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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Neil Young - Unplugged

Some of you may disagree but I reckon this album from Neil Young is really good. It had some mixed reviews when released in 1993, but it stands up very well even now. Mind you, Young himself was probably one of the harshest critics. It took him two tries to record it. Young walked out in the first show in December 1992 as he was visibly unhappy at the performance he and his band gave. A second show was arranged in February 1993 which was used for the Unplugged album.

The unplugged sessions followed the release of his Harvest Moon album in November 1992. Less grunge, no distortion, and back to folk rock for him. An ideal scenario for the MTV concept. 

The album flows well and while some are less pleased by the tracks selected, it’s a great selection by my reckoning. A mix of hits and some other rarer songs and different arrangements work nicely. Young has some quiet acoustic moments and fills any space with piano, harmonica, and pump organ. Have a listen to his classic sing “Like A Hurricane” and see how that organ fills for electric guitar superbly. It’s a great version of a super album, even if it did take a couple of attempts to get there. 

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