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KISS & 5 Other Memorable Classic Rock Performances from ‘MTV Unplugged’

KISS Unplugged was released 22 years ago today (March 12), and its importance in reuniting the "classic" lineup cannot be understated.

Of course, it's not the first reunion/classic performance from the classic series MTV Unplugged.  For your viewing pleasure, here are six of the most memorable MTV Unplugged performances from classic rock artists.



KISS’ 1995 appearance on Unplugged featured the four original band members on stage together for the first time since the late 70’s and was so popular that it led to KISS’ famed 1996 reunion tour.

KISS Unplugged Reunion

Original Kiss members on MTV Unplugged, 1995


Eric Clapton

Clapton’s Unplugged performance was released as a proper album in 1992 and has gone on to sell over 26 million copies worldwide.  It would also nab the GRAMMYs for Album of the Year and Best Rock Song for the acoustic rendition of “Layla.”  Of course, we’d be remiss in not mentioning the Unplugged version of “Tears in Heaven,” which remains devastatingly moving to this day.

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven - Unplugged - alternate take

This is the first take of Tears In Heaven as recorded at Bray Studios, Windsor, in 1992. Clapton played it again shortly afterwards and the second take was used on the commercial release. This slightly inferior first take is very similar, but with some of the guitar fills changed around etc.


Rod Stewart

Another incredible Unplugged performance that was also released as an LP, Stewart’s appearance on the show also featured former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood and marked the first time in about two decades they shared the stage together.

Rod Stewart - Stay With Me (Official Live Video)

Watch the live unplugged video for Rod Stewart's "Stay With Me." Stewart is a British singer-songwriter, born and raised in North London, England. Stewart has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling artists of all time.


Paul McCartney

Fun fact about Sir Paul’s appearance on Unplugged:  It was completely unplugged.  Most other performances featured artists playing acoustically with the help of amps.  It was also one of the first performances in the show’s history.

Paul McCartney MTV Unplugged 1991 (HD)

I Lost My Little Girl 1:05 Every Night 3:10 And I Love Her 7:10 That Would Be Something 11:30 The Band: Paul McCartney - Bass, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocal . Soundhcheck: 01 - Every Night (00:00:00) 02 - Midnight Special #1 (00:02:41) 03 - Blackbird (00:03:00) 04 - Midnight Special #2 (00:03:11) Concert: 01 - Mean .


The Eagles

While technically not released as an official Unplugged special, The Eagles’ 1994 Hell Freezes Over special on MTV was produced by the Unplugged team.  So, we think that definitely counts.

Take it easy(When hell freezes over



Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

Boy…Unplugged sure had a thing for reunions!  Who could forget Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’s set from 1994?  As with other Unplugged performances, this one was also released as an LP three months after its recording.

The Rain Song - Jimmy Page & Robert Plant HD [No Quarter 1994]

The Rain Song from No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded with the London Metropolitan Orchestra Vocals: Robert Plant Guitar: Jimmy Page Bass: Charlie Jones Drums: Michael Lee

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles.  (She received an A.)