There’s no doubt that acoustic songs have played a lead role in in rock and roll.
And while we’ve talked about many of these songs and their origins, taught you how to play them and shared many a thought about ‘em, we think it’s time to get down to brass tacks.
While it’s been ridiculously hard to whittle our list down, we now present you with what we think are some of the best acoustic rock songs of all time.
Over the next several weeks we’ll be giving you a chance to vote for your favorites as we aim to name the Best Acoustic Rock Song of All Time presented by TC Electronic!
So come back every day and vote. And check out today’s entries below.
“DUST IN THE WIND,” KANSAS
Point of Know Return (1977)
When Vicci Livgren overheard her husband, Kansas guitarist Kerry, practicing finger exercises on his acoustic one day, she told him she heard a song there and suggested he add some lyrics. He listened, and the result was “Dust in the Wind.”
A departure from Kansas’ characteristic prog-rock bombast, “Dust in the Wind” was a stark, plaintive meditation on the meaning of life.
While many assume that the track features a 12-string acoustic, the rich unplugged sound is actually the result of multiple six-strings (a few in Nashville tuning), played by Livgren and co-guitarist Rich Williams.
The song became Kansas’ only Top 10 single, charting at Number 6 in 1978. In the years since, it has become something of a cultural touchstone, popping up everywhere from TV shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy to movies like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Old School.
”CRAZY ON YOU,” HEART
Dreamboat Annie (1976)
Beginning with an impressive acoustic guitar intro by Nancy Wilson followed by words of lust and the desire sang by Ann Wilson, Heart debuted strong with their first American single.
Off of ‘Dreamboat Annie,’ released in 1976, the song was played heavily on the airwaves and received attention because of a rarity at the time—the guitar player was female.
Nancy Wilson remarked that the quick acoustic rhythm intro was inspired by “Question” by the Moody Blues. The lyrics were written about the stress that social unrest and the Vietnam War had caused in the U.S. in the early Seventies, and the want to forget about it all in the heat of the moment. Although only peaking at Number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Crazy on You” still remains a Heart classic.
Best Acoustic Rock Song of All Time Poll: "Dust in the Wind" Vs. "Crazy on You"
Source: Guitar World