Tomorrow sees the release of a very special box set that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s third and final studio album, In Utero. The “Super Deluxe Box Set” is filled with over 70 remastered, remixed, rare and unreleased recordings, including B-sides, compilation tracks, never-before-heard demos and live material. Part of the live material that is included is footage of the band’s legendary 1993 Live And Loud performance, and VH1 is excited to share some never before seen rehearsal footage of that show with you today. Above, we have video of the band rehearsing “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter,” and below, footage of “Very Ape” (including a moment where Kurt Cobain gets behind the drum kit).
It’s difficult to listen to “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” without thinking of Kurt’s eventual suicide in April of 1994. The title of the song is dripping with sarcastic irony because, of course, this is exactly the kind of song that would NEVER find radio airplay outside of college rock stations or “shift units” at retail outlets. Meanwhile, the lyrics are a vivid reminder of just how depressed Cobain was at this point in his life. “Love you for what I am not / I did not want what I have got / Blanket acned with cigarette burns,” is how the song’s first verse goes, and the chorus is just Kurt repeating “What is wrong with me?” over and over and over again. With the benefit of hindsight, it becomes one of the most truthful songs in the Nirvana catalog despite its ironic title.