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."
”GIVE A LITTLE BIT,” SUPERTRAMP
Even in the Quietest Moments (1977)
"Give a Little Bit" was released as a single in 1977 and became an international hit for the band, peaking at number 15 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
Its writing credits are given to Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. The song is characterized by the ringing tones of 12-string acoustic guitars, which is joined by a Hohner Clavinet through a Leslie speaker in the bridge of the song.
Drummer Bob Siebenberg recounted that "Roger had been working at Malibu for quite a while on this tune. I'd hear the song in hotel rooms and places like that. He had the song on a little tape when I first joined the band, so I was quite familiar with the tune. We tried out various drum things and it seemed right to ride it along on the snare drum... giving it something almost like a train beat. So it's all on the snare and bass drum, with no tom-tom fills or anything."