This listing is for Mariah Carey MTV Unplugged VHS & CD Combo Lot.
VHS Video Tape & CD EP combo lot.
MTV Unplugged is a live EP by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, released in the United States on June 2, 1992 by Columbia Records. Following the success of Carey's previous two albums and the growing critical commentary on her lack of concert tours and unsubstantial televised performances, Sony BMG organised a performance show at the Kaufman Astoria Studios, New York on March 16, 1992. The show, titled MTV Unplugged, originally aired on MTV to help promote Carey's album Emotions, as well as help shun critics who deemed Carey a possible studio artist. However, after its success, the show was released to the public as an EP, with an accompanying VHS titled MTV Unplugged +3.
Upon release, the EP garnered generally positive reviews from music critics, many of whom complimented Carey's vocals. Commercially, the album was a success, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, and was certified four times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of two million copies within the United States. Additionally, the EP experienced strong success in several international markets, such as the Netherlands and New Zealand, where it reached number one and was certified double Platinum. MTV Unplugged peaked within the top five in the United Kingdom, and in the top ten in Australia and Canada.
"I'll Be There" was chosen as the lead single from the album. Due to its critical success until that point, it was released one month before its parent EP, eventually becoming Carey's sixth chart topper in the United States, and one of the few songs to do so by two different acts. Globally, the song was successful, topping the charts in Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, as well as attaining the top five position in Ireland and the United Kingdom. After its success, "If It's Over", a song from Carey's second studio effort Emotions was released, due to its exposure on the show and EP.
After the release of Carey's second studio album, Emotions (1991), critics began wondering whether Carey would finally embark on a worldwide tour, having not toured to promote her self-titled debut album. Although Carey had done several sporadic award show appearances, as well as television program performances, critics began accusing Carey of being a studio artist, not capable of delivering or replicating the same quality vocals live, especially her whistle register. During several televised interviews, Carey addressed the accusations, claiming that she did not tour out of fear of the long travel times and distances, as well as the strain on her voice performing her songs back-to-back. However, in hopes of putting any claims of her being a manufactured artist to rest, Carey and Walter Afanasieff decided to book an appearance on MTV Unplugged, a television program aired by MTV. The show's purpose was to present name artists, and feature them "unplugged" or stripped of studio equipment. While live, the show allowed several musicians and back up vocalists, while recorded in an acoustic setting. The issues Carey faced once the show was booked was the content; she didn't know what material to present at the intimate concert. While Carey felt strongly of her more soulful and powerful songs, it was decided that her most popular content to that point would be included. Days prior to the show's taping, Carey and Afanasieff thought of adding a cover version of an older song, in order to provide something different and unexpected. They chose "I'll Be There", a song made popular by The Jackson 5 in 1970, rehearsing it few times before the night of the show.
Originally, MTV planned to air the show several times during April 1992, it was normal for MTV Unplugged sessions to air around six times during the month of release, before being archived. Carey's version was met with critical acclaim and extended popularity, leading to it being shown more often than usual. Fans from around the United States made multiple requests for the show to be aired on television, and by the end of April 1992, Carey's episode of MTV Unplugged had aired over three-times as much as an average episode would. The concert's success tempted Sony officials to use it as some form of an album. However, Carey and Afansieff were already making headway on a new album set tentatively for release in 1993. This being so, Sony decided to release it as an EP, selling for a reduced price due to its shorter length.
After the success of the EP's lead single "I'll Be There", Sony chose to release not only the EP, but a VHS accompaniment package; a video of the actual concert titled MTV Unplugged +3. Aside from featuring the seven song's performed at Kaufman Astoria Studios, it held three music videos; "Can't Let Go", "Make It Happen", and a rare remix version and video of "Emotions". The video peaked atop the Billboard video chart, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA, denoting shipments of 100,000 units throughout the United States.
MTV Unplugged +3 garnered generally positive reviews from music critics. Allmusic editor Shawn M. Haney gave the video three out of five stars, praising Carey's vocals as well as her cover of "I'll Be There". Haney wrote "Gradually, the power and esteem of these tales lift to new heights and remain at a peak with the breathtaking, moment-making performance of "I'll Be There," a charming song first cut by The Jackson 5." Writing for the St. Petersburg Times, Sabrina Miller called Carey an "artiste" and wrote "Programs like MTV Unplugged showcase talent like hers with an exclamation point." Journalist and writer from The New York Times Jon Pareles branded the performance "shrewd", and claimed Carey's cover of "I'll Be There" "set off fireworks". A writer for Entertainment Weekly called the show a "vocal Tour de force", and wrote "in addition to her breathtaking pipes, she has developed a commanding stage presence." Additionally, they felt Carey's performance of "I'll Be There" was "killer" and concluded their review with "In the process, this rare public appearance reminded us there was a big-league performer inside that party dress."
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