MTV was still young since it’s launched on August 1, 1981, when they decided to introduce a series that would not only be very successful but also be one of the most underrated programs MTV still produces, that program is MTV Unplugged. MTV Unplugged or Unplugged for short, was a series that had a musical guest, either individuals or a group to perform their hits with acoustic instruments, no electric instruments at all. At that time it was never unheard, maybe at a live concert that would happen but never on prime time network. The very first episode of Unplugged was on November 26, 1989, and from 1989-1991 the series was somewhat sloppy and was trying to find itself; sure it had great artists such as Aerosmith, Elton John, 10,000 Maniacs and Crosby, Stills & Nash, it felt misplaced until 1991. The Cure, Paul McCartney, Sting and R.E.M. Made it worth watch and played songs that were lesser known to the public and sounded fantastic, they even had hip-hop special titled Yo! Unplugged Rap which saw the likes of MC Lyte, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and LL Cool J and it was a huge success.

When the 1992 edition of Unplugged started no one was ready for what was going to happen when  Eric Clapton took the stage, he made it very close, very personal, made you feel like you were at a small concert made just for you. The songs that he played made MTV released it on all forms of music media at the time and won two Grammys and became the best selling live album of all time with 26 million copies sold worldwide. After that now legendary show, he made other artists step up their game, and they did, Paul Simon, Mariah Carey, Pearl Jam, Annie Lennox, The Eurythmics and an R&B edition of Unplugged with Boyz II Men, Shanice, and Joe Public were all excellent and started what MTV been looking for. 1993 was THE year for Unplugged, classic performances from Rod Stewart, the artist in the Uptown Unplugged, 10,000 Maniacs, Duran Duran and lastly Nirvana on what many to say was the most magnificent unplugged performance ever and the last time the world saw Kurt Cobain at his best.

From 1994-2001 Unplugged had a lot of wonderful shows, some were classics while others were legendary, here is a list from this time

  • Tony Bennett
  • Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
  • Eagles
  • Bob Dylan
  • Hole
  • The Cranberries
  • Cafe Tacuba
  • Seal
  • Alice in Chains
  • Oasis
  • George Michael
  • Maxwell
  • Fiona Apple
  • Erykah Badu
  • Babyface with Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder
  • Mana
  • R.E.M.
  • Hikaru Utada
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Jay-Z with the Roots

Sadly from 2002 till now its been downhill, most of the artist didn’t put effort into their shows until Alicia Keys 2005 Unplugged show then the series went back to not so great until 2008 when Mexican artist Julieta Venegas had her Unplugged in Mexico City. From here on out the series became less and less regarding how many episodes were made and who was on. As of the 2018 edition of Unplugged, there are only three shows, and they weren’t great at all. With the announcement of MTV rebooting many old programs, now would be a good time to reset Unplugged and take it back to its golden age from 1991 to 2001. I highly recommend you all to look, listen, and enjoy a lot of these artists that were on Unplugged. This series had a lot of different types of music for everyone to enjoy. Let us know in the comments below on what you want us to listen and talk about next week.