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4.5 out of 5 stars
10,000 Maniacs: MTV Unplugged
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This album stands as one of the most impressive MTV Unplugged albums ever recorded. The unique style and sound of the 10,000 Maniacs was captured beautifully in this concert, preserving an unforgettable legacy by the group which was essentially breaking up at the time this was released. Anyone who listened to the radio back then has to know and remember Because the Night. While it is still hard for me to believe this song so wonderfully suited to Natalie Merchant’s voice was written by Bruce Springsteen, it served as a most impressive means of introducing Natalie Merchant sans Maniacs to the larger listening audience. Like many fans, I am not that familiar with the 10,000 Maniacs albums predating In My Tribe, but all of the 14 songs on this album (including four from In My Tribe) are just hauntingly exquisite. Each song tells a story, often a serious one touching on important social issues, infusing this modernized folk music with a very human folk music consciousness that speaks to both the head and heart in a number of very effective ways. If the unique sound of 10,000 Maniacs doesn’t move you at first, give it a second listen, and I’m sure the power of the music will begin to reveal itself to you. It is unfortunate that Natalie Merchant left the group, but the magic that was 10,000 Maniacs has been wonderfully preserved in this truly incredible live recording.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2002
If I could take only 3 CD’s to a desert island than this would have to be among them, this is 10,000 Maniacs sounding their best! The unplugged sound, complete with mini orchestra really suites their slightly folk/pop style of music, and beautifully compliments Natalie's wonderful voice - the type of voice that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Even If you've never heard of the somewhat strangely named 10,000 Maniacs before then get this album, as it contains some of the the best tracks from their other albums, and unless you like the extremes of music you are very unlikely to be disappointed!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2004
Someone gave me this album a few years ago. I loved it at the time, and I still think it's great. Perhaps it's sentimental, or nostalgic, or maybe this is just onee of those albums that allow you to maintain enjoyment of the music. Almost everytime someone new hears this on our stereo, they always ask 'who is this?' and most have gone out and bought it! Well worth it. Yeh.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2000
If you don't own any 10,000 Maniacs music, then I would highly recommend this as an introduction. Natalie's voice is outstanding, and there are some really catchy tunes on this. Buy it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2003
An excellent album, Natalie really makes the acoustic set work bringing some of her greatest tracks into a format which they seem to have been writen for. Heartfelt, emotion, rock and a haunting voice, worth every penny and so much more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2014
Top album, have not listened to maniacs for awhile what have I been missing! This is an intimate recording a perfect vehicle for Natalie Merchants strong but fragile evocative and elusive voice.
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on 12 February 2015
Who can't be in love with Natalie Merchant? That voice, those songs, that keening, yearning quality. The "unplugged" format suits the band and these songs very well - and the set includes a bracing cover of "Because The Night". This fine recording still gives me goosebumps as soon as it comes on - the true sign of lasting beauty. Just don't hear this kind of quality of musicianship, insightful lyrics and powerful performance 'these days'.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 13 September 2010
Isn`t it strange how you can go for years virtually unaware of an artist or band, even assuming their music is not for you - and then you can`t get enough?
I`ve recently become the proud owner of Natalie Merchant`s first two solo albums, Tigerlily and the utterly beautiful Ophelia, and now I have this unimprovably rich & wondrous offering in the Unplugged series.
I do remember seeing this on British TV in the `90s soon after it was made, and being pleasantly surprised by it (as well as being unable to take my eyes off the mini-skirted Natalie) but it didn`t prepare me for hearing this gorgeous selection of songs on CD. 10,000 Maniacs/Natalie Merchant write songs that are so subtle and slightly offbeat, approachably unpredictable if you like, that they seem to sneak up on you, caress you, seduce you - leaving you pleasurably satiated with a surfeit of riches...
No point in picking out highlights, there aren`t any, though you`ll have the catchy Like The Weather, with its coquettishly sung chorus, on the brain all day once you`ve heard it. `It`s all good`, as the man said.
How I wish I`d allowed the music of this band and this astonishing woman into my life years ago. Still, I suppose there`s a right time for everything.
Another plus is that, unlike 98% of live recordings these days - especially those from the US - audience noise is at a minimum, even between songs. None of the irritating whoops, barks and hollers one is all too used to on most live albums. Hooray for that! The whole thing has a warm, almost fire-side atmosphere, which draws the listener in.
To go from being a Natalie & the Maniacs virgin to their devoted lover has been painless. Pure pleasure, in fact.

PS. (2 years later): Listening to this again & again since above review, it just gets better & better with age, a magically beautiful record of a perfect performance.
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on 26 January 2013
This unplugged is superb! Great performance of the band and the beautiful voice of Natalie. Her approach of the pregnancy in "Eat for two" is emotional.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2014
vintage stuff. Just fantastic.
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