Unplugged (Eric Clapton album)

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Unplugged
Live album by Eric Clapton
Released 25 August 1992
Recorded 16 January 1992, Bray Film Studios, Windsor, England, UK[1]
Genre Acoustic blues, blues rock
Length 61:47
Label Reprise, Duck, MTV
Producer Russ Titelman
Eric Clapton chronology
Rush
(1991)
Unplugged
(1992)
From the Cradle
(1994)

Unplugged is a live album by Eric Clapton released in 1992.[2] It was recorded for the MTV Unplugged series and includes both the hit single "Tears in Heaven" and a heavily reworked acoustic version of "Layla".

Clapton performed the show in front of a small audience on 16 January 1992 at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, England. In addition to the final album tracks, the performance included early versions of "My Father's Eyes" and "Circus Left Town" along with "Worried Life Blues" and a version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'".[3] Clapton played Martin 000-28EC and 000-42 acoustic guitars for much of the performance, and in 2004, one of the guitars sold for US$791,500.00 (£434.400) in auction.[2][4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
Chicago Tribune 2.5/4 stars[6]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[7]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[8]
Robert Christgau B−[9]

Clapton earned six Grammy Awards for the album, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Rock Male Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song.[10] "Tears in Heaven" earned three of the six awards.[10] The album reached number one on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Diamond by the RIAA for shipping over 10 million copies in the United States.[11] In 2000 Q magazine placed Unplugged at number 71 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums. In October 2011, the album was ranked number nine on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[12]

Commenting on the popularity of the album in his 2007 autobiography, Clapton wishes the reader to understand the great emotional toll he experienced around that time, and suggests that they visit the grave of his son Conor in Ripley to do so.[13]

Track listing (CD/DVD)[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Signe"   Eric Clapton 3:13
2. "Before You Accuse Me"   Bo Diddley 3:44
3. "Hey Hey"   Big Bill Broonzy 3:16
4. "Tears in Heaven"   Eric Clapton, Will Jennings 4:36
5. "Lonely Stranger"   Eric Clapton 5:27
6. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"   Jimmy Cox 3:49
7. "Layla"   Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon 4:46
8. "Running on Faith"   Jerry Lynn Williams 6:30
9. "Walkin' Blues"   Robert Johnson 3:37
10. "Alberta"   Traditional, Arr. by Huddie William Ledbetter 3:42
11. "San Francisco Bay Blues"   Jesse Fuller 3:24
12. "Malted Milk"   Robert Johnson 3:36
13. "Old Love"   Eric Clapton, Robert Cray 7:54
14. "Rollin' and Tumblin'"   McKinley Morganfield 4:11
Total length:
61:47

Personnel[edit]

Hit singles[edit]

Chart positions courtesy of the Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Tears in Heaven" Billboard Hot 100 2
Adult Contemporary 1
"Layla" Adult Contemporary 8
Mainstream Rock Tracks 9
Billboard Hot 100 12
Top 40 Mainstream 4
1993 "Running on Faith" Adult Contemporary 28
Mainstream Rock Tracks 15

Commercial performance[edit]

In Germany the album peaked at #3 in the German Albums Chart and sold a total of 1.25 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling albums in Germany. In Austria Unplugged reached the charts selling 13,000 copies in the first week.[15] The album held itself 46 weeks in the Austrian Albums Chart and sold more than 100,000 copies in total. In Switzerland the album also reached #3 in the countries chart with 16,500 copies sold in the first week alone.[15] Selling 60,000 copies in the first two weeks, the live album was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry - a record for any british artist.[16] In the U.S. the album peaked at number two selling 230,000 copies in week one,[15] going on to sell four million copies in the first year after it's original release.[17] In Australia the album sold 70,000 copies just one week after it's release, getting a Platinum disc.[15] In Canada and the Netherlands the album sold 43,000 and 59,000 copies in week one.[15] In New Zealand and France Unplugged sold 26,000 in it's first week and went on to become a are 11-times and double Platinum record.[15] In Italy the album sold 124,000 in one year and was certified triple platinum after 14 months with total sales of 150,000 copies.[15]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Re-release[edit]

On October 15, 2013 the album and concert DVD were re-released, titled Unplugged: Expanded & Remastered. The album includes the original 14 tracks, remastered, as well as six additional tracks, including two versions of "My Father's Eyes". The DVD includes a restored version of the concert, as well as over 60 minutes of unseen footage from the rehearsal.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Clapton, Eric: Clapton, page 254. Broadway Books, 2007.
  4. ^ Fretbase: Eric Clapton Unplugged – His Guitars and Gear
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  6. ^ Kot, Greg (21 February 1993). "It's A Roller-coaster Career From Blues To Pop And Back". chicagotribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
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  8. ^ Hochman, Steve (27 September 1992). "In Brief". articles.latimes.com (Los Angeles Times). Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
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  14. ^ Saulnier, Jason (8 April 2010). "Chuck Leavell Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
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