Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / Blues Highlights  / Slowhand’s Unplugged Masterpiece

On January 16th of 1992, Eric Clapton performed a blues rock acoustic concert at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, England. The concert was recorded as part of his unplugged session for MTV and released later that year in August of 1992 as a iconic live album titled Unplugged. This was Clapton’s most personal and popular record of his career and earned him glowing reviews, which sparked a renewed flame to Clapton’s public interest. Unplugged debuted #1 on the Billboard chart and earned him six Grammy awards, including Record of the Year.

His iconic performance included covers from blues legends such as Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues” and Big Bill Broonzy’s “Hey Hey”, as well as Clapton’s original songs including “My Father’s Eyes”, “Tears in Heaven”, an impromptu version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, and a new version of the classic “Layla” played on his famous Martin 000-42 acoustic guitar.

Written by Clapton and Jim Gordon and originally released during their time with Derek and the Dominos, “Layla” is considered one of rocks greatest love songs of all time. The unplugged version on of “Layla” features a whole new arrangement, which was slower with a reworked acoustic riff as well as a tambourine and a beautiful piano coda. The album, Unplugged, continues to be Slowhand’s best-selling album to date and one of the best-selling live albums of all time, with over 26 million copies sold worldwide.

 

 

Devon Ebersold for Keeping the Blues Alive

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