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Best Acoustic Rock Song of All Time Poll: "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" Vs. "Jack & Diane"

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.
Nimrod (1997)

When recording what would be the album version of this acoustic ballad, Green Day leader Billie Joe Armstrong flubbed the opening G/D chord - twice - and after the second time deadpanned, "Fuck."

Fortunately, he soldiered on, and, despite the uttered expletive, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" enjoyed huge crossover success and stands as the band's biggest hit to date. Which was hardly anticipated.

At the time, Green Day were considered little more than snot-nosed, albeit multi-Platinum, Bay Area ruffians, and an acoustic guitar-and-strings ballad wasn't what most people expected to hear from them. For that reason bassist Mike Dirnt called the song the "most punk" thing they could have done. Which just goes to show that even punks can wear their hearts on their sleeves.

American Fool (1982)

The hit song “Jack & Diane” was released in 1982 and made waves. It spent 4 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts, and is John Mellencamp’s most successful track.

Mellencamp based the song on the film ‘Sweet Bird of Youth.’ With lyrics revolving around the tale of a young couple growing up, and taking in all of life’s experiences, it’s a tale of fleeting youth.

In terms of recording, Mellencamp has said it was a rough one to get through: “When I play it on guitar by myself, it sounds great; but I could never get the band to play along with me. That’s why the arrangement’s so weird. Stopping and starting, it’s not very musical.”


The Best Acoustic Rock Song of All Time