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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)