What is MTV Unplugged?

Jack Cuffaro, Staff Writer

MTV Unplugged makes a popular return to mainstream media with big star names such as Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and BTS. As they flourish again in the spotlight of social media, those who are new to the TV Series raise the question, what exactly is Unplugged?

Unplugged was only brought around eight years after the cable channel was made. The producers of the show, Jim Burns and Bob Small, once claimed they got the idea for MTV Unplugged after watching Bruce Springsteen perform live with only an acoustic guitar. It only made sense for MTV to be the platform they display it on for its abbreviation, “Music Television,” here they would make the goal to have artists perform with acoustics as they usually would not.  Fans were interested to see how different artists performed with something they aren’t used to. This revolutionized the music industry in many ways.

It is needless to say Unplugged changed the way kids today hear, feel and listen to music. Junior John Rawciz says, “When it comes to genres like rock and metal hearing it stripped down to its natural form just gives perspective. Like going from stage to coffee shop.” So these acoustic renditions of songs give the perspective of what the song really means. It helps to compare the mellow acoustic version with the original song. That is where the emotion is felt through what you hear. We may have two different emotions about the song with its many different versions. That’s the beauty of music.

Unplugged first hit mainstream with the release of Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” in 1992. It respectfully won three Grammy Awards at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993. This was a gateway into the noteworthy Nirvana performance on Unplugged. Nirvana had been undecided for some time on appearing. Kurt Cobain would finally agree to come on. It’s a good thing he did. It debuted number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 310,500 copies within the first week of its release.