MTV Unplugged

( 12 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Its massive success -- it is one of the rare albums to be certified as diamond in the U.S. and it went platinum all over the world; it also won the Album of the Year Grammy for 1992 -- makes it difficult to place Eric Clapton's 1992 MTV Unplugged in context, but it's important to do so. It arrived three years into MTV Unplugged's run -- 1989 also being the year Clapton stirred artistically with the assured AOR of Journeyman -- and a year after Paul McCartney established the practice of an official album release of an Unplugged session with his own Unplugged (The Official Bootleg). Also in 1991, Clapton's young son Conor died in a tragic accident. The guitarist ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Its massive success -- it is one of the rare albums to be certified as diamond in the U.S. and it went platinum all over the world; it also won the Album of the Year Grammy for 1992 -- makes it difficult to place Eric Clapton's 1992 MTV Unplugged in context, but it's important to do so. It arrived three years into MTV Unplugged's run -- 1989 also being the year Clapton stirred artistically with the assured AOR of Journeyman -- and a year after Paul McCartney established the practice of an official album release of an Unplugged session with his own Unplugged (The Official Bootleg). Also in 1991, Clapton's young son Conor died in a tragic accident. The guitarist wrote "Tears in Heaven" as a tribute to his late son and, via its inclusion on the 1991 soundtrack to Rush, it became a hit single and, later, a centerpiece to the Unplugged set. The passage of time has blurred the lines separating all these events, suggesting Clapton's 1992 Unplugged was the first-ever MTV album, that it alone was responsible for revitalizing EC's career, that it is was the place where "Tears in Heaven" premiered, when none of that is quite true. What is true is that Unplugged is the concert and album that established the MTV program as a classy, tony showcase for artists eager to redefine themselves via reexamination of their catalogs, which is what Clapton cannily did here. The album's hit was a slow crawl through Derek & the Dominos' "Layla," turning that anguished howl of pain into a cozy shuffle and the whole album proceeds at a similar amiable gait, taking its time and enjoying detours into old blues standards. Clapton is embracing his middle age and the pleasure of Unplugged is to hear him opt out of the pop star game as he plays songs he's always loved. Tellingly, it's these blues and folk covers -- Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues," Big Bill Broonzy's "Hey Hey," the standard "Alberta," Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'," two songs from Robert Johnson ("Walkin' Blues," "Malted Milk") -- that are the best performances here; they're alternately lively and relaxed, Clapton happily conforming to the contours of the compositions. These capture a moment in time, when EC was settling into his age by reconnecting with the past, whereas the originals -- whether it's the revised versions of "Layla" and "Old Love," "Tears in Heaven," or the debut of "My Father's Eyes," originally heard here (and on the 2013 expanded anniversary edition) but released as a single much later in the decade -- point forward to the sharply tailored adult contemporary crooner of the '90s, one who turned out to be very comfortable existing in a world of high thread counts and designer duds. These are the tunes that belong to the '90s -- and several of these also appear on the 2013 expansion, which contains songs that didn't appear on the album, almost all of which are originals apart from an alternate "Walkin' Blues" and "Worried Life Blues" -- but the rest of MTV Unplugged manages to transcend its time because it does cut to the quick of Clapton's musical DNA.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/1992
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • UPC: 093624502425
  • Catalog Number: 45024
  • Sales rank: 2,792

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Eric Clapton Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Andy Fairweather Low Guitar
Ray Cooper Percussion
Nathan East Bass, Background Vocals
Steve Ferrone Drums
Katie Kissoon Background Vocals
Chuck Leavell Keyboards
Tessa Niles Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Doc Watson Composer
Jim Gordon Composer
Bo Diddley Composer
Eric Clapton Composer
Huddie Ledbetter Composer
Muddy Waters Composer
Russ Titelman Producer
Jim Barton Engineer
Jimmie Cox Composer
James Barton Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A nice low key live album

    There are some sweet cuts here and, in the aftermath of the tragic death of Clapton's child, a heartbreaking version of "Tears In Heaven". This is not an essential album, but certainly a good one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Change of Pace

    Unplugged revived Clapton’s career when it was first released. After being an electric guitar god for 30 years Eric went acoustic and had a huge hit. On guitar he was unremarkable compared to acoustic virtuosos like Doc Watson or Leo Kottke. What carried the CD was his singing. The songs had a gentle, wistful tone that wears well. Many of them were covers of blues giants like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Others were revamped versions of his own songs (Layla, Tears in Heaven). They all fit together into an integrated hour concert. It wasn’t quite peak Clapton but may have been his last great moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unplugged is still one of the best albums ever

    Unplugged is one of the best albums ever. Acoustics are good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nice!

    Extremely well done album. Clapton is one of my favourite artists and also the best guitarist in the world along with Page and Hendrix.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This CD is one of the best!!!

    This CD is awesome. I'm a 14 year old girl and I love it. The versions of Layla and Tears in Heaven are beautiful. A must have for Clapton fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the creator at his most creative.

    this is nodoubt one of the best albums i have heard never mind it being unplugged. it shows claptons music for what it is soft rock blues.

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    Posted March 12, 2011

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    Posted December 24, 2008

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    Posted March 8, 2011

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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    Posted September 6, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews