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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 059

Match 059:

Alice In Chains "Would?" (Unplugged) (1996)
Nirvana "The Man Who Sold The World" (Unplugged) (1994)
Pearl Jam "MFC" (1998)
Soundgarden "Kickstand" (1994)

This version of "Would?" is more or less a simplified version of the original, played mostly the same but for some touches of restraint.  This is one of the only songs on "Alice In Chains Unplugged" that doesn't feel like a diminished version of the original song, in spite of not being all that different.

Chances are good the first time you heard "The Man Who Sold The World", it was this version and not the Bowie one from 1973.  Cobain cheats a little by using a distortion petal with his acoustic guitar for the main riff, but it really helps tie the song together.  The riff is an excellent means of conveying the alien nature of the character Bowie was playing in the movie "The Man Who Fell To Earth", being cold yet compelling at the same time, and in the acoustic context cutting through the proceedings like a death ray.  It makes you sit up and take notice.

"MFC" manages to be one of the better songs on "Yield" without having to try too hard.  It's got a guitar line that does not inspire confidence, but once the change happens it finally goes somewhere, which I was afraid it wouldn't.  Sounds like good driving music.

"Kickstand" is a quick little gutpunch, getting in and getting out with three verses and three choruses in less than two minutes.  It's got an energy that is sorely lacking in a lot of music I've been coming across in these reviews lately (though to be fair, two of these bands are stuck on "Unplugged").

But energy's not always the deciding factor:

"The Man Who Sold The World" (Unplugged): 4
"Kickstand": 3
"Would?" (Unplugged): 2
"MFC": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 156
Alice In Chains: 150
Soundgarden: 147
Nirvana: 137

Alice In Chains becomes the second band to 150!  It's almost a lock that Soundgarden will join them tomorrow (spoilers).  Who's gonna catch who now that only nine points separate 1st and 3rd place? 

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