3 Eternal Acoustic Classic Rock Songs that Have Stood the Test of Time

For every amplifier-destroying, rambunctious classic rock song in the genre’s illustrious catalog, there are other kinds of tracks that don’t necessarily aim to dish out lightning bolts of music to listeners. Indeed, there are some classic rock songs that come off more mellow and nuanced and display touch, not power.

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Here below, we wanted to dive into a trio of tunes from the genre that showcase just that. Three songs that lean on the acoustic guitar, not necessarily the electric one. Three tracks that illustrate that not all classic rock songs need to be about oomph. Rather, some can be about what’s more delicate.

[RELATED: No Skips: 4 Classic Rock Albums You’ll Never Have to Fast-Forward]

“Dust in the Wind” by Kansas from Point of Know Return (1977)

This three-time Platinum song that hit No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon its release not only made for a perfect song in this Old School scene, but is also one of the most touching classic rock songs of all time. It’s about the circle of life, seemingly referencing the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” As the song says, Nothing lasts forever. On the track, from the Topeka, Kansas-born group’s 1977 album Point of Know Return, lead vocalist Steve Walsh sings,

I close my eyes
Only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

“More than a Feeling” by Boston from Boston (1976)

The lead single from the band’s self-titled debut LP, this track enlivens as much as it offers a sense of musical nuance. “More than a Feeling”—which hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100—blends acoustic guitars with electric guitars to create a bright, at times explosive sound that remains on the radio airwaves almost 50 years since it came out. On the track, lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player Brad Delp sings,

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away

It’s more than a feeling
(More than a feeling)
When I hear that old song they used to play
(More than a feeling)
I begin dreaming
(More than a feeling)
‘Til I see Marianne walk away
I see my Marianne walkin’ away

“Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction from Jane’s Addiction (1987)

This acoustic single was one of the band’s most successful and continues to be one of its best known. As a result, it was released in several formats, first in 1987 on the band’s self-titled album and then later for the 1988 sophomore record Nothing’s Shocking, this time with steel drums. It has also been released in a live version on the group’s 1997 offering Kettle Whistle. As for the song itself, it is all about a character named Jane who leads a wild, curious life rich with wigs, rowdy lovers, and who eats dinner from her pocket. On the song, lead vocalist Perry Farrell sings about Jane, his former roommate and the namesake of the band,

Jane says, “I’m done with Sergio”
He treats me like a ragdoll”
She hides the television
Says, “I don’t owe him nothing, but if he comes back again
Tell him to wait right here for me or,
Try again tomorrow I’m gonna kick tomorrow
I’m gonna kick tomorrow”

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