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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still One Of The Best
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...
Published on Feb. 5 2011 by Dave_42

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Layla is the greatest song ever made
This album was O.K. I had some problems with his other songs, in the fact that Clapton really didn't show his tallent in the way I expected. However, I really liked Layla. The regular version was okay, but this acoustic version ruled. Thus, the only thing that saved this C.D. from one star was Layla.
Published on July 22 1998


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still One Of The Best, Feb. 5 2011
By 
Dave_42 "Dave_42" (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barenaked Blues., Nov. 2 2008
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
The debate whether, when learning to play the guitar, you should begin with an acoustic or an electric instrument, is probably as old as the history of the electric guitar itself; regardless which event you associate most strongly with its invention, and which of the enterprising souls who began experimenting with the amplification of the six-string sound way back in the 1930s you most credit therewith. Many find the sound of an electric guitar more impressive than that of an acoustic; and I'll freely admit that few pieces of music make my inner membranes resonate as instinctively as those featuring a really well-played e-guitar solo. Purists, however, argue passionately in favor of the acoustic guitar, and maintain that you're simply not going to learn to play "cleanly" if you don't start out that way. And there is definitely something to be said for that, because it is much easier to conceal a sloppily-played chord behind an electric guitar's amplified volume or a clever-sounding solo (or behind both) than in the unadulterated sound of an acoustic guitar. The discussion about the early 1990s' trend towards "unplugged" recordings centers around similar arguments. Some pieces of music are of course simply not meant to ever be played on an acoustic guitar. Others, however, live from their amplified soundeffects more than from their intrinsic musical values, and they simply fizzle when reduced to their core and performed acoustically.

And then there is that rare category of pieces which sound equally fantastic both ways, and that rare category of players who manage to dazzle you regardless what type of instrument they're playing. Eric Clapton is such a musician, and some of the songs on the playlist of his "Unplugged" album are such pieces of music. Most notable among those, of course, is "Layla," Clapton's intensely personal dedication to one-time wife Patty Boyd; written in 1970 and at a time when he saw no chance of ever winning her for himself. From the memorable opening riff of the song's original recording to its guitar solos, screaming with despair, it is extremely hard to imagine how this song could ever work in an acoustic version. Yet on a whim and at the last minute, Clapton decided to include it in the "Unplugged" playlist. And transposed by a full octave, reduced to a languid and almost upbeat, somewhat jazzy blues rhythm, it works out wonderfully; and Layla/ Patty finds herself miraculously transformed from an object of desire to one of reflection instead. In fact, that track alone, which won the 1992 Grammy as Best Rock Song, turned out to be responsible for a good share of the enormous popularity of this album which (together with 1989's "Journeyman") reestablished Clapton as an artist to reckon with, after his career had threatened to slump over the course of much of the previous decade. And similarly responsible for the success of "Unplugged" was the inclusion of another and more recent piece performed from the bottom of Clapton's soul, the triple Grammy winning "Tears in Heaven;" dedicated to his son Conor who had tragically died after falling from the open window of a 53rd floor apartment in New York City the preceding year. (The studio version of that song is contained on the soundtrack of the movie "Rush," likewise released in 1992.)

But "Unplugged" is to large extents a classic blues album, from the twelve-bar rhythm of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me" (featuring only Eric Clapton himself and one of the most modest and supremely talented living guitarists, Clapton's trusted friend and touring partner Andy Fairweather Low) to Jimmy Cox's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (the second cut besides "Layla" from the famous album recorded under the name Derek and the Dominos), Delta Blues king Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" and "Malted Milk," Jesse Fuller's upbeat "San Francisco Bay Blues," and the traditionals "Alberta" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (the latter, here attributed to the great Chess blues man M[cKinley] Morganfield a/k/a Muddy Waters, who made it famous). Three more of Eric Clapton's own compositions stand out among the songs which round up the album's playlist: the introductory lighthearted "Signe," which reflects his love of Brazilian music, the melancholic "Lonely Stranger" and finally "Old Love," a cut from 1989's "Journeyman."

Few white artists understand as well as Eric Clapton that the blues thrives, first and foremost, on a live atmosphere - preferably in a smaller setting like the one used for this recording, which allows for plenty of spontaneous interaction between stage and audience. And few artists are as unafraid of the gaffes that are almost invariably associated with a live appearance, even in the case of Clapton and his outstanding backup band; and manage, time and again, to turn them into a light moment. The garbled beginning of "Alberta" is an excellent example here; you can almost hear Clapton grinning when he says "Hang on, hang on, hang on" and simply starts over. Similarly, "Layla" is merely introduced with the words "See if you can spot this one" - and instantly greeted with the enthusiastic cheers of an audience which doesn't even need to hear the famous five notes of the song's introductory riff to recognize it.

Asked whether he, too, would ever consider an "unplugged" appearance, e-guitar legend Jeff Beck, who with Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page forms the trinity of "guitar gods" that emerged from Great Britain's famous Yardbirds, reportedly once responded that he couldn't imagine such a thing because it would make him feel "naked." And listening to Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" album, you can't shake the impression that Beck does have a point. These are pure, naked blues songs, supremely performed - and a pure joy to listen to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of my all time favourite CD by an all time favourite artist, Aug. 27 2013
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This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
Great tunes and atmosphere, even a false start in there to make you feel you are there with him. Definitely worth having for the casual atmosphere and great music
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5.0 out of 5 stars Barenaked Blues., Nov. 2 2008
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Unplugged (Shm-CD) (Audio CD)
The debate whether, when learning to play the guitar, you should begin with an acoustic or an electric instrument, is probably as old as the history of the electric guitar itself; regardless which event you associate most strongly with its invention, and which of the enterprising souls who began experimenting with the amplification of the six-string sound way back in the 1930s you most credit therewith. Many find the sound of an electric guitar more impressive than that of an acoustic; and I'll freely admit that few pieces of music make my inner membranes resonate as instinctively as those featuring a really well-played e-guitar solo. Purists, however, argue passionately in favor of the acoustic guitar, and maintain that you're simply not going to learn to play "cleanly" if you don't start out that way. And there is definitely something to be said for that, because it is much easier to conceal a sloppily-played chord behind an electric guitar's amplified volume or a clever-sounding solo (or behind both) than in the unadulterated sound of an acoustic guitar. The discussion about the early 1990s' trend towards "unplugged" recordings centers around similar arguments. Some pieces of music are of course simply not meant to ever be played on an acoustic guitar. Others, however, live from their amplified soundeffects more than from their intrinsic musical values, and they simply fizzle when reduced to their core and performed acoustically.

And then there is that rare category of pieces which sound equally fantastic both ways, and that rare category of players who manage to dazzle you regardless what type of instrument they're playing. Eric Clapton is such a musician, and some of the songs on the playlist of his "Unplugged" album are such pieces of music. Most notable among those, of course, is "Layla," Clapton's intensely personal dedication to one-time wife Patty Boyd; written in 1970 and at a time when he saw no chance of ever winning her for himself. From the memorable opening riff of the song's original recording to its guitar solos, screaming with despair, it is extremely hard to imagine how this song could ever work in an acoustic version. Yet on a whim and at the last minute, Clapton decided to include it in the "Unplugged" playlist. And transposed by a full octave, reduced to a languid and almost upbeat, somewhat jazzy blues rhythm, it works out wonderfully; and Layla/ Patty finds herself miraculously transformed from an object of desire to one of reflection instead. In fact, that track alone, which won the 1992 Grammy as Best Rock Song, turned out to be responsible for a good share of the enormous popularity of this album which (together with 1989's "Journeyman") reestablished Clapton as an artist to reckon with, after his career had threatened to slump over the course of much of the previous decade. And similarly responsible for the success of "Unplugged" was the inclusion of another and more recent piece performed from the bottom of Clapton's soul, the triple Grammy winning "Tears in Heaven;" dedicated to his son Conor who had tragically died after falling from the open window of a 53rd floor apartment in New York City the preceding year. (The studio version of that song is contained on the soundtrack of the movie "Rush," likewise released in 1992.)

But "Unplugged" is to large extents a classic blues album, from the twelve-bar rhythm of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me" (featuring only Eric Clapton himself and one of the most modest and supremely talented living guitarists, Clapton's trusted friend and touring partner Andy Fairweather Low) to Jimmy Cox's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (the second cut besides "Layla" from the famous album recorded under the name Derek and the Dominos), Delta Blues king Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" and "Malted Milk," Jesse Fuller's upbeat "San Francisco Bay Blues," and the traditionals "Alberta" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (the latter, here attributed to the great Chess blues man M[cKinley] Morganfield a/k/a Muddy Waters, who made it famous). Three more of Eric Clapton's own compositions stand out among the songs which round up the album's playlist: the introductory lighthearted "Signe," which reflects his love of Brazilian music, the melancholic "Lonely Stranger" and finally "Old Love," a cut from 1989's "Journeyman."

Few white artists understand as well as Eric Clapton that the blues thrives, first and foremost, on a live atmosphere - preferably in a smaller setting like the one used for this recording, which allows for plenty of spontaneous interaction between stage and audience. And few artists are as unafraid of the gaffes that are almost invariably associated with a live appearance, even in the case of Clapton and his outstanding backup band; and manage, time and again, to turn them into a light moment. The garbled beginning of "Alberta" is an excellent example here; you can almost hear Clapton grinning when he says "Hang on, hang on, hang on" and simply starts over. Similarly, "Layla" is merely introduced with the words "See if you can spot this one" - and instantly greeted with the enthusiastic cheers of an audience which doesn't even need to hear the famous five notes of the song's introductory riff to recognize it.

Asked whether he, too, would ever consider an "unplugged" appearance, e-guitar legend Jeff Beck, who with Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page forms the trinity of "guitar gods" that emerged from Great Britain's famous Yardbirds, reportedly once responded that he couldn't imagine such a thing because it would make him feel "naked." And listening to Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" album, you can't shake the impression that Beck does have a point. These are pure, naked blues songs, supremely performed - and a pure joy to listen to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unplugged [LIVE], July 16 2004
By 
B. Viberg "Alex Rodriguez" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
Unplugged [LIVE]~ Eric Clapton is a very good album. But it is not great and that has nothing to do with the music. I have always thought that Eric Clapton can sound very prententious in his choice of lyrics. Like he wants to write like Dante but then makes a poor copy of it. Beside this, it is a very good album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, June 4 2004
By 
GEORGE R. FISHER (Boston MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
Clapton is fantastically versatile. From the Yardbirds through Cream and The Dominos, everyone who grew up in the 60s knew Eric as the best modern guitar player ever (forget it, Jimi) but even more than that, he speaks directly to every member of his audience through his music in a riveting way.
Here, on acoustic guitar, accompanied by one of the greatest pianos you'll ever hear, Eric Clapton sings the blues. Alone onstage to the world.
I don't understand why Eric Clapton and Doc Watson have never gotten together. THAT would be something for the ages. But in the mean time, you'll have to buy separate CDs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fans!, April 22 2004
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
Fans call this one "Bodge on the Highway" because they listen to it in teh car on the way to a Bodge concert!
Now you know...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Musicians review of this album..., April 1 2004
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
I am going to approach this review from what 'I' experienced through it, and not what I think YOU will experience!!
What can I say about this album that hasn't already been said? Everyone loves it for their own reasons, and if you're anything like me, you've been completely moved by it on either an emotional or entertaining level. This is just one of those albums that anyone who listens to it can never say they DIDN'T like it.
13--I was just beginning to play bass, piano, and guitar. I'd already known how to play drums for years. I had been listening to Rock music from the 70's and had been an absolute BEATLE freak. When a friend of mine let me borrow his 'Unplugged' CD, I was hesitant because I'd never really heard of Clapton before, but I accepted it. I took it home, put it on, and though I'd never listened to music like that before, I immediately loved it! See, (...)This was just so fresh to me, and I loved it from the start. I literally listened to it from start to finish!
What struck me immediately was the overall 'emotion' the album put out. From the lyrics straight through to every single note each musician played, it just seemed to connect with me. I didn't know what it was that I was getting out of the album then, but I knew I felt something special back then..
23--When I revert back to this album today, I still get the same feelings about it that I did back then. But now that I'm 10 years older and am a skilled musician, I am still blown away by the instrumentation on the album. Each musician plays with so much fun and emotion that you always hear something new when you put the cd on.
Take it from a plain ole' fan. I love it, it's stylings are limitless, and even though it's a live album, the overall 'production' is even better than most of Claptons studio output (especially his seventies works).
You will not be dissapointed. Try it out, and you'll see what I mean.
All The Best, -AndyMan-
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is REAL music!, March 21 2004
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
I've had this album since it came out in the early 90s, and it has lost none of its appeal. Sometimes you'll listen an album to death within six months, but I still go back to Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" now and then, and it's as fresh as it was twelve years ago.
This is Clapton's most succesful album, a multiple grammy winner, and one of his three or four best records (alongside "From The Cradle", "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs", and "Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert"). Containing some of the finest music Clapton had recorded for many years, the straighforward "Unplugged" session was freed from the slick pop-production of his 80s albums, alternating between electric songs recast in acoustic arrangements, and classic blues songs by the likes of Robert Johnson and Jesse Fuller.
Acoustic music really leaves no place for a mediocre musician to hide, and there were no mediocre musicians accompanying Eric Clapton for his "Unplugged" session...second guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low and former Allman Brothers pianist Chuck Leavell are particularly superb, and then there's Clapton himself, of course. If anyone doubted that he is actually a pretty good guitar player, this album should set them straight...he plays acoustic slide guitar like he'd never done anything else, and the concert goes from highlight to highlight:
"Tears In Heaven" is here, and a jazzy, acoustic "Layla", but most of these tracks are pure blues. Slow, mournful blues like "Malted Milk", swinging, up-tempo numbers, including an irresistable "San Francisco Bay Blues", and tough, mid-tempo grooves like Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me", and a superb "Alberta" (with a magnificent solo by Chuck Leavell).
Clapton's slide playing is particularly good on "Rollin' And Tumblin'", and on a wonderful rendition of "Running On Faith", and I would personally kill (or at least maim) in order to be able to play the piano like Chuck Leavell does on the classic "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out".
The sound is excellent, very clear and realistic, and the separation is great. Sure, some may prefer to hear Robert Johnson playing Robert Johnson, but don't hold that against Eric Clapton. He does very well by Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Cox, and the rest, and "Unplugged" is a superb hour of real music played on real instruments, and arranged by a great professional.
There is nothing bad to say about this album at all, actually.
How about that, eh?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative Album, But . . ., March 9 2004
By 
Siobhan Cortes "smolly77" (Glendale, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Unplugged (Audio CD)
WHY wasn't "Circus Left Town" included? I remember watching the broadcast & being intensely moved by that particular performance.
I love "Tears in Heaven," too, but "Circus" was a much more personal elegy to Conor by his grieving father.
That is my one & only complaint.
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Unplugged by Eric Clapton (Audio CD - 1992)
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