MTV Unplugged: top performances

MTV Unplugged brought us many unforgettable performances and many platinum records. Given the sheer volume of artists involved, it’s a very difficult task to pick your favourites — but we’re not afraid of difficult tasks at Amondo...

Here’s our subjective list of best MTV Unplugged gigs:


Hole’s frontman, Courtney Love, who’s been married to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain recorded her MTV Unplugged performance less than a year after his tragic suicide. She sang in a raw and very emotional way — especially when covering Nirvana’s “You Know You’re Right” — but reminded calm and collected. Beautfiul performance, but be warned, as it can bring a tears to your eyes!


Can’t talk about MTV Unplugged without mentioning the performance that’s (arguably) the most famous one. Recorded 5 months before Cobain’s untimely death, their accoustic gig was the first posthumous release and received a 5x platinum status in the US by 1997. Definitely one of the best live performances by Nirvana — and they were known to be great on stage.

Lauryn Hill

One of the most memorable performances — and one that received very mixed reviews. Lauryn Hill departed from her usual hip-hop sound in favour of accoustic folk — without any word of warning. She chose not to sing any of her old hits, playing new music instead, and she spoke at length about her personal struggles. Even though the reception was mostly negative, the change in her sound is interesting enough to give the album a go.

Eric Clapton

The most popular MTV Unplugged album wasn’t recorded by a super-fresh brand new artist, but by then-aged and now-ancient Eric Clapton. It’s easy to see why — even if his music is not your style, the relaxing, calm sound he achieves on his accoustic performance is absolutely gorgeous. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1993 and sold in 26 million copies worldwide.

Honorable mention: Lorde

We want Lorde to have her own MTV Unplugged performance. For now, we have to be satisfied with her joint performance with Bleachers and Carly Rae Jepsen:

Recorded just a little less than two weeks ago — they both sound amazing, but Lorde’s voice really shines through. Don’t miss her gig tonight at Alexandra Palace!

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