Song of the Day #3,415: ‘The Man Who Sold the World (Unplugged)’ – Nirvana

While Eric Clapton’s appearance was the most successful MTV Unplugged set, Nirvana’s performance in late 1993 is the most iconic.

Recorded and aired just a few months before lead singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide, this haunting appearance took on even more meaning following the news of his death. Stripped of the grunge trappings, bearing his soul onstage, it’s hard not to see Cobain’s tragic future in his sad eyes.

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Song of the Day #1,331: ‘Lithium’ – Nirvana

Two and a half years ago I counted down my 20 favorite 80s songs. At the time I figured I’d tackle the 90s next but I never got around to it.

The reason is simple: 90s music basically sucks. Certainly lots of quality songs and albums were released during that decade, but the overall sound that defines the period — a mixture of alterna-grunge pseudo-seriousness and boy band superficiality — is a loser.

That said, I do love a countdown. So over the next two weeks I will list not my favorite songs from the 90s but my favorite artists and bands.

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Song of the Day #861: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ – Nirvana

When I counted down my favorite 80s songs last year, I assumed I’d follow up with my favorite 90s songs shortly thereafter.

But it never happened, partly because it’s time-consuming to come up with lists like that and partly because I just didn’t feel as strong a connection to 90s songs as I did to those from the 80s.

I chalk some of that up to my age. The 80s encompassed 8-17 for me… from elementary school through my first semester of college, a formative span when every song has great meaning and great impact. And more important, a time when I took in (via MTV and the radio) what was popular at the time.

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