Say what you will about the current incarnation of MTV, but there was a time when the channel that featured music-oriented programming produced some otherwise significant and entertaining music television.
For pop culture fans of a certain age, MTV Unplugged was quite a big deal. Premiering in 1989, the series featured artists like Eric Clapton, Kiss, The Roots, Rod Stewart, 10,000 Maniacs, Neil Young, Nirvana and R.E.M. in a no-frills, acoustic setting.
And then it wore out its musical welcome. But it’s now it’s back with a re-booted series of acoustic goodness.
Soul singer Adele kicked-off the show’s return with a six-song acoustic set today (June 8). MTV will show parts of her performance during their morning music programming and on MTV2 and mtvU. The entire Unplugged series will be available through On Demand. MTV.com will also offer interviews, artist-selected playlists and photos.
The ‘Unplugged’ return has a contemporary flavor with the initial trio of acts, but here’s hoping MTV invites some ‘older’ acts to get acoustic, maybe tap into some of the great nostalgia of the original series.
Not sure how the updated ‘Unplugged’ will do overall, but the decision to only broadcast parts of the six-song sets throughout their mega-block of morning programming instead of devoting an entire slot of air-time to the show is all you need to know how times have changed at MTV.
Not sure if the new ‘Unplugged’ will capture the music zeitgeist it once did, but good for MTV nevertheless for dusting off the old, acoustic warhorse.
What’s your favorite performance from the original MTV Unplugged? I’m going with Alice In Chains and Bryan Adams.