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Jim Burns, co-creator of MTV Unplugged, passed away this week at the age of 65 from injuries resulting from being accidentally hit by a taxi cab in Manhattan.

Burns, along with Robert Small, created the iconic performance show that ran on-and-off from 1989-1999 and 2000-2009, with various specials cropping up since 2009.  During this time, MTV Unplugged provided fans with some of the most memorable performances by our favorite acts.  In honor of Burns’ life, here are six of the most memorable MTV Unplugged performances from classic rock artists.


Eric Clapton

Clapton’s Unplugged performance was released as a proper album in 1992 and has gone on to sell over 26 million copies worldwide.  It would also nab the GRAMMYs for Album of the Year and Best Rock Song for the acoustic rendition of “Layla.”  Of course, we’d be remiss in not mentioning the Unplugged version of “Tears in Heaven,” which remains devastatingly moving to this day.

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven - Unplugged - alternate take

This is the first take of Tears In Heaven as recorded at Bray Studios, Windsor, in 1992. Clapton played it again shortly afterwards and the second take was used on the commercial release. This slightly inferior first take is very similar, but with some of the guitar fills changed around etc.


Rod Stewart

Another incredible Unplugged performance that was also released as an LP, Stewart’s appearance on the show also featured former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood and marked the first time in about two decades they shared the stage together.

Rod Stewart - Stay With Me (Official Live Video)

Watch the live unplugged video for Rod Stewart's "Stay With Me." Stewart is a British singer-songwriter, born and raised in North London, England. Stewart has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling artists of all time.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.