Though rock and roll first became known for being louder and ruder than any music to precede it, the softer side soon became prevalent; these 10 classic acoustic songs stand up with many of their louder cousins in the history of rock and roll. From a reggae legend to a folk hero turned rocker, the artists on our list produced a wide range of classic acoustic songs, represented here. In no particular order, here are ten classic acoustic songs for your enjoyment.
- "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan – Originally appearing on the soundtrack to "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid," this dusty ballad is one of Dylan's best. It is a fitting entry to our list of 10 classic acoustic songs.
- "Blackbird" by the Beatles – This "White Album" cut is a calm amidst the storm of louder, more nihilistic rockers. A Paul McCartney-led song, it is one of his best.
- "Going to California" by Led Zeppelin – Led Zep were known at the time amongst true fans as much for their folk excursions as their heavy acid-blues. This is their best acoustic number, and a fitting entry on our list of classic acoustic songs.
- "Patience" by Guns N Roses – A ballad from a group of sleazy hard rockers, it showed the softer side of Axl Rose, whose whistling carried the melody along with a fingerpicked acoustic guitar. It may not be their most well-known song, but it is one of their best.
- "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley – The reggae icon's inspirational ballad is one of his most-played songs. It proves his music universal; even without the reggae beat, it is unique and powerful, an easy choice for our list of classic acoustic songs.
- "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac – One of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits is one of their most simple. It is a classic acoustic song with guitar and voice carrying the weight.
- "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones – The Stones' most enduring ballad, possibly their first sincere attempt at a real country song, is a highlight of the "Sticky Fingers" album. A real love song from the kings of sex in rock and roll? Anything can happen with classic acoustic songs.
- "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd – A tribute to the departed Syd Barrett, the founding singer-songwriter of the band, "Wish You Were Here" is an ethereal, touching song. It was also one of their biggest hits.
- "Yesterday" by the Beatles – The most-covered song of all time, "Yesterday" is simple and beautiful. The subtle strings enhance the acoustic arrangement.
- "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" by Bob Dylan – Dylan's second on the list of classic acoustic songs is a heartfelt breakup song that is so beautiful it is romantic even though its sentiment is not. Many troubadours have tried to cover this acoustic classic.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
How to Turn (Almost) Every Lady’s Head
Top female stylists share their favorite men’s looks.
10 Kung Fu Movies Every Man Should See
From the absolute classics to the so-bad-they're-amazing.
10 Red Flags That Kill Your Chances With Women
Wondering why that first date didn’t lead to a second? Read on.