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THE VERY BEST OF MTV UNPLUGGED VOL 3 - VARIOUS ARTISTS Ė UNIVERSAL MUSIC
Record Rating: ****

The Very Best Of Mtv Unplugged Vol 3 - Various Artists - Universal Music When it first began in the early 1990ís Ė the MTV Unplugged TV performances changed the way the world looked at music. For they took away the wires, cables and electric guitars and let the artists prove that when it comes to music, the power didnít come out of an outlet. And when MTV decided to release an album with all those artists sans their electric guitars, keyboards, and other musical accouterments as in the TV show, little did anyone expect such overwhelming popularity.

The Very Best Of MTV Unplugged Volume 3 brings together seventeen of the top bands and musicians of our time Ė and even proudly boasts of ten previously incredible unreleased musical performances. The album begins with Sting performing a jubilant Message In A Bottle then moves into legend Eric Clapton singing a touchingly melancholic version of You Know When Youíre Down & Out. KD Lang, alone with her guitar, sings Roy Orbisonís Crying in an achingly pure, sad voice. With just guitars, piano, and drums, the stark lyrics of all these musicians and bands really hit home. Previous releases of the Unplugged compilations have been much better Ė with greats like Tony Bennet, Paul Mc Cartney and even Nirvana showing up and doing their biggest hits Ė so thatís one reason that this doesnít get a five star rating. Still, classic rock bands like The Cure and Kiss perform affecting versions of Boys Donít Cry and Sure Know Something respectively and Paul Simon even turns up to performs a rendering '90s version of Simon & Garefunkelís hit Bridge On Troubled Water Ė so all in all itís not a bad effort as compilations go.

If thatís not enough for you - thereís even Elton John (who has never needed to be plugged in) and he shows up here on one of the seventeen tracks to prove how it's done with his Benny & The Jets. And since it's doubtful that Chris Isaac is going to appear in your living room, guitar in hand, to serenade you with his Blue Hotel - check out The Very Best Of MTV Unplugged Vol 3 Ė for itís here alright. A two thumbs up effort.

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