This is a David Bowie song that I gather was mostly forgotten — I’d certainly never heard it  — until it popped up on Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged In New York. This was in 1993, after which Bowie apparently added it to his regular live set; which is cool.

Kurt Cobain on unplugged

The whole Unplugged set is great; it doesn’t have any Nirvana chestnuts, just obscure numbers and covers. My second-favorite song on it is Plateau, for which a few Meat Puppets joined the band and has the immortal lyric You see a lot up there but don’t be scared / Who needs action when you got words. But gimme a break, this is one of Bowie’s best and Kurt didn’t put any of his own on the record, so I think it’s the one to pick.

I can’t even type Kurt Cobain’s name without getting all sad. So much talent exploding out of him, even with his amateurish carrying on and lack of showmanship, the music was still so great so often; he was maybe the greatest songwriter of his generation. Here’s a little-known fact about me; I once had a gig writing for audiophile mag The Absolute Sound, and I wrote Kurt’s obituary.

This is part of the Song of the Day series (background).

Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify. There’s live video of this performance; wow, 174 million views. See, these Songs of the Day are mainstream music. Oh wait, I forgot Bowie; here’s a spooky performance with a band that’s way sharper than Nirvana, and a nice straight-ahead electric take; but for me, Kurt will own this song forever.


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March 21, 2018
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