Best Acoustic Rock Songs
posted at 9/6/2010 8:50 AM EDT
Not sure if this has been done before. Rock music has been largely defined by electric instruments, we all know the standard, guitar, bass, drums, sometimes keys, horns etc. Many songs are acoustic at their core, usually the intro, then add other supporting instruments, both acoustic and electric. There is a ton of great acoustic stuff out there. What do you think are the best?
When I think acoustic rock I think of Neil Young, some Beatles, Zeppelin, Dylan, the list is practically endless. Some of my favorites include
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
That's The Way, Rain Song, Over the Hills and Far Away - Zeppelin
Yesterday, Rocky Raccoon - Beatles
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who
Black Water - Doobie Brothers
Old Man, Needle and the Damage Done - Neil Young
and also many of the Unplugged recordings popularized over the past couple decades. Alice in Chains, Clapton, and Nirvana are few that come to mind that really stand out. In fact, I never really cared much for Nirvana and then saw the Unplugged stuff, which changed my opinion. Both AIC and Nirvana are known for being "in your face" loud, but by doing acoustic versions of their songs, show the music for what it is -- great songwriting that doesn't require distorted guitars, effects, and stacks of amplifiers, bone crunching ryhthym sections. Hearing the acoustic version of The Rooster, or the acoustic arrangement of Layla, I just want more. Makes me wonder "what could be". Acoustic Metallica sounds like an oxymoron. Could Steven Tyler and the boys pull off an acoustic set?
I also love it when great live bands take an acoustic detour during their sets, as evidenced here in a great live clip from Zeppelin:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdWPkgtaOTw
and then this acoustic version of Pride and Joy, on the 12-string, which makes my eyes water every time:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZkLVinwR4E
One thing seems clear to me...acoustic versions of songs originally electric often work well, while the opposite just doesn't. All Along the Watchtower is an exception. Prove me otherwise. Diversity makes the world go 'round. I'm just a jazz guitar hack in a rock and roll world.