Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)

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Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)
Live album by Paul McCartney
Released 20 May 1991 (UK)
4 June 1991 (US)
Recorded 25 January 1991
Genre Acoustic Rock, Blues
Length 58:29
Label Parlophone
Producer Joel Gallen (TV producer for MTV)
Recorded by Geoff Emerick
Paul McCartney chronology
Tripping the Live Fantastic
(1990)Tripping the Live Fantastic1990
Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)
Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio
(1991)Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars [1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[2]
The Essential Rock Discography 6/10[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[4]

Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) is a live unplugged performance by Paul McCartney, recorded and released in 1991. Following the vastness of his world tour recently captured on Tripping the Live Fantastic, McCartney relished the opportunity to strip back his songs and appear on the newly launched acoustic-only show MTV Unplugged. Consequently, McCartney was the first in a long line of artists to release an unplugged album.[5]


Unlike other artists who appeared on the acclaimed show with acoustic instruments plugged into amplifiers (producing the sound heard), McCartney's instruments were 100% unplugged. Microphones were carefully placed close to guitars, pianos, etc. to pick up the sound (this can be seen on the album cover, where a large rectangular microphone is pictured in front of McCartney's acoustic guitar).

Using the same line-up that had recently backed him (save for Blair Cunningham who had replaced Chris Whitten), McCartney used the opportunity to dust off some of his rarer tracks, including three from his 1970 debut album McCartney, alongside several covers and amid a helping of familiar Beatles hits.


This recording was one of the first in the famed MTV Unplugged series.

Several tracks performed in the show were not included on the album, as follows: "Things We Said Today", "Midnight Special", "Matchbox", "Mean Woman Blues" and "The Fool". Numbers rehearsed by the band but not performed at all include: "Mother Nature's Son", "Figure of Eight", "Cut Across Shorty", "Heartbreak Hotel", "Heart of the Country", "She's My Baby", and "Mrs. Vandebilt". "Things We Said Today" and "Midnight Special" would see official release two years later in 1993 as B-sides to the "Biker Like an Icon" single.


With McCartney in a loose and carefree context, critical response to Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) was very warm.

Initially released in a limited edition, individually numbered run in 1991, Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)—with artwork that recalls Снова в СССР's—was reissued in a more permanent fashion in the late 1990s. Upon its original issue, it reached number 7 in the UK and became McCartney's highest-peaking US album in almost ten years, reaching number 14.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" Gene Vincent / Tex Davis 4:04
2. "I Lost My Little Girl" Paul McCartney 1:45
3. "Here, There and Everywhere" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 3:16
4. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Bill Monroe 4:21
5. "We Can Work It Out" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 2:48
6. "San Francisco Bay Blues" Jesse Fuller 3:29
7. "I've Just Seen a Face" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 3:01
8. "Every Night" Paul McCartney 3:24
9. "She's a Woman" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 3:39
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Hi-Heel Sneakers" Robert Higginbotham 4:08
2. "And I Love Her" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 4:17
3. "That Would Be Something" Paul McCartney 4:02
4. "Blackbird" John Lennon–Paul McCartney 2:09
5. "Ain't No Sunshine" Bill Withers 4:05
6. "Good Rockin' Tonight" Roy Brown 3:42
7. "Singing the Blues" Melvin Endsley 3:46
8. "Junk" (instrumental) Paul McCartney 2:26



  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Unplugged at AllMusic
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 1257. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  3. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 696. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9. 
  4. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 526. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mtv-unplugged-premieres