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.
"FADE TO BLACK," METALLICA
Ride the Lightning (1984)
Recorded way back in the early days of thrash, "Fade to Black" is rightly acknowledged as the genre's first "power ballad."
A seven-minute rumination on despair and suicide, the song is built around singer and guitarist James Hetfield's mournful, arpeggiated acoustic picking, over which Kirk Hammett adds some beautiful and soaring electric leads.
Of course, this being Metallica, things remain sweet and mellow for only so long. Midway through, the song builds in intensity, shifting rhythms and adding plenty of heavily distorted six-strings, culminating in an extended and explosive Hammett solo.
While hardcore metalheads at the time accused Metallica of selling out by recording a ballad, "Fade to Black" remains one of the group's most well-known and beloved songs, and it is a concert staple to this day. Besides, as Hetfield has said, "Limiting yourself to please your audience is bullshit."
”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 ‘70s, and the want to forget about it all in the heat of the moment. Although only peaking at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, “Crazy On You” still remains a Heart classic.