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MTV Unplugged Live

4.7 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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MTV Unplugged
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Audio CD, Live, October 26, 1993
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Certified at 3 million units by the RIAA. (10/94)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 26, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: October 26, 1993
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Elektra
  • ASIN: B000002HEM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,521 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's 10,000 Maniacs Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album stands as one of the most impressive MTV Unplugged albums ever recorded. The unique style and sound of the 10,000 Maniacs was captured beautifully in this concert, preserving an unforgettable legacy by the group which was essentially breaking up at the time this was released. Anyone who listened to the radio back then has to know and remember Because the Night. While it is still hard for me to believe this song so wonderfully suited to Natalie Merchant's voice was written by Bruce Springsteen, it served as a most impressive means of introducing Natalie Merchant sans Maniacs to the larger listening audience. Like many fans, I am not that familiar with the 10,000 Maniacs albums predating In My Tribe, but all of the 14 songs on this album (including four from In My Tribe) are just hauntingly exquisite. Each song tells a story, often a serious one touching on important social issues, infusing this modernized folk music with a very human folk music consciousness that speaks to both the head and heart in a number of very effective ways. If the unique sound of 10,000 Maniacs doesn't move you at first, give it a second listen, and I'm sure the power of the music will begin to reveal itself to you. It is unfortunate that Natalie Merchant left the group, but the magic that was 10,000 Maniacs has been wonderfully preserved in this truly incredible live recording.
Comment 74 of 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
It's amazing what you can find buried under a pile of junk in the local as-is Goodwill. Sometimes you can find near mint condition CDs, such as "10,000 Maniacs Unplugged." That's exactly what happened to me a few months ago.

I was only vaguely aware of 10,000 Maniacs when this album was released in the early 1990s. I liked the song "Because the Night," but my fan-dom stopped there. So, based on my vague familiarity with that one song, I paid Goodwill the requisite dollar and was on my way. I figured one dollar wasn't too much to spend for that one song. And I was certain that all I'd get out of this CD was that one song, expecting all the others to be duds.

Several months down the line, it's hard to believe that I had ever thought these songs would be duds, and it's hard to imagine that it took me so long to become interested in 10,000 Maniacs.

These songs are really astonishing! Every one of them is beautiful, and every one of them is heavy with a social conscience and message, almost to the point of being intimidating. In some ways this has been a very shocking album. You see, when I decided to listen beyond that one song, what hooked me was the breezy melody of just about every other song. They all seemed so upbeat and happy, and the ballads seemed gentle and lulling. I couldn't understand much of what Natalie Merchant was singing about, because her glossy intonation often results in a somewhat blurred diction, making individual words hard to decipher. But that was fine because I didn't feel I needed to understand the words. I just hummed along with the melody, or snapped my fingers to the beat.

After a few months of not being able to understand what Natalie Merchant was singing, I decided to look up the lyrics. On the song "What's the Matter Here?
Read more ›
4 Comments 36 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I wasn't a big 10,000 Maniacs fan when I first saw the MTV Unplugged performance, but I fell in love with their work for this CD. Deep, thought-provoking lyrics are penetrating. I'm haunted each time I hear "I'm not the Man," the story of the framing of an innocent black man for murder in the segregated south... it makes me think of "To Kill a Mockingbird" a little bit.
Natalie Merchant's voice is penetrating and this album flows song-to-song so that it can easily be listened to non-stop, over and over again. The songs are not distractig so that you could listen to them intently while driving, or tune them out as background music while at work. Rocking, yet mellow - an excellent CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Usually, these unplugged events are less than wonderful, but this is an exception. 10000 Maniacs' background in folk music is a real asset, especially here. Instead of just playing the songs the exact same way as on the CD only unplugged (the norm), they have made subtle changes to the sound that really make a difference. "Eat for Two" has a slower tempo and a string/wind ensemble. There is a wonderful banjo part on "What's the Matter Here." Jerry Augustyniak softens the drums slightly and lays back accordingly. His drum part on "These Are Days" is different from the CD, but equally good. Rob Buck is just as comfortable on the acoustic guitar as on the electric. This kind of musical taste, ability, and sensitivity sets10000 Maniacs apart from the crowd. A compliment of extra musicans, including a certain viola player/singer named Mary Ramsey, round out the roster. Natalie Merchant shows why she is a star, and gives a great performance, but she does flub a note here and there. Because the Night may have been a big hit, but it is the most un-Maniacs like song here. Overall, this is one of the best unpluggeds ever, right up there with REM and Neil Young. Highly recommended.
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