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4.7 out of 5 stars
Unplugged
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is a review of the October 2013 release of the 2CD+DVD package "Deluxe Edition" box set.

The original disc of Unplugged scarcely needs another review from me because there are plenty of informative views on it already published. I will just say that, as a fully paid-up Clapton devotee of over 45 years standing, I think it's one of his very finest albums, full of great songs, brilliant guitar work and fine, sincere singing from Eric. The band are excellent and the overall effect is stunning - it really is a Classic Album in my view. If you don't already own the original, don't hesitate - this is a very generous package for the price and you won't be disappointed.

The question is, do those of us who have already bought it (twice, in my case: once on cassette and once on CD) need this Extended Edition? There are two additions to the original album: a short disc of six extra tracks and a DVD of the performances recorded on the original album plus some rehearsal material. Personally, I'm not that fussed about owning the DVD because I prefer to just listen, and for me the Bonus Tracks disc doesn't add enough to make it worth buying the whole lot again. Like a lot of "bonus material," what it really shows is that they chose the best stuff for the original album. Worried Life Blues is the only really worthwhile track among the bonus tracks, I think. We get two very similar takes of My Father's Eyes and one of Circus, neither of which is a particularly great song, and there are also the rejected takes of Running On Faith and Walking Blues which add nothing to the original album versions.

My verdict (for what it's worth) is that this is an excellent value set if you don't have the fabulous original, and I've given it five stars on that basis. But if you already have Unplugged I'm not sure I'd bother with this too. If you'd like to have the DVD it may well be worth buying this again, but for me it doesn't really add enough to the original to make it worth the expense if you already own it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Everyone knows Eric Clapton can play the blues, but until this album, few believed he really understood the genre. Here, Clapton pulled together a set of covers and originals, which re-established him as the premier guitarist of his generation, particularly on the openers, Signe and Before You Accuse Me. The set also shows him at his most relaxed and confident, (Layla) and laying bare his demons (Tears In Heaven).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This really is a very good album. Leading with a few seconds of tuning and audience noise, to confirm that this was performed before a real audience, it moves into the first track, 'Signe', which is an instrumental: two guitars and simplest of backing arrangement. Then the famous 'Before you accuse me', a blues favourite, with the audience clapping in accompaniment. And you're hooked for the next hour.

I could list all the tracks but I won't. They are all excellent, in a performance that has Clapton's characteristic understated style matched with sublime (acoustic) guitar playing. Stand out tracks, not surprisingly, are the acoustic version of 'Layla' and the heart-wrenching 'Tears in Heaven'. I also very much like 'Old Love'. performed here as an extended version over seven minutes with the most remarkable acoustic guitar solo from Clapton at its core earning a deserved cheer from the audience.

The backing band is tight and supportive: Andy Fairweather Low on guitar, Ray Cooper on percussion, Nathan East on bass, Steve Ferrone on drums, Chuck Leavell on keyboards and Katie Kisson and Tessa Niles providing backing vocals.

The thing about the 'Unplugged' series is that it gave the performers nowhere to hide. They could either do their stuff in front of a live audience, and do it well, or they couldn't. As one would expect, with a master of his craft like Eric Clapton, this is an example of doing it and doing it well. This CD is therefore a record of Clapton giving a masterclass in front of a live audience. It is a 'play it often' piece of brilliance. Five stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2014
I'll never play the cd again. This is a wonderful vinyl pressing. Not a single crackle or pop. There are a couple of extra tracks to the original cd that I have but this is not the main reason for this review.if you have a decent vinyl set up then you'll be using the cd as a frisby if you buy this record. The sound is absolutely gorgeous with acoustic guitar being reproduced is such a way that cd just can not. Incidentally I have a Linn Cd 12 long considered to be the best in the world.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2004
this album is a must have for any rock or blues fan. The versatility of guitaring shown by Clapton - nylon fingerplucking, steel, resonator, slide, (all finger and plectrum) you name it he did it in this performance. The solos are perfect, the music is sensational and simply THE best unplugged performance that MTV have had. You can never get bored of this album as there are too many great songs on this, MTV can release this album as their "greatest ever MTV Unplugged Performances" as a seperate volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2012
The informative Paul Gambaccinni recently hosted a radio 4 slot titled 'For one night only' which featured this album. As I had not picked up on Eric Clapton at the height of his fame this programme intrigued me enough to want to tune in. I have never been a fan of the rock version of Layla and maybe this was why I have never explored the work of this artist. This recording of a live session is mellow, slightly country and very heartfelt. I love it! and the acoustic version of Layla would maybe now find a place on my desert island playlist. May now need to look more closely at the back catalogue.
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on 6 February 2011
The earliest recordings of Eric Clapton that I have heard date back to 1963 with The Yardbirds. Nearly 30 years after with the release of "Unplugged", he is as good as ever. Clapton's music is always very identifiable, whether electric or acoustic, and he is clearly one of the best blues guitarists of all time. "Unplugged" was recorded on January 16th of 1992, and released on August 25th of the same year. The album went on to win six Grammy Awards, and reached number one on the charts in the U.S. The album includes some new pieces, as well as some old classics.

"Signe" is the only instrumental on the album, and is a new piece which Clapton wrote while on holiday and is named for the boat he was on when he wrote it. "Before You Accuse Me" is a song which Eric Clapton has recorded before, an electric version for his "Journeyman" album, but the song is originally by Ellas McDaniel (a.k.a. Bo Diddley). It is interesting hearing this in acoustic form, but I prefer the electric version. "Hey Hey" is a song written by Big Bill Broonzy which Eric once said was probably the first blues song he had ever heard. The fourth track is "Tears in Heaven", a live version of a song which was released on the "Rush" soundtrack in January of 1992. The song, as probably everyone knows now, is about the loss of Eric's four-year-old son Conor in March of 1991.

"Lonely Stranger" is another of Clapton's songs, written around the same time, but it is a bit more general being about loneliness. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out" is a song by Jimmie Cox, but Clapton picked it up from Bessie Smith and recorded it for "Layla" and once again it appears here. The album continues with the title track from "Layla", completely reworked as an acoustic version, and an amazingly new rendition equally as good as the original. "Running on Faith" is another piece which Clapton recorded on his "Journeyman" album, it is a piece by Jerry Lynn Williams, one of many which he wrote for Clapton.

With "Walkin' Blues", Clapton returns to early blues as this is one of two pieces on the album which was originally done by Robert Johnson, but in this case Clapton creates a hybrid between Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" and Muddy Waters "Feel Like Going Home". "Alberta" is another classic song which Clapton credits to Snooks Eaglin. "San Francisco Bay Blues" is a folk song which is usually associated with Jesse Fuller. "Malted Milk" is the second Robert Johnson piece on the album. "Old Love" is a return to his newer works, and yet another piece from the "Journeyman" album. The album then closes with a version of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'".

"Unplugged" is a tremendous album, which allows users to once again hear just how well Eric Clapton can play the guitar. All the musicians on this album do a wonderful job and deserve credit for the result as well. These include: Ray Cooper (percussion), Nathan East (bass guitar, backing vocals), Steve Ferrone (drums), Chuck Leavell (keyboards), Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Katie Kissoon (backing vocals), and Tessa Niles (backing vocals). There is no doubt about it for me, this is a five-star album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a classic. If only I could play like Eric! This is blues music at its best and represents Clapton returning to his roots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2012
The product came well packaged so there was no damage to the vinyl. The sound was great and is exactly what you would expect from a vinyl. I expect most people buying this product already know the music so not much point in saying more than this: it's a great album to own on a vinyl!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2011
This is simply the best live CD you can buy. Eric Clapton is great at the best of times, but this concert is amazing. I have listened to this CD for over 10 years and I am nowhere near getting board of it.
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