There are certain songs in a bands catalog that no matter how many times you’ve heard it, you always get that same feeling wafting over you. That happens to me every time I hear the MTV Unplugged version of Alice In Chains “Nutshell.” This version is quite astounding. Opening the show with this song too was something special. It’s truly one of those magical music moments that will give you chills. “Nutshell” is in my top 5 favorite Alice In Chains songs of all time and this version just might eclipse the studio version for me.
Back in 2002, Incubus released a DVD called The Morning View Sessions. This was a concert they did in New York on the day of the release of their Morning View album. At this show, they performed a slew of songs, one of which has always stood out to me. “The Warmth” off their album Make Yourself (which turns 20 this year, and it’s also my favorite song off that album), is that song. This version is quite exquisite and takes the song to a whole other level.
My all time favorite Nirvana song is Aneurysm. I’ll never forget the first time I heard it thinking that this is one hell of a jam. The dynamics of quiet to loud on this song are stunning. One thing I’ve always noticed is that live versions of this song are way better than the version that appears on the Incesticide album. This live version is from their performance at the Paramount in Seattle in 1991. Some other tidbits you might find interesting about this song is that, “Aneurysm” is one of the few Nirvana songs credited to all three members. It was first performed live on November 25, 1990 at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle. The first studio version was recorded on January 1, 1991 and was the their first with Dave Grohl, who had joined Nirvana in September 1990. This version of the song was released as a b-side on the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single in September 1991.
Nirvana- Aneurysm (Live 1991 at Paramount Theater-Seattle):
I have a strange and somewhat cruel, yet comical thing that I love to do. When I’m out and about and I’m at a place with a jukebox, before I leave I like to leave a couple songs playing. What I do is pay the extra money and pick really long versions of songs and then leave. I know it’s silly but it’s also awesome and funny at the same time. One of my go to picks for years now has been this version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” Clocking in at 25 minutes (yes that is correct, twenty five minutes), it’s one of the most epic versions of this track. Found on the live album How The West Was Won, this version was recorded in 1972 from a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, this version also features parts of the songs “Walter’s Walk” and “The Crunge.” Needless to say, when you gotta get the Led out, this is one hell of a way to lay it on thick! Take a few minutes to enjoy this awesome alternate version.
The Allman Brothers are simply great. They wrote some pretty amazing songs and were one of the best live bands ever. Their live shows featured some amazing versions of their songs. At Fillmore East (1971) was the band’s artistic and commercial breakthrough, and has been considered by some critics to be one of the greatest live albums in rock music. One of the best and most profound moments of this album is the live version of “Whipping Post.” This version sees the band drastically extend the song. The studio version is a little over 5 minutes while this version is over 23 minutes but, every minute of it is vital and mind blowing. So enjoy this wonderful gem and play it loud!
The Allman Brothers Band- Whipping Post (Live 1971):
The Allman Brothers Band- Whipping Post (Studio Version):
In 1967, The Velvet Underground released their seminal debut album. This album is said to have influenced everyone that bought it, to go out and start a band. On this album is the song “Heroin.” Written by singer/guitarist Lou Reed, this song tells a very dark and deep tale about the use of the drug. The version that most people are familiar with comes from the 1967 album but, there is another version that takes it further down the hole. The 1974 Lou Reed album Rock n Roll Animal, features a new take on the song. This version is almost double the length of the original and it’s a different take on the original. Lou Reed has often been misunderstood (more on that for another day) but, he’s the epitome of what an artist is. Anyways, this is one hell of an alternate version that should be heard and enjoyed.
Lou Reed- Heroin (from Rock n Roll Animal):
The Velvet Underground- Heroin (from The Velvet Underground & Nico):
Metallica’s “Bleeding Me” is one of the best songs the band has ever written. There is no denying it. Everything about this song is simply perfect. It’s also one of those songs that the band really needs to start playing live a lot more. This alternate version is from the S&M album. What conductor Michael Kamen did with the orchestral arrangement is absolutely lovely and deep. I’ve personally always loved this record. “Bleeding Me” from this album is truly amazing and epic which takes the song to a whole new level. So, enjoy this gem of an alternate version.