A new expanded and remastered version of Eric Clapton's multi-Grammy
by 1888 Media
ric Clapton was already an acknowledged master of the electric guitar in January 1992 when he traded his signature Stratocaster for an acoustic Martin to record Unplugged. The live album captured the legendary guitarist, backed by a small band, performing acoustic versions of his own songs and several blues standards. Released later that same year, the album was an unqualified blockbuster, selling more than 19 million copies worldwide and earning six Grammy Awards, sweeping the top honors, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
Reprise Records celebrates Clapton's electrifying acoustic performances with a new 2-CD/DVD collection that includes a remastered version of the original album along with six unreleased outtakes on two CDs. The DVD features a newly restored version of the concert, as well as more than an hour of previously unseen footage from the rehearsal. Unplugged: Expanded and Remastered will be available October 15 for $15.88.
For the original album's 14 performances, Clapton reinterpreted songs from his rich catalog, including "Layla" -- completely reimagined as a shuffle -- from his time with Derek and the Dominos, "Running On Faith" and "Old Love" from 1989's Journeyman, and the hit single "Tears In Heaven," a song he wrote after the passing of his young son Conor the previous year. Much of the album showcases blues songs Clapton grew up listening to, like Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me," Big Bill Broonzy's "Hey Hey," Leadbelly's "Alberta" and Robert Johnson's "Malted Milk."
The second disc of Unplugged: Expanded and Remastered includes several songs not on the original album, such as a cover of "Big Maceo" Merriweather's "Worried Life Blues," an alternate take of "Walkin' Blues" and early versions of "Circus" and "My Father's Eyes" -- songs that would surface six years later on Clapton's album Pilgrim.
The DVD included in this collection contains a newly restored version of the original broadcast, which aired August 25, 1992 on MTV. For the first time ever, fans will also have the opportunity to see more than an hour of unreleased footage recorded during the pre-show rehearsal. Filmed from multiple camera angles, it features an intimate look at Clapton and the band working on arrangements and running through 14 songs, including "Circus" and "My Father's Eyes," which were not featured in the final broadcast.
CD Disc Two - Outtakes & Alternates (All Tracks Previously Unreleased)
DVD Rehearsal Track List
With 'New', Paul calls in marquee producers and puts
By Kyle Anderson in Entertainment Weekly
aul McCartney has nothing to gain from working. Having already lorded over one of rock & roll's most definitive catalogs, the 71-year-old icon could have simply spent his autumn years rearranging jazz standards (as he did on 2012's Kisses on the Bottom), or worse, cranking out an endless stream of tired Beatles simulacra. Instead, he's jamming with the surviving members of Nirvana (which happened earlier this year) and recruiting a small army of visionaries to help craft his 16th solo album.
That willingness to dabble apparently appeals to producer Mark Ronson, who lends both the title track and the loping "Alligator" a past-is-future swagger. Other partners leave their mark as well: Adele knob-twiddler Paul Epworth adds stately cinematic swoop to opener "Save Us," Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon) brings a clean minimalism to the humming "Hosanna," and Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer Sir George, gives muscular heft to the fuzzy "Appreciate."
McCartney Gets Back
By Will Hermes in Rolling Stone
Sure, last year's set of pre-rock pop standards (Kisses on the Bottom) was charming. But at 71, Paul McCartney has thankfuly returned to the music of eternal youth. Recorded with a round robin of top-flight producers, including retro-modernist Mark Ronson, U.K. pop supersizer Paul Epworth and Giles (son of George) Martin, New feels energized and full of joyous rock & roll invention. More than a sentimental journey, it's an album that wants to be part of the 21st-century pop dialogue.
The most Beatles-ish track is the Martin-produced "On My Way to Work," whose daydream-y commuter narrative recalls "A Day in the Life"; the boldest is "Queenie Eye," a glam-rockish stadium singalong. But the head turner is "Early Days," a wistful, mostly acoustic memoir-reverie echoing George Harrison's "All Those Years Ago," albeit with some genteel bitchiness, presumably about Paul's Fab Four past: "Everybody seems to have their own opinions/Of who did this and who did that," he sings, "but as for me, I don't see how they can remember/When they weren't where it was at."
The Ronson collaborations are the best moments, spitting the difference between then and now: the Sgt. Pepper-y "New" and "Alligator," which shuffles White Album guitar grit with stoner synth-pop ambience. "I need a place where I can rest my weary bones and have a conversation not too deep," McCartney sings in the latter, which sounds par for the course. But, hell, if it's this catchy, we're in. * * * *
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