Remember the late 1980s and early 1990s when all your edgy favorite artists strolled by the MTV studios (and elsewhere) to whip out their acoustics and get unplugged? At its best, the performances could be revelatory, showing songs in a different context and new understanding (re: Nirvana.) At its worst, it was an excuse for acoustic artists to do what they always did (re: 10,000 Maniacs — seriously, weren’t they always unplugged to start with?) Many will disagree with both characterizations.
And so it shall be when discussing Eric Clapton’s Unplugged set which was probably the most celebrated of the series’ episodes. Some will say his take on “Layla” is astounding and shows it as the backwater blues it always was at the heart of it. Others will say he turned his once-revered classic into something even your great grand-dad could tolerate (if that damn hippy Clapton would only get a decent haircut, fer Chrissakes). What neither can deny is that the episode and subsequent audio & video releases exhibited a still-strong and possibly renewed interest in one of rock’s most famous guitarists.
Oh, just admit it. You like this. You like it a lot. And now that Reprise Records is putting out an expanded anniversary edition of Eric Clapton Unplugged, you want it so bad. And just like the evil, nasty enablers we are, Popdose is prepped to send the brand new 2-CD/1-DVD deluxe set to a lucky winner. The package is the complete audio edition, a second disc of outakes and alternate versions, and that third disc features a newly restored version of the concert, as well as more than an hour of previously unseen footage from the rehearsal. It’s a big hunk of bluesy goodness, and you are chomping at the bit to find how to get this copy for free.
We’re going to make you work for it. Submit your version of “Wonderful Tonight” to this email address. From the entries, a winner will be chosen but we reserve the right to keep the criteria of the winning entry a secret. Are we looking for the best cover version or the worst cover version? Do we want to hear a choir of angels or a duo of rutting, screaming howler monkeys tossing feces at each other? Hard to say. All we do know is that there will be a winner, the contest ends on Friday, November 15, and we may or may not post the winning track right here on the site (Probably yes, if it is great. If it’s not, Jeff Giles plans to use it as an audio Christmas card.)
We’re calling down the thunder, now send us your whirlwind. Send your wonderful covers of “Wonderful Tonight” today to this email address with your name and return email address. We’ll contact you if you win (or if we survive what you send.)
Limit one entry per person. Even we’re not that cruel.