UNPLUGGED (Eric Clapton album)

Unplugged (Eric Clapton album)

Released 25 August 1992
Recorded 16 January 1992
Studio Bray Film Studios, Windsor, England, UK
Genre Acoustic rock, acoustic blues
Length 61:47
Label Reprise, Duck, MTV
Producer Russ Titelman

Unplugged is a 1992 album by Eric Clapton, recorded at Bray Studios, England in front of an audience for the MTV Unplugged series. Recorded in January 1992, and released in August, songs include a version of the successful 1991 single “Tears in Heaven” and an acoustic version of “Layla”. Critical reception has been mostly positive and most critics feel the album is relaxed and charming. It remains the most successful and best-selling live album ever, and won two Grammy awards at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993. It is also Clapton’s best-selling album ever having sold 26 million copies worldwide.


Clapton performed the show in front of a small audience on 16 January 1992 at Bray Film Studios in Windsor, England. In addition to the final album tracks, the performance included early versions of “My Father’s Eyes” and “Circus Left Town” along with “Worried Life Blues” and a version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin'”. Shortly after telling the studio audience “that’s it,” Eric said they needed to do two – no, three – no, five songs over again adding “if you don’t mind, I don’t mind.” After the second take of “My Father’s Eyes” there was a brief break and cameras were off. Clapton broke into an impromptu “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, which he had last performed with Cream. The seasoned musicians quickly picked up on it and the crowd clapped along. The director, signaled the crew to record, which is why there’s such an abrupt start to the song mid-verse. Clapton was so pleased with it that when the song ended, he asked the director, “did you get that?”

Clapton played Martin 000-42 acoustic guitars for much of the performance, and in 2004, one of the guitars sold for 791,500 USD (£434,400) in auction.

Clapton was nominated for nine Grammy Awards at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993 and won six, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male, Best Rock Vocal Performance – Male, and Best Rock Song. Although “Tears in Heaven” also earned three Grammy Awards, it was the version from Rush that the judges awarded.


Eric Clapton – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, dobro, kazoo
Katie Kissoon – backing vocals
Tessa Niles – backing vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Nathan East – acoustic bass, backing vocals
Steve Ferrone – drums, percussion
Ray Cooper – percussion
Chuck Leavell – piano, harmonium

James Barton – engineer
Ted Jensen – mastering engineer
Steve Boyer – mixing at Power Station NYC

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length

1. “Signe” Eric Clapton 3:13
2. “Before You Accuse Me” Bo Diddley 3:44
3. “Hey Hey” Big Bill Broonzy 3:16
4. “Tears in Heaven” Clapton, Will Jennings 4:36
5. “Lonely Stranger” Clapton 5:27
6. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” Jimmy Cox 3:49
7. “Layla” Clapton, Jim Gordon 4:46
8. “Running on Faith” Jerry Lynn Williams 6:30
9. “Walkin’ Blues” Son House 3:37
10. “Alberta” Traditional, arr. by Huddie William Ledbetter 3:42
11. “San Francisco Bay Blues” Jesse Fuller 3:24
12. “Malted Milk” Robert Johnson 3:36
13. “Old Love” Clapton, Robert Cray 7:54
14. “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” Muddy Waters 4:11