Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II (1983)
According to the 1001 albums book, this was a 1983 release. Wikipedia (at least at the time of this writing) indicates 1984 – perhaps it was different dates for US/UK, I’ll go with ’83 and wish Meat Puppets II a happy 30th anniversary!
Of course, many from my generation know Meat Puppets from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York. The three tunes the Kirkwood brothers performed with the group are all here.
The obligatory ‘how the originals stack up with the unplugged versions’ comparison:
Plateau – quite similar, Kurt Cobain’s vocal delivery had the same fragility.
Oh Me – A fairly forgettable song in both instances.
Lake of Fire – I prefer the live acoustic version. This one’s a bit intense.
Those three songs naturally piqued my interest originally but there’s plenty more to explore. It’s as diverse a mix as it gets, surprisingly with two instrumentals (normally not my preference) representing the strongest tracks.
I’m a Mindless Idiot is quite catchy and Aurora Borealis is up there on the ‘top rock instrumentals’ list. It might also be the second best pop culture reference to the Northern Lights after this:
A decidedly unappealing band name with a terrific guitarist.