Unplugged Songs Ranked

Unplugged is a 1992 album by Eric Clapton, recorded at Bray Studios, England in front of an audience for the MTV Unplugged television series. It includes a version of the successful 1991 single “Tears in Heaven” and an acoustic version of “Layla”. The album itself won three Grammy awards at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993 and became the bestselling live album of all time, and Clapton’s bestselling album, selling 26 million copies worldwide. Eric 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,” Clapton 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 is 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? Here are all of Unplugged songs ranked.

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14. Rollin’ & Tumblin

“Instead of those slow blues ballads, Clapton dishes out a fast and guitar-driven blues rocker that’ll be sure to get your feet tapping. Clapton’s addictive guitar melody fits perfectly with his gravelly blues vocals. One of the best songs on ‘Unplugged’.”

13. Signe

“Clapton plays guitar. His fingers dance across the strings in “Signe,” with the kind of virtuosity fans of his rougher bluesy stuff might not get to hear.”

12. Old Love

“A track with a striking resemblance to “Layla”, “Old Love” is a rock ballad, leaving out some of Clapton’s blues influences, instead focusing on the mix of his pulsing acoustic guitarwork, hard hitting keyboards, and growly vocals. A nice addition.”

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11. Before You Accuse Me

“A cover of Bo Diddley’s classic blues tune, “Before You Accuse Me” is a powerful, sarcastic blues song with a piercing blues guitar riff. Clapton does a great job with the singing and guitarwork here, and his cover easily lives up to the original.”

See more: Eric Clapton Albums Ranked

10. Malted Milk

“Another blues song, Clapton relates malted milk to “his loving” on “Malted Milk”, a slow blues song that has very little to offer other than Clapton’s singing and a nice little blues guitar solo. Not his best.”

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9. Hey Hey

“Another blues classic, “Hey Hey” is a slower, jazzier blues tune, complete with Eric Clapton’s lustful vocals and his fiery blues licks. Hard not to like!”

8. San Francisco Bay Blue

“Eric Clapton continues with what he does best on “San Francisco Bay Blues”, strumming all the right notes on his guitar and letting his emotion truly be felt through his voice on this bluegrass-influenced blues song. How can you resist the digiredo solo?”

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7. Tears in Heaven

“The song that caused ‘Unplugged’s popularity to skyrocket, “Tears In Heaven” finds Clapton mournfully remembering his son Conor. “Tears In Heaven” is a jazzy song, but has Clapton playing a classical guitar melody, and reminds me a little of “Dust In The Wind”. Although overrated, definitely one of Clapton’s strongest.”

6. Alberta

“An ‘Unplugged’ highlight, “Alberta” is a jazzy show tune type song that’s infected with a touch of Gospel and R&B. Clapton pours his heart out over Alberta, and around his swirling mix of guitar chords and piano melodies, his emotion can be felt.”

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5. Lonely Stranger

“A song that stands out, “Lonely Stranger” is a jazzy, R&B-ish tune that finds Clapton playing a folk-styled guitar and brooding in his gravelly vocals. Another track that stands out!”

See more: Eric Clapton Songs Ranked

4. Walkin’ Blues

“After a few folk and country rockers, Eric Clapton hits back with “Walkin’ Blues”, a typical blues song, with slurred vocals, unfortuneate lyrics, and in-your-face guitarmanship. While I may like the Blues, this song seems just a little too repetitive. Not bad.”

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3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out

“A jazzy rocker with influences of Soul and Blues, “Nobody Knows When You’re Down & Out” combines Clapton’s acoustic jazz with a very Broadway style piano to create a song that sounds oddly like Toy Story’s “You’ve Got A Friend”.”

2. Running on Faith

Runnin’ On Faith” is a Country and Soul type song, with an out-of-tune guitar melody and an uplifting keyboard harmony. Clapton sings his heart out, and his emotion lifts up this slow tune to great heights.”

1. Layla

“A huge hit to begin with, this alternate acoustic version of “Layla” has gained almost as much legend status as the original. This version combines Clapton’s sultry acoustic guitarmanship with the very jazzy keyboard melody, not to mention Clapton’s lovelorn singing.”