Opening with the essential ‘Summer of 69′, this fourteen track MTV recording finds Adams in New York, stripped to his acoustic six string with only seven band members and a sixteen piece orchestra to back him up.
Maybe it’s me, but I thought the idea of the Unplugged was to strip the songs bare, devoid of all electric instruments. Here we have virtually everyone except the electric guitar, where some songs sound almost like their original versions, and you get the feeling that they only forgot to plug them in. The best tracks are the fore mentioned ‘69‘, along with ‘Cuts Like A Knife‘, ‘I’m Ready‘, ‘Fits Ya Good’ and ‘Heaven‘, which I notice are all earlier works, as opposed to the material of the past 10 years and you can take from that what you like, but I thought stuff from ‘Waking Up The Neighbours‘ and the like was quite good, but here it just doesn’t work to be honest. Yes, some of the songs have admittedly been reworked, mandolin’s, Dobro’s and uilleann pipes being brought in to give some diversity to them, and on some it does enhance the songs, but on others it makes them poorer.
Adams tries his hardest, singing each song with belief in himself and his by now traditional growl, while the crowd appear to be happy. For me though, it’s too polished and refined to be a proper live unplugged.
Taken from Scotland Calling Fanzine (Scottish Music Network )