Ten excellent MTV Unplugged albums that were not huge sellers

  • MTV Unplugged albums sold over 80 million copies.
  • The top 15 sellers all sold over 1million copies.
  • Here are ten excellent unplugged albums just below that level, but which are very much the best of the rest.
MTV Unplugged: Bob Dylan
MTV Unplugged: Bob Dylan / Frank Micelotta Archive/GettyImages
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I’ve been writing recently about some of the top-selling albums released from the MTV Unplugged series. It’s been an amazing idea for MTV and of course, the many artists who have participated over the years since the first TV show back in 1989. 

Initially, the plan was for TV shows, but as they grew in success and people liked the unplugged style, we started to see albums being released. The top 15 sellers all sold 1m or more copies worldwide as recorded online at Best Selling Albums. But there were many other excellent unplugged albums that have been released and didn’t quite hit that level. 

Let's take a closer look at ten of the best from the rest of the many albums released from this iconic TV series. These ten may not have sold in millions, but they are still exceptionally good live albums. All are worth hearing if you haven't listened already, or playing again if you have.

Ten of the best albums from MTV Unplugged 

Bastille - MTV Unplugged: Bastille

This album has so far only been available via a Record Store Day limited edition in 2023. That limits the audience somewhat, but not the quality of a great album. It dates back to an MTV show from 2021 in London by Bastille. The UK band is a favourite of mine and it was great to be able to listen to a copy of this release recently. 

As with many of the unplugged sessions, it includes some of the artist's best songs rearranged and a couple of cover songs. In Bastille’s case that includes a great version of their songs “Pompeii” and “Happier”, plus Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” and Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. They add further interest to the 15 tracks chosen for the album.

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