinion, one that contributes nothing to the original.



---------
*  Yes, there were some who seemed to accept the challenge or rearranging their music, but it seems that too many of them took the lazy way out.
 I love the way Nirvana substitutes a crying guitar at the end of the song in place of Bowie's back up harmonies..they both play together beautifully in my minds eye/ear...acolt wrote:
I heard this before Bowie's version. I like this better. Let your ridicule flow.

 








 'one' may pay with his eternal soul..George Harrison coined it well in within you and without you..."and the people who gain the world and lose their soul, they don't know, they can't see, are you one of them" ?  johnjconn wrote:
I wonder how much one would pay for the world?

 





Just might have to rate this a ONE.  I rate all Rolling Stones tunes a ONE.   And other than that I only rate all other tunes a 6 and up.

What's the point of giving something a THREE ?
 
The New York Times has an interesting piece on Jason Everman, who got kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden before the bands hit it big. He chucked in the music career to become a Special Forces solider:

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/magazine/evermans-war.html 

He had three drill sergeants, two of whom were sadists. Thank God it was the easygoing one who saw it. He was reading a magazine, when he slowly looked up and stared at Everman. Then the sergeant walked over, pointing to a page in the magazine. “Is this you?” It was a photo of the biggest band in the world, Nirvana. Kurt Cobain had just killed himself, and this was a story about his suicide. Next to Cobain was the band’s onetime second guitarist. A guy with long, strawberry blond curls. “Is this you?”

Everman exhaled. “Yes, Drill Sergeant.”

 

"So what kind of music do you listen to?"
 
The good kind.
Unplugged was a great show, this was one of the best sessions.
 rdo wrote:


Yeah, it's not an easy question to answer honestly, without coming across as pretentious.  I always feel the urge to say "good". Don't even get me started when it comes to reading...

 
"Well crafted" is my usual response. Seems to satisfy most and makes me feel ok about not apearing too pretentious.
Great song - but think Lulu did a much better version than Nirvana in fact everything Lulu has done is better than Nirvana!

 
A first-time hear for me. Had no idea that they covered this tune. Marvy to hear immediately after Lady Grinning Soul. Not altogether different than the original, but still quite worthwhile. Thanks.
 Byronape wrote:
Please keep in mind that people with a range in musical taste as your average RP listener is rare.  Just think of the question that vexes me every time someone asks me...

"So what kind of music do you listen to?"

If you can answer that question easily, than you won't be spending any time here.

 

Yeah, it's not an easy question to answer honestly, without coming across as pretentious.  I always feel the urge to say "good". Don't even get me started when it comes to reading...
I like this, not a big nirvana fan but this is easy listening :-)
 ziakut wrote:
 always cringe during the solo where Kurt Cobain slides up to the wrong note and the slides half step down to the right note. Geeez. I guess it's a good testament that this was live and I actually prefer the imperfections with it being live.
 
also that lil feedback. I seem to wait for it..
 Toke wrote:
Eat your heart out Bowie this guy actually SINGS .... not moaning and droning .. great rendition.
 

that's so funny on so many different levels.
 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:
Nice follow-up after David Bowie — Lady Grinning Soul, although I prefer Bowies version best!
 
Me TOO.. 
Eat your heart out Bowie this guy actually SINGS .... not moaning and droning .. great rendition.
Nice follow-up after David Bowie — Lady Grinning Soul, although I prefer Bowies version best!
They're both great.   Bowie's version is preferred only because of the chanting on the coda.   So otherworldly....
I always liked this version better than Bowie's. Cobain really puts himself into it. I think he really connected to the song on a personal level.
I always cringe during the solo where Kurt Cobain slides up to the wrong note and the slides half step down to the right note. Geeez. I guess it's a good testament that this was live and I actually prefer the imperfections with it being live.
The feedback adds to this live performance. It wouldn't be as good without it.
I prefer this version to the Bowie's. The instruments are basically the same, but the singing is more to my liking.
 spigolli wrote:

No doubt there are plenty of dudes who've been into Bowie deeply.

 

Does your statement have a "deeper" meaning...?

Certainly you are right. Iggy for example has been very deep into Bowie!


I like it a lot...{#Drummer}
THE WONDER-HIT-WONDER (school-)BAND!
Love it love it love it. Great record and a great cover Much more pathos than the Thin White Duke evoked.
 misterbearbaby wrote:


I'm with you, in this case- their version is true to the Bowie original in a way that makes you think they really got into Bowie deeply!
 
No doubt there are plenty of dudes who've been into Bowie deeply.

 Shawnmcc wrote:
Never been a big fan of lost heroin junkies.
 
What about saved heroin junkies?

 patrick30 wrote:
who is david bowie and what is nirvana?
 

More—or less—importantly, who are you?

 Byronape wrote:
"So what kind of music do you listen to?"

If you can answer that question easily, than you won't be spending any time here.
 
I listen to GOOD music. {#Wink}
 rulebritannia wrote:
I'm a Bowie fan and I almost always prefer an original cut, but put me in the Nirvana camp on this one!

 

I'm with you, in this case- their version is true to the Bowie original in a way that makes you think they really got into Bowie deeply!
I'm a Bowie fan and I almost always prefer an original cut, but put me in the Nirvana camp on this one!

Hmm... The Shatner/Ben Folds "Common People" and now Nirvana's version of "The Man Who Sold the World".  Do I, perhaps, detect a fellow Cracked reader among the RP Airplay Assembly Line Elf Squadron?
 Byronape wrote:

Please keep in mind that people with a range in musical taste as your average RP listener is rare.  Just think of the question that vexes me every time someone asks me...

"So what kind of music do you listen to?"

If you can answer that question easily, than you won't be spending any time here.

 
{#Clap} Nicely and pithily put, and I'm not taking the pith :o)

Maybe Bill & Beckie could use that as RP's strapline?


who is david bowie and what is nirvana?
You know....I like em both.
I heard this before Bowie's version. I like this better. Let your ridicule flow.
The original by Bowie is far better!!! {#Wink}