Top-10 “Unplugged” Live Performances
( Mostly Featuring a Solo Performer )


Let It Be - Paul McCartney / The Beatles
Besides Let It Be, the Beatles repetoire certainly includes other tunes featuring McCartney keyboard accompanyment including Hey Jude, Martha My Dear, Lady Madonna and A Day in the Life as well as the intros to While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Strawberry Fields. It wasn't until the Beatles second tour of Hamburg that Paul began playing bass. Before that he played guitar - and piano.


Can't Find My Way Home - Steve Winwood / Blind Faith
What's especially noteworthy is that so many years after the original performance that this great song - the singer, the voice, the guitar et al. - could possibly sound this good! And if you ever wanted to hear that awesome guitar part from the Blind Faith recording - here it is.


Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney / Wings
Maybe what's amazing is how close to the quality of the original recording Paul's live version is - from the deceptively simple piano accompanyment to the demanding vocal which ranges from a pop ballad to all-out rocker.


Suite: Judy Blue Eyes - Stephen Stills / Crosby Stills Nash
Stills is one of the all-time great guitarists (Rolling Stone top-100) and there is possibly no other musical group (trio) that excels - or even matches - the quality of the vocal harmonies of CSN.


Vincent - Don Mclean
This song was a major hit and here is one of the reasons - a near-perfect vocal instrumental live rendition by it's author in 1972


Fire and Rain - James Taylor
"Discovered" by the Beatles James certainly raised the bar for other singer songwriters - for all intents and purposes making the technique of simply strumming their instrument practically obsolete: to wit - the novelty, if any, of a performer playing a few chords to cover someone else's music had pretty much worn out - forever.


Message in a Bottle - Sting / The Police
The absence of Andy Summers' iconic guitar accompanyment might otherwise be a notable hurdle to overcome but Sting, voice intact, is also a quite-accomplished guitarist and certainly up to the challenge.


For No One - Paul McCartney / The Beatles
Here is a gem ... a rare glimpse behing the scenes - post-Beatles - as McCartney gives an impromptu run through of one of his classic underrated tunes (Paul played keyboard on the original version). As Dylan said - effortless!


Long Distance Runaround / Yes
Another gem featuring the core members - Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Alan White and Jon Anderson - of a reunited (once again) Yes in 2004 - overall performance and sound quality as good as 1971 original recording!


Kyrie - Richard Page / Mr. Mister
One of the reasons that Mr Mister was one of the best live perfomance bands of the eighties was because of the vocals of Richard Page who, with keybardist Jeff George, wrote the music to this classic hit. Richard still has one of the best voices in the industry and is a featured performer touring with ( Drumroll please! ) - Ringo Starr!


The Lee Shore - David Crosby & Graham Nash / Crosby Nash
This Crosby composition - which, like Guinevere, uses an alternate tuning of the guitar to optimum effect - highlights not only David's underrated instrumental capabilities but the exquisite vocal blend of ex-Byrd Crosby and ex-Holly Nash. (btw - just wondering how they would have sounded ''straight'')


Sound of My Voice - James McCartney
Succinct, terse masterpiece of songwriting from Paul's son - James. Retro? - partly, but mostly James blazing new territory - and literally so - with extended accompanyment passages that few could play - transitioning from fingerpicking to strumming to picking, and featuring a gorgeous vocal refrain.