Picks and Pans Review: Tony Bennett: Unplugged

updated 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

MTV (Wed., June 1, 10 p.m. ET)

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Mick Jagger? Rock's Methuselah. Eddie Vedder? Last week's hero. Madonna? Surely you jest. Hey, times and tastes change rapidly. You've got to stay current. This is the '90s. Fin de si├Ęcle, baby. The really happening dude in pop music right now is...Tony Bennett? That's right. Somehow the sexagenarian saloon singer has become an adopted favorite of the cyber-set. Say what you will about today's slacker generation, at least they have good taste.

It's an imperishable pleasure to hear Mr. Mellifluous bell out such pop classics as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "I Wanna Be Around." Tony seems visibly relieved, however, when the young audience signals by its applause that it recognizes the chestnut "It Had to Be You." But then, they probably think Tony copped the tune from the soundtrack of When Harry Met Sally...

Later Bennett is joined by duet partners k.d. lang ("Moonglow") and Elvis Costello ("They Can't Take That Away From Me"). J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. and Evan Dando of the Lemon-heads were also at the taping, but they didn't make the cut. Go ride someone else's natty coattails, you pups!

First Eric Clapton. Then Rod Stewart (who actually had to perch on a stool to make it through his set). Now Tony Bennett. It occurs to me that if MTV continues to raise the age limit on this series, the title Unplugged may take on a meaning more depilatory than electrical.

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