10 Amazing Performances From MTV's 'Unplugged' To Celebrate Its Return

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Rolling Stone

One of most memorable music shows of all time was MTV Unplugged. The show was a raw look at musicians as they laid everything bare for the audience. There was no makeup, no amp or DJ. The musicians had to rely purely on their skill and sound. It was a time when music was still real.

MTV is bringing the show back to your televisions in an effort to bring back this great music tradition. Here are 10 of the best unplugged concerts from the 90s.

1. Bon Jovi

While technically it wasn't a true episode of Unplugged, the show had yet to premiere. But when Bon Jovi rocked out acoustic versions of Livin' on a Prayer, and Wanted Dead or Alive at the 1989 Video Music Awards, he inspired the entire concept for the show.

2. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page

Somehow MTV convinced these two members of Led Zeppelin to reunite on stage for an unplugged concert. John Paul Jones was not invited to the show. The shot the show in multiple countries including England and Wales. They used a full string section for parts of the show, and their 1998 album Walking to Clarksdale followed this legendary show.

3. Nirvana

Likely the most iconic show to ever air on MTV Unplugged, Kurt Cobain and the rest of Nirvana played songs from In Utero in 1993. After Cobain's suicide, viewers went back and tried to gauge his mindset in the months leading up to his death based on this performance.

4. Bruce Springsteen

The Boss had a tendency to avoid televised performances for most of his career leading up to his appearance on MTV Unplugged. When the show aired, MTV executives had to cross out the word "unplugged" from the title because Springsteen had changed his mind part way through his performance and went back to playing his Telecaster guitar. Still, The Boss is The Boss and you really can't argue with that.

5. Alice In Chains

When Alice In Chains performed on Unplugged on April 10, 1996, it was their first public performance since the end of the their 1993 world tour. This performance led to the band's reunion and it turned out to be lead singer Layne Staley's final concert prior to his death in 2002.

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