Flashback: 5 MTV Unplugged performances revisited

Nirvana – 1993

Really, what more is there to say? For some (those that didnâ’t come of age in the ‘90s), MTV Unplugged will always be synonymous with Nirvanaâ’s legendary performance in New York. Recorded just months before Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobainâ’s death, their raw, single-take performance is a masterpiece of stripped down tension and awkward brilliance.


Eric Clapton â” 1992

One of the series finest moments, Claptonâ’s performance took place in London. The resulting album became the biggest selling album of his career, netting a total of 6 Grammy Awards. The performance includes a delicate rendition of “Tears in Heaven,” as well as a handful of new songs written by the artist during his struggle with the death of his young song Conor.


KISS – 1995

Itâ’s hard to imagine glam-rockers KISS all â” er â” stripped down, and performing acoustic numbers for their wild fans, but rockers like “Rock and Roll All Nite” and Rolling Stones cover “2,000 Man” lost none of their power or punch without an amp.

Peter Criss and Ace Frehley were invited to join Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on stage, and reaction to the original line-up was so overwhelming that KISS reunited the year after their performance for the first time since 1979.


Hole â”  1995

Fronted by the acid-haired, acid-tongued Courtney Love, Hole performed covers of Nirvanaâ’s “You Know Youâ’re Right,” and “Old Age,” but it was Loveâ’s vulnerability on acoustic versions of “Doll Parts,” and “Miss World” that made their appearance on MTV Uplugged really memorable.

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Make sure you donâ’t miss their delightfully snotty cover of du-wop group The Crystals⒠“He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss).”


Pearl Jam â” 1992

1992 was a big year for Pearl Jam. The long-haired grunge rockers performed on SNL, joined the Lollapalooza tour, and contributed two songs to Cameron Crowe flick “Singles.” The MTV Unplugged appearance is a highlight though, and the band is in top form during performances of “State of Love and Trust” and “Black.” Eddie Vedder takes his hat off, shakes his hair a lot, and yelps/growls all over his bandâ’s classic-rock-filtered-through-the-‘90s approach—and itâ’s all thrilling to watch. Just try and not feel moved during the last few minutes of “Porch.”

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