Various Artists

MTV Unplugged: Ballads

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MTV continues to mine their archives of great live music by releasing MTV Unplugged: Ballads. Just like the infuriating MTV Unplugged: Classic Moments, however, MTV Unplugged: Ballads has too few songs. Especially considering that Unplugged is more than a decade old! (The first show aired on October 31, 1989.) The nine tracks here include "I'm Ready" by Bryan Adams, "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon, "Let Her Cry" by Hootie & the Blowfish, "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran, "Please Don't Go" by Boyz II Men, "It Had to Be You" by Tony Benett, "Strong Enough" by Sheryl Crow, "Somebody's Crying" by Chris Isaak, and "Old Love" by Eric Clapton. First the praise: the songs selected here are better and more interesting than their other attempts. Chris Isaak's "Somebody's Crying" is a phenomenal song, and "Let Her Cry" is a good forgotten ballad of the 1990s. But these MTV Unplugged compilation DVDs feel more like promotional samplers than commercial products. The songs by Tony Benett, Eric Clapton, and Bryan Adams have all been released on their own Unplugged albums, making a third of this DVD redundant. The extras include profiles of the artists, in case you were asking yourself "Sheryl who" or "Which one is Duran?" Any TRL viewer who needs something to break should consider MTV Unplugged: Ballads first.