The 25 Greatest Acoustic Songs In Hard Rock
Guitar World presents a guide to the 25 greatest acoustic songs in hard rock.
Slash might've said it best: "There's no lying with the acoustic guitar. There's something very pure, and very humbling, about it."
A profound statement coming from one of rock 'n' roll's most celebrated electric guitarists.
But strip away all the muck of multi-layered overdubs, rack effects and endless symphonies of tracks, and you separate the dodgers hiding behind studio wizardry and the artists who know a great song only needs six strings and a melody.
Here are 25 of hard rock's best acoustic rockers. Some are pure acoustic jams, others only start out out that way before ascending into grand opuses. But what makes these songs iconic is their elemental simplicity.
In other words, all you need to bring them to life is an acoustic guitar and a little feeling. And from the looks of these rockers, some gaudy jewelry helps. Note that these songs are not presented in any particular order.
"STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN," LED ZEPPELIN
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Led Zeppelin III was largely an unplugged affair, but "Stairway to Heaven," from the band's follow-up, wins the prize for acoustic guitar excellence.
Jimmy Page's delicately fingerpicked arpeggios made the song Zeppelin's-and rock's-definitive acoustic moment.
Over the years, "Stairway to Heaven" has dominated countless "greatest rock song ever" lists, thanks to its spellbinding mix of lyrical mysticism, compositional and production genius and instrumental virtuosity.
But its most celebrated moment remains Page's unaccompanied intro: whether heard on a radio or played by some pimply kid in a guitar store, all it takes is those first few acoustic guitar notes and you can instantly name that tune.
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