MTV’s once-popular live performance show “Unplugged,” which featured bands playing intimate and acoustic sets, is making a comeback on the station once known for its innovations in music broadcasting and promoting.
The show premiered with little fanfare late in 1989 with a performance by Squeeze. It slowly picked up steam and eventually started landing acts like Sinead O’Connor, Aerosmith and 10,000 Maniacs. It became a full-on phenomenon after a second-season performance by Paul McCartney that was released as a hugely popular album.
The show then became a regular stop for contemporary acts like Nirvana and R.E.M., as well as musicians like Eric Clapton and Tony Bennett who were looking to reconnect with a younger audience. The show spawned many live recordings that sold millions of copies, turning “Unplugged” into a brand with a life of its own.
A press release from MTV announced recently that the station would be revitalizing “Unplugged,” keeping much of what made it such a success in the ’90s. “Live performances are the beating heart of every episode and this show will provide a platform for artists to experiment with the unexpected, express their creativity in new ways and deliver one-off performances that will become inked in the public consciousness,” the release notes.
With the popularity of new folk and Americana acts hitting fever pitch, the show should have plenty of material to keep the schedule full. Exact details of the launch have not yet been divulged, but we will update you here once more is known.