Since 1989, MTV Unplugged has been the ultimate outlet to showcase acoustic performances by beloved musicians in a setting more intimate and contained than a giant concert hall. It made us feel closer to them, as if the songs performed were aimed directly at us to pluck at our heartstrings. Soon, many of the performances on MTV Unplugged became iconic, shaping the way we listen and enjoy the artists’ songs, even to this day.
And thanks to our friends at Songza, you can relive the nine most iconic Unplugged performances: Nirvana’s ’93 appearance five months before Cobain’s death, Hole’s emotional ’94 cover of The Crystals, Mariah Carey’s powerful vocals in the ’92 session, Eric Clapton’s deft playing in an acoustic version of “Layla.” Not to mention Neil Young’s simultaneously simple and complex performance of “Harvest Moon,” Alicia Keys’ soulful “If I Ain’t Got You,” Fiona Apple’s grungy passion in a ’97 episode, Alanis Morissette’s live version of “Head Over Feet” complete with the harmonica solo, and Jay-Z’s appearance that solidified his influence in the rap world.
Watch Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold The World” performance below and head over to Songza to see the full list.