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You searched for ‘acoustic’, which matched 151 songs.
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#41 (Live at Luther College version)  performed by Dave Matthews Band  1996
Recommended by sunev45 [profile]

great acoustic guitar, haunting lyrics... One of the best from this band

from Crash, available on CD

"I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From"  performed by The Kings of Convenience  2001
Recommended by Alletron [profile]

The Kings of Convenience have often been described as Norway's answer to Nick Drake. They blend lyrics of nature and love with sensational flowing acoustic guitars. Erlend Oye and Erik Glambek Boe have the most hauntingly beautiful voices you may ever hear, and expertly incorporate harmonies that drift perfectly through the notes of their guitars. This is my absolute number one favorite song of all times. Listen closely on the bridge for this incredible arpeggio that just catapults the song into ethereal territory.

from "Quiet Is the New Loud" (Astralwerks)

A Fairy Tale of New York (live version)  performed by Christy Moore  199?
Recommended by mattypenny [profile]

Thought I might see if I can type in some Christmas favorites...

This is the Pogues song, sung by Christy Moore, the great Irish balladeer, folk singer and all round good bloke.

There's a studio version on his 'Smoke and Strong Whiskey LP'. The LPs great, but the version of 'A Fairy Tale' is not half as good as the live version from (I think) Live at the Point.

Christy's shows at the time were just him and an acoustic guitar. It was still a cracking show. He's now accompanied by another acoustic guitar (hey - lets rock!! :) ).

Anyhow he seems to get a big sound out of just guitar and voice.

Coming to the point...

This version is just Christy and his guitar. It preceded by a long story about how he 'stumbled into a fairy ring and bejasus I couldnt get out'. He's eventually helped out by a stranger who takes him by the hand and takes him to a pub. They sing each other songs and tell each poems. Then the stranger starts to sing 'It was Christmas Eve, babe...' .... and you know the rest. It finshes with Christy kissing the stanger on the lips and declaring Shane MacGowan 'I love you baby too'

Other Christmas songs:
Cajun Christmas
Il est Ne le Devine Enfant - Siouxsie and the Banshees
All I really want for Christmas - Ini Kamoze (maybe?)
Christmas Lullaby - Shane MacGowan
White Christmas - The Drifters

from Live at the Point

a love from outer space  performed by tahiti 80  2000
Recommended by penelope_66 [profile]

just dreamy! the title fully corresponds to the mood of this track. i'm just a sucker for the combination of acoustic guitar and electronic instruments, and tahiti 80 masters that beautifully with this song. um, the perfect make-out song? what else can i say?

available on CD - tahiti 80 - e.p.

  n-jeff: Is this the AR Kane song? 'She loves me, she loves me she loves me, hmm, a love from outer space, its true'. My girlfriends favourite track from the I LP.
  penelope_66: Yes! Though I didn't know it was a cover...I'll have to find the original and hear it!
Acoustic Medley  performed by Bob Marley
Recommended by zberger [profile]

Great song, long. Its bob and his guitar just jamming about how beautiful life is.

Ah melody  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A slow number from Gainsbourg’s classic concept album, ‘Ah melody’ opens with that picked acoustic guitar sound which the group Air have now imitated and made one of their trademark sounds. The arrangement is very bare, with the guitar accompanied by just a vocal, bass, and a spikey, funky drum beat. Later in this short track, strings and Bacharach-style horns slip in and out of the mix, before everything stops abruptly. It’s a great track from what I find otherwise to be a slightly disappointing album.

from Histoire de Melody Nelson, available on CD ()

  e: ah delicado....
  Mike: Wonderful track; absolutely magic, and second only to "Manon" in Gainsbourg's output for me. In the context of the album, it's a kind of foil to the more vigourous remainder, an all-too-short lyrical interlude.
  Liv: Stellar. "Histoire de Melody Nelson" is one of THE best concept records of all time..period.(But you don't have to understand French to appreciate this wicked album..) The lush string arrangements, interweaving deep&funky bass, Gainsborough's sleazily "seductive" voice:sometimes whispering,sometimes "singing"..all adds to the perfection. I will always treasure this album.. ("Ah!Melody" is one of the "lighter" songs from the album as the overall atmosphere of the album is darker,creepier:a feeling of perversion, death & doomed love..) One of his best. Pure magic.
  olli: got to love that. one of the definite highlights in his amazingly diverse output for me.
All The Governors  performed by The Evens  2004
Recommended by Durruti [profile]

This Ian's new band is nothing like Fugazi, it's all acoustic now, there is also a female vocalist (who is also the drummer) and lineup is minimal (Only Ian and
Farina). Ian plays barritone guitar, Farina plays drumms. They both sing. This and "You won't feel a thing" are the best songs from their debut album.

from The Evens, available on CD

Allora Il Treno  performed by Bruno Nicolai  1975
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This track is simply outstanding, a showcase for Nicolai as well as for Edda Dell'Orso. It's insane how this is put together: funky rhythm section with drums, bass and acoustic guitar, loads of brass throughout, reverb-laden plucked strings interchange with sweeping, floating strings and an incredible vocal performance by Edda Dell'Orso. Hard to describe how magically this is woven together...

from Allora Il Treno
available on CD - Esay Tempo Vol.10 (Easy Tempo)

Almost Arms  performed by The Minders  1996
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

'Back to the Almost Arms again.' One minute, 29 seconds of pure heaven. Clapping hands, sugary-sweet bass, warm acoustic guitar, and perfectly stylized harmony demonstrate the greatness of this band. The Minders' ability to streamline their brit-pop sound into short cuts such as this says volumes of their talent. They have grasped the art of the rock strip-tease as we sit and drool and demand more of their form. A thousand and a half listens later 'I am hungry but still smiling' rings truer than ever, this is but the appetizer for their more developed works; taste this and you too will be The Minders' biggest fan!

from Cul-de-Sacs & Dead Ends (spinART / Elephant 6 spart 76 / E6-021)

Alone Again Or  performed by Love  1967
Recommended by sinister [profile]

the words "i could be in love with almost every one/ and i will be alone again tonight with you" are sung in a very intimate high-register, backed by glorious acoustic guitar plucking and horn bursts. two minutes in, the song erupts into an extended horn solo! probably the most perfectly orchestrated pop song.

from Forever Changes, available on CD

  plasticsun: I agree - unfortunately so did Miller beer, which used the horn part in a commericial aimed at the "Cinco de mayo" crowd. Still an incredible song.
Andalucia  performed by John Cale  1973
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is from a great album that I recently received as a gift. Andalucia opens with a beautiful echoey acoustic guitar. It's a tender, simple song, with delicate guitar playing, entertaining lyrics (like 'Andalucia - when can I see yer'), and a great melody. The atmosphere is enhanced by a steel guitar and some nice multitracked vocals. I guess Cale's voice is an acquired taste, but I find him rather earnest and charming.

from Paris 1919, available on CD ()

Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song  performed by Jadon Faith  2010
Recommended by aricross [profile]

Acoustic cover of the hit song in the 1970's by original artist, B.J. Thomas.

from Faithful Intentions (Minurve Records)

Ballad of Billy the Kid  performed by Ricky Fitzpatrick  2007
Recommended by jmalthew [profile]

Ricky Fitzpatrick's song "Ballad of Billy the Kid" is a 3 minute class in songwriting.

A compelling story filled with unexpected references, internal rhymes, interesting characters...not to mention his beautiful voice. His single acoustic guitar is the perfect backdrop for this tragic and beautiful story. A couple of four-letter words, but nothing that doesn't fit appropriately into the song as a whole.

Ricky's comment on the mystery of the song has always been "Never judge a man til you've walked a mile in his shoes".

I am a fan and always will be. I suggest checking Ricky out while he's still available as a "local" artist at

from The Same Only Different, available on CD (RFM Music)

Bare Bones and Branches  performed by Lewis and Clarke  2005
Recommended by theratking [profile]

Beautiful acoustic instrumentation
Two part vocals are well done
very moving
great composition, emotive climax

from Bare Bones and Branches

Bill Drummond Said  performed by Julian Cope  1984
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

A key track from Julian Cope's fragmentary second solo album, 1984's Fried, "Bill Drummond Said" is the only song on the album that resembles the swirling psych-pop of his old band the Teardrop Explodes. This is no doubt intentional, as the lyrics take aim at the group's former manager, Bill Drummond (later half of the Timelords, the KLF, and the JAMS), albeit in a typically vague way. The lyrics are skeletal enough that several interpretations might be brought to them, but they seem to recount a dream in which Cope witnesses his former manager in the act of strangling an unidentified woman to death. In contrast to the vaguely unpleasant lyrics, this is by far the catchiest and sweetest tune on Fried, with a dreamy folk-rock sound to its ringing 12-string guitar riffs and breathy harmonies. Coming between more disjointed and edgy tracks like the bizarre fairy tale "Reynard the Fox" and the Syd Barrett-like ramble "Laughing Boy," "Bill Drummond Said" sounds downright bubblegummy. Unsurprisingly, the always combative Drummond got in the last word with his answer song, "Julian Cope Is Dead," a sarcastically folky acoustic tune from his odd 1986 solo album The Man in which Drummond claims that in the waning days of the Teardrop Explodes, he had suggested that Cope commit suicide to make the band famous and laments that the singer didn't take him up on it.

from Fried, available on CD

Black Eyed Dog  performed by Nick Drake  1974
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

In order to fully examine the minds of torment and depression, one would need to be familiar with Nick Drake's 'Black Eyed Dog.' With his transcendant ability to translate his demons into song, Nick Drake accounts a supernatural phantasm chasing him through the darkness of his own neurosis. 'Black eyed dog he claws at my door' - sung in his upper register, with the use of heavey falcetto, sounds like he is straining to survive a nightmare. His performance, despite the sparse production of acoustic guitar and vocal, is expansive. Use of harmonics and finger roll on this song proves the mastery of his instrument, as an amateur guitarist I am baffled by the sound he can create. The singular pulse of the guitar string rings-out with a delicate harmonic while the layering of other voices continue subtly underneath. And the result is the tragic embrace of his own psychological deterioration; a horror unlike the Macabre style of the French, it stands as its own haunting style, that of 'Drakesque.'

As we know his depression did finally catch up to him, and as a revisionist I would say that Nick knew it would all along, sooner or later. One would only need to hear this song and some of the pieces are put into place.

from Time of No Reply, available on CD

  Liv: they say he had to have several overdubs of his voice on this track until he got it right, because of his depression his voice was trembling.. so far from the classical orchestrations of his early recordings, the sparse instrumentation and the intense emotion of "Black dog" affects you even more as Nick's haunting voice sounds like he's singing through an abyss of infinite darkness and despair..
  songs-I-love: Actually, the lyrics to this song go "A black-eyed dog, he CALLED at my door...", but with Nick's way of singing (or rather: expressing himself), it's just all too easy to get confused. The line "I'm growing old and I wanna go home" gets through my heart like a bullet every time I hear it. Only few songs can evoke such strong emotions in me.
  kkkerplunkkk: Yes beautiful and chilling, but it's a small comfort to know that this wasn't actually the last song he ever recorded, that sad honour going to the recently discovered Tow The Line.
Borderline  performed by Jane  2003
Recommended by SimonB [profile]

Close Up And Reak is a lovely album but this is my favourite track. It's a bittersweet tale of a person's (possibly Jane's), gradual loss in humankind. The song opens with a wailing violin which then introduces a soft, acoustic blanket of intsrumentation topped with Jane's wistful vocals.

from Close Up And Real, available on CD

Brilliant Disguise (acoustic version)  performed by Bruce Springsteen
Recommended by CaitlinSpelledWrong [profile]

Seriously, who doesn't like Bruce. This has got to be his most beautiful song. If not please inform me of one that is better. If slower that the original version and it's performed with his wife. Just do me a favor and listen to the song.

Campground Daughter  performed by School for the Dead  2004
Recommended by catmarigold [profile]

Melancholy but hopeful. This is a gentle song, with acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano, bass, drums, and voice. Excellent lyrics, terrific mood.

There's a little story here, punctuated by flashes of images and moments.

The song is written by Henning Ohlenbusch who has worked with Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne), Mark Mulcahy, and Lloyd Cole. If those names mean anything to you, then chances are you will enjoy this warm track.

from The New You, available on CD

Cavaleiro Andante  performed by Abilio Manoel  1970
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

This song is simply unreal. It starts out in a kind of 4/4 samba groove with a highly prominent cuica and a funky strummed acoustic guitar chord progression before the super-catchy pizzicato-violins riff comes in, and Abilio's mellow voice singing the melody. It's sunshiney and catchy, with a bit of a haunting aftertaste, very Brazilian. I can never hear this song enough times!! Abilio Manoel is a Sao Paulo-based singer-songwriter from the late-60s-70s (still active) who wrote a few moderate hits without attaining even a Marcos Valle level of popularity. Good for Marcos, since Abilio's work would have caused me a few sleepless nights if I were him. And both on the same label, too! Abilio's stuff is hard to find, but very worth the effort.....I've already given Dusty Groove the heads-up about the CD....

from Pena Verde (Odeon)
available on CD - 20 Sucessos (EMI Brazil)

  delicado: sounds great; I look forward to checking it out!
Change  performed by Blind Melon  1992
Recommended by Tetsuo [profile]

One of the better known Blind Melon songs of of their self-titled debut, yet still fairly unknown. This song is a personal favorite of mine and preceeds No Rain on the album tracklist. Lead singer Shannon Hoon's voice plays off the acoustic guitar beautifully and his simple message is clear, change is okay. My favorite lines in the song plead with us clear and simply that,

"When you feel your life ain't worth living you've got to stand up and take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die. "

Some may not like this song, but others will fall in love with it. I've grown up listening to this song and i have continued to love it.

Fun Fact:

Lead singer Shannon Hoon donned a question mark on his head and performed this song live on The late show with David Letterman shortly after Kurt Cobain's suicide, in his own way dedicating the song to him.

from Blind Melon, available on CD

Chansons Francaises  performed by Notre Dame
Recommended by moondog [profile]

More godlike melody from monsieur Arnaud Fleurent -Didier. This one, the title track, taken from his tribute to the french singers and songs of his youth (serge, polnareff and son).A largely acoustic number with a bit bossanova, chansons, strings, a female voice and that extra magical melody chord that only Arnaud seems to be in possesion of. You need this man in your life, right now.

from Chansons Francaises, available on CD

Coming Home  performed by The Love Dolls  2007
Recommended by jzbass [profile]

Medium Rock ballad acoustic /electric Guitar oriented
in the spirit of The Beatles . Great string Arangement by the multi grammy winning Jimmie Haskell 'Ode To Billy Jo " " Bridge Over Troubled Water " Chicago "If you leave Me Now "

from The Love Dolls (Doll House)
available on CD -

crazy world  performed by bryon mack
Recommended by youn109 [profile]

acoustic guitar, soft sounding song but it has very strong vocals performed by Bryon Mack.
I like the song because it has a very pleasing melody and the vocals can really be felt, they aren't just heard.

dedication  performed by Chuck and mary
Recommended by moondog [profile]

If the free design had come from greenwich village and opted for a more folk pop approach they could have sounded like the candian siblings Chuck and Mary. Their songs perhaps doesn´t have the same strong song hooks as "the design" but way more make up for it in their timeless sound and magical voices. Especially on this heartrending track which you can find in an orchestrted version on their second album or acoustic on their first.I´d go for the acoustic one.

available on CD - the last word or life is a stream (rev-ola)

Distant Shores  performed by Chad and Jeremy  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautiful piece of soft pop. Ok, it's corny - the chord sequence is kind of soppy and the lyrics are kind of obvious, but the arrangement and singing are so lovely that I can listen to this song again and again. Opening with a catchy picked acoustic guitar riff, the arrangement soon thickens with with a full orchestra. The singing is deadly serious and amusingly precious throughout the song, and the orchestral arrangement, heavy on oboes and flutes as well as strings, is anything but hip. Still, the song’s simplicity and innocence are really quite charming. I never really got into any of Chad and Jeremy's other songs nearly so much as this one, so any recommendations for similar songs would be welcome. Do me a favor and listen to this and tell me if I’m crazy to love it so much.

from Distant Shores, available on CD

  tempted: Oh yes, it is pure gold. I can recommend anything by The Left Banke, Scott Walker, Margo Guryan, New Colony Six, Sagittarius, The Millennium... Gary Usher from the last two mentioned was the producer on many of C & J's songs.
Don’t Fade Away  performed by Dead Can Dance  1996
Recommended by Archipelago [profile]

This is one of those songs that you put on when you want to sit back, relax, and float away to somewhere warm and safe.

A friend of mine once told me that she had an out-of-body experience to this song as she was meditating.

This is a song that I put on a mixed tape to give to a lover once as a way of showing that I would be there with her through it all, accompanying her journey as you explore the realms of love and life.

available on CD - Toward the Within (4AD)

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright  performed by Bob Dylan  1963
Recommended by cstrehse [profile]

This track is folk music, with acoustic guitar and harmonica accompanying Dylan's vocals. I love it because of the sound, as well as the message of the video. Dylan is politely telling his ex how he feels about the terrible way he treated her.

from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Don’t Want To Know  performed by John Martyn  1973
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Starts out quietly, acoustic guitar playing the theme, joined quickly by discreet electric piano and stand-up bass, then Martyn's low, growly-yet-soulful voice starts repeating the chorus ("I don't wanna know about evil/Only want to know about love") like a mantra. Halfway through, the rhythm section kicks in, and you find yourself singing along to said mantra. Highly effective and very memorable.

from Solid Air, available on CD

Easy  performed by The Bruces  1994
Recommended by frokkos [profile]

Like most of the bruces' work, this song is melancholic but dreamy. It's an acoustic piece, with a fast pace and at least two or three less minutes than most bruces songs, which at times have reached 14min.
Great lyrics. Conor Oberst, from Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos, has taken much inspiration from this band.
Very good for melancholic nights where you don't plan on killing yourself. :o)

from Hialeah Pink (Eunnuchs!/Theme Park LA-012)

El Pacino  performed by Bang Data
Recommended by rockolito [profile]

Acoustic gritty melancholic guitar, bossanova with electro Rap..haunting melodic chorus

from Maldito Carnaval (Rockolito Music)

Esta Noite Serenou  performed by Fernanda  1977
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Just one of many gems on the wonderful "Simplesmente" LP. A fairly stripped-down arrangement and recording, but which still allows for the song's bright verse and chorus melodies to shine forth. The track is built from acoustic guitar, bass, drums and a hint of (what else?) percussion, which pulse gently along on the verses in a rhythm that reminds me of dancehall reggae somehow, while still being obviously a branch of the bossa nova tree. Fernanda's sweet croon and instinctive sense of swing navigate this terrain effortlessly. Who is Fernanda? Where has she gone? On the strength of this LP, she definitely had quite a bit to offer. But it was tough, back then, being Elis Regina's competition.......

from Simplesmente...Fernanda (Copacabana)

  n-jeff: Thats funny, I was talking only recently abou the similarity of the Baion rhythm to the pulse of the ragga beat. Along with "Its not unusual" having a Baion rhythm, its a neat way of tying up Tom Jones, Shabba and Marcos Valle.
Euphoric Absence (Acoustic Mix)  performed by Cybo  2007
Recommended by BloodyRachelB [profile]

I'm not usually into DJ's and "stuff like that", but DJ Cybo stole my heart. this was one of my faves from her infinite resume of mood altering sounds..... xoxo

from In Her Own Place

Exit Music (For a Film)  performed by Radiohead
Recommended by tartpops [profile]

A powerful, solemn acoustic song by Radiohead. Certainly one of their more somber songs.

from OK Computer

Face Of Yesterday  performed by Illusion  1977
Recommended by john_l [profile]

This is a slow, sultry, intimate piano-led song that makes a remarkable contrast to the frosty "Isadora" (q.v.) off the same LP, despite both songs having basically the same acoustic guitar / bass / drums / piano / vocals lineup. The difference between this kind of soft-rock and, say, the Carpenters, is that the latter were schmaltzy beyond endurance while Illusion provided the genuine article ...

"Face Of Yesterday" was recorded earlier by Renaissance on their "Illusion" LP, which gave its name to this group, which was actually mostly the same Renaissance lineup (with Jane Relf and Jim McCarty) before the Camp / Dunford / Thatcher group took over Renaissance. I know, I know, you can't follow the players without a scorecard in this case ...

from Out Of The Mist, available on CD

Falling From Grace  performed by The Gentle Waves  2000
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

"The Gentle Waves" was the guised solo project of Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell, before she eventually recorded under her own name after leaving the group. This is pure etheral, introverted, delicate indie pop with a strong late 60s feel to it. The track starts with toned down drums, bass and acoustic guitar to complement Isobel Campbells's airy vocals. Later a wonderful harpsicord joins in, together with some violins and cello giving it a flowing, autumnal feel.

from Swansong For You, available on CD

Fiesta In Belo Horizonte  performed by Martin Böttcher  1974
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Incredibly breezy, silky smooth and gentle sounding tune this one. With a laid back samba rhythm, male/female wordless vocals some soft strings in the backround and some electric and acoustic guitars thrown in, this track is a great example for Martin Böttchers superior talents as arranger and orchestrator. The whole compilation "Sound Kaleidoscope" is very well done, featuring 25 tracks from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. Highly recommended.

from Sound Kaleidoscope, available on CD

Filthy Mind  performed by Amanda Ghost  2000
Recommended by parlop [profile]

a wonderful production, this song features a good mix of stereotypical rock and dance sounds with Amanda's raspy vocals. i wish i heard it dance clubs more often.

from Ghost Stories

For a short time  performed by Tiddas  1998
Recommended by phil [profile]

Absolutely fantastic, amazing, beautiful singing - it'll really knock your socks off. The tiddas seem to concentrate on singing above everything else - they are three women, two of whom play the acoustic guitar, and that's it, but the result is just sensational harmonies and brilliant interpretations of songs, some of which are aboriginal folk songs, others their own, and others just covers.

This is a cover of a song by the splendidly-named Weddings, Parties, Anything. Both versions are absolutely brilliant but the singing on this tiddas one is just out of this world.

from Lethal by the kilo, available on CD

Fumemos Un Cigarrillo  performed by Piero  1969
Recommended by konsu [profile]

Piero sings in a soothing, breath-y tenor... More italian in tone than latin, although,the best comparison i've found is Luiz Henrique.His phrasing reminds me of Luiz as well,but there is no real relation.The backing has a nice spaghetti -western kind of vibe ala' Moriccone,which gives the whole thing a kind of high planes drifter setting,with plucked electric bass, strummed acoustic guitar,and occasional female chorus with a light string arrangement,Very cool.The whole record is really good,and a lot of the songs have a distinctly latin ballad feel.

from Piero, available on CD

  modette: choose the italian compositers but choose them better: isn't "luiz henrique" , is LUIS ENRIQUEZ. other marvellous song of his: lo scatenato. sorry for my english!!!
  klatu: Pretty sure "Luiz Henrique" is the correct spelling, and that he is Brazilian. Must be a different guy than the similarly named Italian.
  Betto_Colombia: Piero is from Argentina.
Girlfriend  performed by Eric’s Trip  1994
Recommended by sardonicsmile [profile]

rick white is a prolific songwriter, whether with eric's trip, or his more recent project elevator. 'girlfriend' in particular characterises the sound with acoustic guitar up front, fuzz guitar in the background and floating away vocal. eric's trip came out of the so-called halifax pop explosion of the early 90s, and their name comes from the sonic youth song. but their sound is a lot more lo-fi and home recorded, guitars and sounds popping out of strange places in the mix.

from Forever Again (Sub Pop)

Golden Lights  performed by Twinkle  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a simple but rather bitter pop song, although on the surface it sounds quite sweet. If I recall correctly, it was written about the singer that Twinkle was seeing at the time. The gentle arrangement features acoustic guitar and some brass. It's not hard to hear why Morrissey liked this song enough to cover it with The Smiths.

Twinkle has a lovely clear voice, and much as I respect Moz, this version towers above the one done by The Smiths, which suffers from a strange mix of production styles. That said, I have a strange mix of emotions on hearing the song, since I heard the Smiths version at 14, but only got into this one in the last few years.

from the single Golden Lights
available on CD - Twinkle (RPM)

Good Old Owl  performed by Niobe  2004
Recommended by respiro [profile]

With lightly strummed acoustic guitar, vaguely castanetish rhythm and Yvonne Cornelius filtered and far away singing, this wistful and melancholic song transcends the experimentation of the other songs on the album Voodooluba, with its straightforwardness while still keeping the air of mystery present in the other tracks.

from Voodooluba

Goodnight Moon  performed by Shivaree  2002
Recommended by Lubi [profile]

A blend of Mexican, a sprinkling of country and a dose of Southern soul "Goodnight Moon" is a track off the album "I Ought to Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in This Dump" : classy!

When a song hits me - I will play it like it's going out of fashion, or in this case, coming into fashion!

Until four days ago I knew nothing about this band - I happened to be surfing around looking for inspiration and accidently came upon this song, the singer whom I now know as Ambrosia Paisley has a sultry, quirky voice and given to this song makes it feel like It should be played acoustic in some smoky bar with swing doors, and a bar man called Hank offering neat JD's.

Although that's probably not too far from reality it is being played world wide thanks to Mr Tarrantino who has used this track in his movie soundtrack - Kill Bill 2 - which kind of makes sense to me granted that my original search on Google four days ago started with Nancy Sinatra, which I also found out "Bang Bang my baby shot me down" (another recommendation should I add!) was lent to the Kill Bill 1 soundtrack.

Regressing, I do not know if any other tunes on this album are worthy but Goodnight Moon now firmly has a place in the soundtrack to my life.

from I Ought to Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in This Dump, available on CD

Gudrun  performed by Pierrot Lunaire  1976
Recommended by dedismo [profile]

One of the best groups immersed in the second wave of Italian progressive bands. They were able to fluidly combine classical and avant-garde elements in an involving manner with electric and acoustic instruments complemented by light, soft vocals. Arturo Stalteri piano, organ, spinet, cembalo, synth, glockenspiel, acoustic guitar, recorder, tambourine, violin Gaio Chiocchio electric & acoustic guitar, mandoline, harpsicord, synth, shaj baja, zither tirolese, sitar, bell Jacqueline Darby voice This group was formed by piano virtuoso Arturo STALTERI , it reminds me of Schoenberg+Ennio Morricone goes to the prog church with a crisp broadcast-like vocalist (experimental). Sometimes it makes people want to skin cats.

from Gudrun (MP RECORDS MPRCD008)

  delicado: this sounds very cool! I particularly like your last comment about skinning cats; I wonder if it will have that effect on me...
Headstart for Happiness  performed by The Style Council  1983
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The sound of Paul Wller finding his musical feet after the Jam split,a breezy acoustic mid tempo ballad that relies on organic components ,guitar ,hammond organ and hand claps to propel this celebration of love and unity through the roof .
Originally appeared on the B-side of an early single and sounding like a demo,it was later re recorded for the debut album "Cafe Bleu" but was really nailed on this version

from Introducing The Style Council
available on CD - Introducing/Cafe Bleu

I Am Me Once More  performed by Zee Avi  2009
Recommended by weaselohs [profile]

Acoustic, soulful, awesome

from Zee Avi (Brushfire Records)

I Don’t Wanna Have A Nice Day  performed by Greg Brown
Recommended by snoodlededoogans [profile]

guitarist and songwriter greg brown tells us how he feels when someone says 'haveAniceDay'. midtempo acoustic number with gruff bassy vocals. very good for themed comps or person-specific mixtapes. from an album called The Live One and various MPR/NPR performances at their archives. repeat listening assured.

from The Live One (Red House Records)

I hung my head  performed by Johnny Cash  2002
Recommended by andrew76 [profile]

This is a cover of a song by Sting. I haven't heard Sting's version but I am not a fan of what I have heard. Anyway, Cash's version is stripped down to the bare essentials, acoustic guitar and piano with a little bit of keyboard in the background to add some depth, but the music is secondary to the great mans voice. He's in his seventies, and all the age an experience in his voice just makes the youth and experience of the lyrics all the more poignant. His voice reminds me of my grandfather (May he rest in peace). The whole Album (American Recordings IV - The Man Comes Around) is incredible and this song is a stand out track among many, both original and covered.

from American Recordings IV The Man Comes Around, available on CD

I love being here with you  performed by Diana Krall
Recommended by jazzman [profile]

hot, swinging jazz at its best. Diana Krall with an incredible talented ensemble, John Clayton - Acoustic bass, Jeff Hamilton - Drums and Anthony Wilson on guitar. On this recording Krall shows her full potential, amazing technical skills on the piano combined with an exceptional vocal interpretation.
She also made a studio recording of this song which is good, but nothing compared to this version. However, if you are interested in buying this song I strongly recommend buying the DVD, then you get 2hrs+ of top quality entertainment.

from Live In Paris (Verve)

I Use Her  performed by Tony Kosinec  1971
Recommended by snafkin [profile]

A really beautiful acoustic song that I just can't get out of my head. The rhythm track consists of handclaps/taps or comething similar, it has a lovely, light guitar line and some beautiful piano. The gasp at the beginning is great too!

from Bad Girl Songs (Sony Japan)

  artlongjr: I have an LP of Tony's from 1969 called "Processes". Seeing your post jogged my memory on it...he sort of sounds like another of my favorite artists, Emmitt Rhodes.
I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine  performed by Beth Orton  1996
Recommended by BlueGirl [profile]

This is a beautiful cover of the song by the Ronettes, sung ever so sweetly by Beth Orton. She is accompanied by an acoustic guitar. It's very simple and beautiful. The song mourns a lost love, a feeling with which I think we can all identify. "I wish I never saw the sunshine...because then maybe...I wouldn't mind the rain"

from Trailer Park (Heavenly/Dedicated 61702440072; HVNLP17CD)

  tinks: oh, i love this song! i love the whole album, in fact.
I’m Yours  performed by Jason Mraz
Recommended by rowalycia18 [profile]

Cute, summer song, with addicting acoustics

  dietspaz: Love this song, though lately I think they've been overplaying it a bit on the radio...the feel of this song reminds me of Regina Spektor in some ways
I'm Gonna Miss You  performed by The Mingles  1971
Recommended by john_l [profile]

My favourite Canadian rock single of all time. It's a slow one, which starts with solo piano, picks up the acoustic guitar, then gets a heavy fuzzy guitar in the chorus that complements the melody perfectly. Then repeat! With an organ and full band. Followed by a nice guitar solo at the end! Add in some interestingly-placed key changes (which are necessary to keep it level) and you've got a masterpiece, says I. Needless to say, I'm the only person on the planet outside the artists themselves who remembers it ...

Il n’y a pas d’amour Heureux  performed by Francoise Hardy
Recommended by Davidthesaint [profile]

George Brassens wrote this one and his version of it is equally good... But he performs it alone with his acoustic guitar... Hardy is helped by a violin and an accordion which make her version extremely enjoyable and so so so beautiful...

It'll Never Happen Again  performed by Tim Hardin  1966
Recommended by G400 Custom [profile]

This wonderful record is the closest I've heard to an American Nick Drake. Very short and jazzy, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, impeccable white soul vocals... what more do you need? Good if you like Tim Buckley. That someone could be this good on their debut album is little short of incredible. Heroin victim Hardin's second album is even better.

from Tim Hardin
available on CD - Tim Hardin 1/2 (Repertoire)

I’m not saying  performed by Nico  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This magical track is from a 1965 single produced by Rolling Stones impresario Andrew Loog Oldham. It's a folky pop song with a manically strummed acoustic guitar and constant beat. There's some more full orchestration (brass and strings), but it's slightly hidden in the mix. The charm of this song for me lies in both Nico's bittersweet delivery ("I'm not saying that I love you/I'm not saying that I care/If you love me..I'm not saying that I care/I'm not saying I'll be there when you want me") and the catchy chord sequence in the verse. Some of the bridge sections are slightly corny and obvious musically, but Nico's majestic vocal lifts the song and makes me want to hear it again.

from the single I’m not saying (Immediate IM 003)
available on CD - The Classic Years (Polygram)

  Gwendolyn: I love this song, Nico is one of my favorites. Her voice has such a uniqueness. It's very deep and peaceful.
  brightdayler: Oh, wow. This comment is four years old! But I just joined this place and this is one of my favorite songs right now, in 2006. I harbor a little resentment for Delicado, who claims the bridge is corny. I know it's not so insightful to say this since two of Nico's songs were used in another Wes Anderson movie, but the bridge section reminds me a lot of Rushmore, when Max and Blume do a simultaneous jump on bikes at the end, after their reconciliation. I guess that's why I like it. I wish Nico would have done more stuff like this.
  belphegor: i grew up on the gordon lightfoot version--but cripes, leave it to nico to so deliciously catastrophize a perfectly good tune. hers is amazingly well executed in the sentiments conveyed, ...and some catchy, too! love it, love it, love it.
I’m The Man Who Loves You  performed by Wilco  2002
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

The brief respite from all of the wild experimentation on the rest of the album, this track is Wilco gettting back to their country roots, while still exploring country's boundaries. Fun and joyful, filled with some rocking electric guitar not found on the rest of the album, this song is an much needed uptempo break on an album full of beautiful introspective ballads and acoustic sing-alongs.

from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Sundazed)

J’Attendrai  performed by Michael Berard  2001
Recommended by russk666 [profile]

An acoustic (classical) guitar rendition played over the closing credits of the Showtime Film: "Varian's War" The vertuoso Jazz musician from Quebec has graced us with the finest performance of this much loved and performed chanson extant. It is perfection.

from DVD :"Varian's War" (Showtime Entertainment)
available on CD - not (none)

Jazz Potatoes  performed by Jorge Ben  1973
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

This lost Jorge Ben stormer has a rawer sound and harder rock edge to it than usual during this, his greatest period. Relegated to an obscure soundtrack LP, it stomps all over the place at a slower, heavier and more menacing tempo than anything on "Ben" or "A Tabua De Esmeralda." The beat is anchored by that famous acoustic guitar sound, heavy bass and a loud cowbell, as Jorge yells out improvised nonsense in a hilarious mix of Spanish and English! "Rock Steady-O!!" Must be heard to be believed.

from A Volta De Beto Rockfeller (Soundtrack) (Polydor)

King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1  performed by Neutral Milk Hotel  1998
Recommended by sinister [profile]

backed by very catchy acoustic guitar strumming and an accordion that 'harmonises' the vocals on every note, jeff mangum sings about childhood innocence. i love this song.

from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, available on CD

King of the Carrot Flowers Prt. 1,2 & 3.  performed by Neutral Milk Hotel  1997
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

A perfect segue into a perfect album, King of the Carrot Flowers is a masterpiece. This is the way songs should be written, performed, and produced. Jeff Mangum strums the catchiest 3 chords on his acoustic guitar while his piercing vocals spill lyrics of psychedelic sophistication. I can still remember the first time I heard him sing the lyric - 'and your mom would drink until she was no longer speaking, and dad would dream of all the different ways to die, each one a little more than he would dare to try' - in a rising climax. The energy and power is then sustained into a C drone from an organ, followed by an amped acoustic guitar being plucked clumsily. And like a street preacher we again hear Jeff, he belts 'I love you Jesus Christ' while the rest of the band hit fuzzed-out power chords F and C until a storm swells with cymbals, horn, bass, guitar, Jeff's voice and another rising movement to yet another climax. Propelled by an electric frequency that chops like a helicopter blade inches over-head we are lead into Part 3, often referred to as 'Up and Over'. This last part explodes into fuzz rock in all it's garage-roots glory with lyrics like - 'I will shout until they know what I mean, I mean the marriage of a dead dog sing, in a synthetic flying machine'. As the fuzz is sustained heavily the song ends with 1 last climax; the one-note piano brings us to a close.

King of the Carrot Flowers Part 1 introduces the theme of 'loss of innocence'. The narrator, addressing his lover nostalgically, compares the emotional deterioration of the older parents with the emotional and sexual discovery of their youth - 'your mom would stick a fork right into daddy's shoulder, and dad would throw the garbage all across the floor, as we would lay and learn what each other's bodies were for.' This motive returns later in the album, as does his 'Jesus Christ' theme. Jeff Mangum alerts the listener in his lyric sheet that he believes what he sings, and that this 'Christ' theme is but the spiritual light he finds within everything. The album further treats themes like the Holocaust, death of loved ones, visions of ghosts, and all the horrors of man with this light. It is a beautiful and terrifying experience unlike any rock record to date. Personally, my favorite song of all time.

from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Elephant 6)

Landslide  performed by The Smashing Pumpkins  1994
Recommended by Archipelago [profile]

Okay so it's a cover song. Fleetwood Mac re-released it a few years ago when the original members get back together. Then there was the recent popularity of the Dixie Chicks version. Now, I will admit that it is tough to beat the original version.

But this one's *real* close.

This song came out of left field. From a group whose first work was primarily long, drawn-out, sometimes cacophonous chords, this song was like a splash of cold water in the face. The CD itself is a B-sides compilation that fits like a "lost chapter" to the Pumpkins early work.

Keep in mind; this is not a happy song. It was not supposed to be. That's why Billy Corgan's version stands well above the Dixie Chicks’ version, His voice accompanied by a solo acoustic guitar is able is capture the abject heartache of the song’s words and rhythm.

Which makes it a great cover song.

available on CD - Pisces Iscariot (Virgin Records)

Life Is Tough, Eh Providence?  performed by Ennio Morricone  1972
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

From the Italian western of the same name. I haven't seen the film, but it seems to be a comedy starring Thomas Milian and in the mode of the popular Trinity films. This track is kind of a light-hearted square dance with typically brilliant instrumenation by Morricone -- bells, banjo, organ, chorus, acoustic guitar, drums and violins. This makes a nice companion to the "Wanted Dead Or Alive" track I recommended earlier. Lots of fun.

available on CD - Spaghetti Westerns, Volume Three (DRG)

Like to get to know you  performed by Spanky and our Gang  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This lovely late 60s pop track is wistful and atmospheric. The instrumentation is exquisite (vocal group with a delicately strummed/picked acoustic guitar, strings), and there is a cool false ending. The result is a very rich sound, evocative of lost summers. A sound which I'm very fond of...

from Like to get to know you (Mercury 61161)
available on CD - Spanky’s Greatest Hit(s)

  tempted: I just found the original album of the same name this song is on. It's beautiful with just the right kind of softly psychedelic artwork and some crazy, groovy spoken word passages on some tracks. "Like to Get to Know You" stands out as the definitive song and remains one of the most mesmerizing soft pop tunes in the world.
  gregcaz: It's also worth noting that the single version, found on the 1969 "Spanky's Greatest Hit(s)" album, is the definitive one, free as it is from the pickup-line chatter that obscures the intro on the original album, as well as featuring the gorgeous coda which is included separately on the "LTGTKY" LP.
  artlongjr: This is my favorite Spanky and Our Gang tune, a gorgeous and wistful number. I also have the original LP, which features a different version from the 45 as gregcaz mentioned. There is a video of the band performing this on Youtube that I think originally aired on the Smothers Brothers. I saw Spanky and the Gang a number of times on TV as a kid.
Lluvia de Primavera/Spring Rain  performed by Bebu Silvetti  1975
Recommended by tempted [profile]

The definition of a groovy, instrumental easy listening disco tune. Makes me wanna jump on the first plane to somewhere warm and swinging. Great piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment from this Spanish lizard with a hairy face. And that girl backing choir.. there are two single versions of this that are slightly different and a full length version which is the best.

  tempted: To correct: the "full-length version" is in fact a disco mix by Salsoul stalwart Tom Moulton. So good, man... Crazy percussive middle part galore! Available as a Salsoul 12". Tell me if you bump into one!
Looking Glass  performed by The La,s   1989
Recommended by geezer [profile]

An epic finale to an epic album,psychedelic but inside the real world ,existential but accesible,beautiful acoustic guitars and backing harmonies.This is the birth or re birth of British pop music after its castration at the hands of eighties over production and souless technology.Dragging Pink Floyd behind it on its way to meet Oasis a few years down the line .

from self titled 1990, available on CD

Love Will Tear Us Apart  performed by Nouvelle Vague  2004
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Nouvelle Vague is the project of Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, who basically took classic late 70s/early 80s new wave songs and transformed them into light, easy going, predominantly bossa tinged tracks, including heavily accented, whispery Longet-esque vocals. They claim these young vocalists never even heard the original songs. It works brilliantly for sure on "Love will tear us apart" where they manage to interpret the song as a melancholic, chilled stroll down a beach with sparse percussion, acoustic bass and guitar, vibraphone and some samples of waves rushing on the seaside. I'd like to think even Ian Curtis might smile down on this cover version...

from Nouvelle Vague, available on CD

Lovelier than you  performed by Bobby ray
Recommended by KidCudiMod [profile]

Acoustic recording from bobby ray, a highly talented muscian. accomplished on both piano and guitar. this song uses his guitar and singing skills. However he is equally adept at rapping and producing

Memory Lane  performed by Elliott Smith  200?
Recommended by blackstars [profile]

this is one of his new/old songs that may be on his new album
if/when that is released. it's a great song that actually dates back to
when he was admitted to a mental hospital/lockup type situation.
i have a live acoustic version of it that is pretty good.

Mia Madre Si Chiama Francesca  performed by Milva  1972
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

Stunning, Italian, auburn chanteuse Milva sings a set of Ennio Morricone, produced and arranged by the maestro himself in 1972.
Need I "say" anything else?
Utterly brilliant, and this song is a highlight amongst highlights!
La diva Milva sings the daylights out of this swooning ballad - soaked in a downpour of strings, acoustic guitars and sci-fi background vocals.
I guarantee your heart will break in twenty-nine places as you listen.
(But I do have to ask - does anybody out there know from what soundtrack this songs originates?)

from Dedicato A Milva Da Ennio Morricone, available on CD

  eftimihn: I absolutely agree, Robert! This is one amazing album, check out the maestros collaboration with Mireille Mathieu (Mireille Mathieu chante Ennio Morricone from 1974) as well if you haven't done that already, it's equally impressive emotionally. To clear things up, this track originates from the "La moglie piu bella" soundtrack from 1970.
  robert[o]: Tanx for the info - and Ms. Mathieu's LP is really great likewise - as is Milva's collaboration w/Francis Lai from 1973
Moving  performed by Supergrass  1999
Recommended by geezer [profile]

An acoustic verse,which in any lesser band would have been a great chorus bleeds in to a glammed up sneering chorus,this process is repeated for the rest of the track ,rendering this epic song strangely upbeat/downbeat with no clear winner

from Supergrass, available on CD

Mr.Jones  performed by Counting Crows
Recommended by Litterate&Stylish [profile]

The version I heard was actually just done acoustic, I've always liked acoustic guitar when I'm in an easy listening mood (good mood?) it was the words that attracted me to it Chorus:Mr.Jones and me/tell eachother fairy tales/stare at the beautiful women/she's looking at you/oh no no she's looking at me. The song is fun, okay? that's why I liked it.

Neanderthal  performed by Kaki King  2004
Recommended by Dr. Oboti [profile]

This song (like most of the CD) is played on solo guitar, utilizing a special form of picking to achieve sounds and melodies/lines you would not normally get on a standard acoustic guitar.

from Legs to make us longer, available on CD

Nethers (Dubstep Twilight Remix)  performed by eO -  2011
Recommended by phaeocstar [profile]

eO's through-composed, symphotronic poem incorporates exotic world-fusion compositions with heavy post-dubstep beats, evocative vocals, and elegant instrumentation.

from River Through an Open Door, available on CD

  Nathan1623: Just listened to it. It is pretty soothing and I enjoyed it thank you. (:
Neverending Math Equation  performed by Sun Kil Moon  2005
Recommended by twanza [profile]

Sun Kil Moon issued an album called, Tiny Cities, in 2005. It's composed entirely of Modest Mouse covers rearranged for acoustic guitar. I almost didn't recognize this song when I first heard it, until I paid attention to the lyrics and then BOOM! I have to admit to loving this album more than the original MM recordings.

from Tiny Cities, available on CD

Niki  performed by The Third Wave  1970
Recommended by Festy [profile]

It took me a while to get a copy of this album as even the out-of-print re-issue on Crippled Dick Hot Wax (that's the name of the label, folks. Promise!) sells for a bit these days. I'm glad I got it as it's a fantastic album - the only LP released by the 5 Filipino/American sister vocal group, although I think they released at least one 45". Discovered by George Duke, he wrote the arrangements and his trio of the time provides backing. The album was recorded in Germany (released by MPS) and is a little bit poppy, a little bit jazzy, a little bit funky. There are a number of songs which could be recommended (a number of them jazz standards, such as 'Maiden Voyage' and 'Cantaloupe Island'), but the one I've chosen is 'Niki'. I hadn't come across this track before getting the album, unlike a few of the other tracks which have turned up on compilations over the years.

'Niki' is a song that builds. It starts off fairly casually and builds up to a swinging chorus, accented by some very hip playing by George Duke, still on an acoustic piano during this stage of his career.

Another commendable and notable track on the album, and which I discovered through a compilation created by 'mine host' of Musical Taste, Senhor Delicado, is "Waves Lament". Absolutely fantastic.

from Here & Now, available on CD

Nothing Takes the Place of You  performed by Toussaint McCall  196?
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

A beautiful song by a rare artist. I would never have heard this gorgeous song if it weren't for filmmaker John Waters. It is about a man who is completely devoted to his faithless love. He will sit and wait for eternity in the hope that the woman he loves will return. The vocal was recorded inside a small closet and the acoustics provide a haunting sound in Mr. McCall's voice. He is accompanied by piano, a soulful organ, and percussion. This song alone is worth the purchase price of the Hairspray soundtrack!! Pick it up today!

available on CD - Hairspray - Original Motion Picture Sountrack (MCA-6228)

number of the beast  performed by the djali zwan
Recommended by olli [profile]

beautiful acoustic cover of the campy iron maiden song. nice driving beat. great melancholy vibe going on, it manages to give the überstupid lyrics some sense of metaphorical meaning.. I first heard it on the soundtrack to the film "spun" by jonas åkerlund, where it plays during the opening credits. however, i don't think there's an official soundtrack out there, but it's pretty easy to find on various file-sharing networks.

Ode to Billy Joe  performed by Buddy Merrill  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Another amazing version of this fantastic tune. This features several very different-sounding multitracked guitars, and really is quite astounding. It feels very short at a little under 2 and a half minutes. The opening features an acoustic guitar playing a wonderfully delicate and precise rhythm, accompanied by a nice wall of strings and electric guitar hits. A twangy picked guitar plays the melody, building gradually for about a minute.

The track then explodes into a quite amazing sequence, in which a dirty-sounding fuzz guitar picks out a bassline while a manic and jazzy improvised guitar solo moves around over the top and the strings maintain some solid bluesey chords. The sound is extremely funky, and vaguely reminiscent of some tracks from the late 60s 101 strings album 'Astro Sounds from beyond the year 2000', but ends up being more tasteful. Pure genius!

from Land of a Thousand Guitars (Accent ACS 5026)
available on CD - 25 All time hits (Accent)

Orpheus  performed by David Sylvian  1987
Recommended by Cyninglich [profile]

This song - like the whole Secrets of the Beehive album - leaves me breathless... awash with gentle melody, so atmospheric and dripping with beauty.
Acoustic guitars roll on a painted lanscape; subltle fingers tug at long-forgotten memories...

"Sunlight falls, my wings open wide..."

Indeed, the kind of song that could make you fly!

from Secrets of the Beehive (Virgin TVC 2471)

Out on the rebound for love  performed by Gangway
Recommended by moondog [profile]

Danish pop anyone ? Not that i am an expert in the genre but danish group Gangway made some fine records in the eighties in the aztec camera, prefab sprout vein. Especially this fine track with acoustic guitars that attack you like swarming bees and just the right amount of romantic longing that is the trademark of the genre.

Pale Shelter  performed by Paul Young  1983
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Another hidden gem ,unreleased and gathering dust untill the age of "Deluxe Editions".A well known song from Tears for Fears covered by the then "hot"Paul Young within a matter of weeks of the original release.Stripped down to acoustic guitar and demo piano and some blokey backing vocals ,Youngs powerful voice cuts through the originals somewhat fey vocal style and reveals the songs muscle and sinew and another example of a song from a supposed synthetic era being as good as their organic rivals.

from No Parlez(expanded), available on CD

People and places  performed by Constantin Veis
Recommended by moondog [profile]

Of all the releases on spains siesta label i especially hold "Memory La" by Greece`s Constantin Veis closest to me. Constantin veis who along with his brother sang and wrote songs in 80´s group The Fantastic Something. A kind of Simon & Garfunkel for the the indie/twee generation. On Memory La he continues in the simon & garfunkel style but throws in a more singer songwriter vibe along with bits of jimmy and burt. Crystal clear acoustic guitars and a wistful melody dominates "people and places" that removes this listener looking out on the mediterrean sea with a glass of ouzo in your right hand.

from Memory-La (Siesta)

Piazza, New York Catcher  performed by Belle & Sebastian  2003
Recommended by executiveslacks [profile]

This is such a pretty song. With just an acoustic guitar and voice, it could've easily sounded like any other folk song, yet I find something incredibly endearing about it.
Lyrically, it's a love story interrupted with baseball imagery (very strange for a Scotsman to display an understanding of the sport).

from Dear Catastrophe Waitress, available on CD

play crack the sky  performed by brand new  2003
Recommended by always_lazy [profile]

a superb acoustic song with great lyrics. It's so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes.

from deja entendu (razor & tie)

Praire Dog  performed by Laika  1997
Recommended by FCS [profile]

This is a trip-hop song with electronic tunes, but also acoustic. Very nice for introspective people.

from Sounds of the Satellites, available on CD

Redemption Song  performed by Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer  2003
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

Three dead men. An acoustic guitar and two dead mens voices sing a dead mans song.
I play this to make grown men weep at the end of the evening.
It was included in the cd box set that American recordings put out after Johnny Cash died. Fortunatly for me someone has cherry picked that set and bootlegged the results onto more playable and affordable vinyl. Although I suspect there are many more songs I'd love in that set, this one I knew would work so well.

from The devils right hand

Road to Happiness  performed by the Lilac Time   1989
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A melancholic slice of tranquility,little in the way of instrumentation save for an accordion,and some percussion and acoustic guitar,so sad and lonely it makes you feel better about yourself and the drone like melody will stay in your head long after your gone .

from The Lalac Time
available on CD - The Liac Time

Romeo’s Tune  performed by Steve Forbert  1979
Recommended by fost\'r [profile]

I think this one was recorded in '79...It was released late that year and peaked (at least in the US) in 1980.

Strikes a perfect balance between simplicity (Forbert's a singer-songwriter type) and complexity (there are several sections mixed and matched). Probably my favorite of the 1980s.

You've likely heard this song if you were listening to Pop music in 1980; it also received Adult Contemporary and Rock airplay. It has a beautify piano introduction which is repeated throughout. The intro piano gives way to a piaon-acoustic guitar-bass-drumkit backing to Forbert's vocals; later embellishments include backing singers, organ, and electric guitar.

Anyone heard this one?

from Jackrabbit Slim (?)

Rose Petals, Incense and a Kitten  performed by The Association  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is a pretty much overlooked gem by The Association. Somewhere described as a "total pacific beach fantasy", that's exactly how the song sounds. With it's idealized lyrics, great vocal harmonies, lush strings and a very nice acoustic guitar solo you can almost feel a gentle pacific breeze, evoking a similar kind of "lost summer" mood Chad & Jeremy's "Distant Shores" provide (at least for me)...

from Birthday, available on CD

  tinks: yummy song! i love this whole lp.
salamanda palaganda  performed by tyrannosaurus rex  1968
Recommended by penelope_66 [profile]

i cannot think of another group that so effectively uses loopy, poetic nonsense to create the feeling of being completely and totally in love! if you ask me, t rex is the best "love" music there is. and not in the typical cheesy way. he's also a rock 'n roll god! this song gets my head spinning every time. bolan's superhuman vibrato voice paired with rythmic bongos, acoustic guitar, pixiephone and all sorts of crazy percussion. this whole album is great, but this song has me at the moment.

from prophets, seers & sages the angels of the ages, available on CD

Sequoia  performed by Fay Lovsky  1997
Recommended by mojoto [profile]

The consistent high quality of the ever expanding oeuvre of Fay Lovsky doesn't make it easy to pick one song to examplify her work, so I'll just go by the moment and will choose my present favorite Sequoia, a humorous ode to a wooden californian characterised by a laid back bluesy pizzicato groove and tremelo glissandi especially towards the end, where they tickle the tree to a dramatic finale. All instruments on this track are acoustic (drums, bass, guitar, violins) and the sound is warm and direct as usual.

from Numbers (Basta 30-9069-2)

She Paints  performed by MadreOceano  2004
Recommended by esteban [profile]

Personnal Lyrics. Acoustic Guitars and chelo.
intimate sound.

from Eleven Songs Written and Recorded on the bathtub (selfrealeased)
available on CD - Eleven Songs written and Recorded on the Bathtub (selfrealased /only mail order)

Shearwater  performed by Pete Kennedy  1993
Recommended by Harch [profile]

A lovely, melodic, pensive guitar and piano piece.

from Shearwater: The Art of the Unplugged Guitar, available on CD

Si Manda  performed by Jorge Ben  1967
Recommended by DJ Markinho [profile]

This song is on one of Jorge Bens best records: O Bidu (Silencio No Brooklin) from 1967. This Brooklin is a district in the city of São Paulo, not New Yorks neighbourhood. In this period of his career Jorge Ben had moved from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo. He was the first to use the electric guitar in samba. His previous records were all recorded with a acoustic guitar and had a more classical Bossa Nova and Samba sound. "Si manda" is a great up-tempo Samba Rock track with a powerful beat and electric rhythm guitar. This record and this song in particluar must have had a big influence on the Tropicalia movement and a band like Os Mutantes.

from O Bidu (Silencio No Brooklin)

Sidewalk  performed by Birdie  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Great soundtrack to a sun-drenched sunday afternoon. Birdie members Paul Kelly and Deborah Wykes met as tour musicians for Saint Etienne, and in fact they sound similar with Deborah Wykes sounding like a somewhat subdued, toned down Sarah Cracknell. But you can hear more influences, with all the warm instrumentation in the song (acoustic guitar, flutes, muted trumpet, various analogue keyboards) it's close to late 60s easy listening pop, Bacharach and The Carpenters.

from Triple Echo, available on CD

Sleep The Clock Around  performed by Belle & Sebastian  1998
Recommended by penelope_66 [profile]

Beautiful, uplifting synth-crossed acoustic sound with their typical hint of sinister mood lingering throughout. Streaming trumpet, whirling keyboard and delicate vocals singing of a hit and miss existence. "Take a walk in the park, take a valium pill/Read the letter you got from the memory girl/But it takes more than this to make sense of the day/Yeah it takes more than milk to get rid of the taste." This and "Electronic Renaissance" are my two favorites by this group, and incidentally stand apart in sound from everything else they've created. Do your ears a favor and hear it...

available on CD - The Boy With The Arab Strap (Matador)

  delicado: yeah, great song. 'electronic renaissance' is from 'tiger milk', right? If it's the one I'm thinking of, I'm a big fan as well; I particularly enjoy the way it appropriates the mood of New Order's 'Procession'.
  penelope_66: yes, electronic renaissance is from tiger milk, which is their first album, and best in my opinion. the synth does add a bit of new order quality to it, now that you meantion it. Mmaybe that's why i like it so much...
  two-headed boy: Has to be one of my favorite B&S songs for the simple reason of the bag pipe howl at the end. Incredible arrangers to be sure. "Electronic Renaissance" is a wonderful tune as well, establishes Tiger Milk as their best attempt, a sprawling masterpiece.
  frmars: "Delicate singing" stands here for bad singing and quaveringvoice, "streaming trumpet" for rather cheap synth preset. Melody is rather uninteresting and ultra repetitive. I have often tried Belle & Sebastian. It is a very mediocre band.
  konsu: This coming from a guy (fmars) who thinks Brian Eno can sing.
Sleeping Sickness  performed by City and Colour
Recommended by DeadPuppet [profile]

The song is performed by Dallas Green (City and Colour, Alexisonfire). its an acoustic song with short moments of quiet drums. This song is amazing and great to just kick back and listen to when something has you pissed off or down in the dumps. Definitely a must to listen to.

from Bring me your love

Slide Show  performed by Travis  1999
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

A beautiful, stripped-down acoustic ballad, the final song on Travis' finest album. This song has one of the most amazing chorus' I've ever heard, a comment on the messages of music in life: "There is no design for life/There's no devil's haircut in my mind/There is not a wonderwall to climb or step around" Smart, and lovely.

from The Man Who (Sony)

So Far Away  performed by Carole King  1971
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Taken from the little album that came out of nowhere and brought Ms. King the recognition that she deserved, this is my favorite track. The simple setting and instrumental arrangement provide an intimate setting that allows the words to sweep over you. My friend's mother wore out two copies of this LP before the age of CD arrived. James Taylor plays acoustic guitar on this track as well as several others and went on to record his own version of "you've got a friend" which also appears on this classic album.

from Tapestry, available on CD

Solsbury Hill  performed by Peter Gabriel  1977
Recommended by schlick [profile]

Gabriel's wonderful tribute to the hill overlooking Somerset, England. Nice acoustic guitar work by Steve Hunter.

from Peter Gabriel 1 (Car), available on CD

Some Sing, Some Dance  performed by Michel Pagliaro  1971
Recommended by prufrock68 [profile]

One of a handful of Quebec artist Michel Pagliaro's (unsuccessful) stabs at the American charts, "Some Sing, Some Dance" is a breezy, acoustic-led pop trifle, lighter than air, with rudimentary lyrics apparently provided by William Finkelberg. A sample:

Ooh you
How would I know just to hold you
How could I show that I want to
'Cause I do wanna hold you
Yes I do

And the following verses expand ever so slightly on that very simplistic base, except by the 3rd terse verse, Michel has sped along from desiring the girl to doubting she could be true, to realizing she, in fact, WAS untrue. Nothing profound here lyrically (and one wonders how comfortable Pagliaro was in 1971 with the English language to keep things this simple), but no matter: The whole package is wrapped in an upbeat, spare but energetic arrangement featuring Pagliaro's acoustic guitar chording, and nice little touches sprinkled throughout, like castanets, shaken tambourine, echoey hand claps, an elegant string arrangement (by Ben McPeak)providing a wonderful counterpoint, and a flamenco-like guitar figure finishing out the brief chorus:

Some sing, some dance
Some like-a romance
I love lovin'

So, even though Michel's been chastened by his lover, he's still coming back for more and longing to still hold this woman...and he loves lovin'...obviously, the magic's in the music here, instead of the lyrics, and it's a little gem of a song. Listen and see if you aren't charmed as well.

from Pagliaro (OOP) (Much)
available on CD - Hit Parade (D.E.P.)

Something on my Mind  performed by The Pale Fountains  1982
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A breezy acoustic Bacharach influenced song played faithfully by a talented group of scousers in the early eighties ,sounding like it was recorded in 1967 ,aided by trumpets and strings as the song progresses before ending far too soon on an exquisite jazz chord.
This band should have been huge but faded from view before returning as SHACK (more later)

from Pacific Street, available on CD

Somewhere in Between  performed by Lifehouse  2001
Recommended by izumi [profile]

I think this is likely to be one of those songs you might accidentally come across on the radio or in a movie soundtrack, you don't know who performs it and you don't care because it just takes you in when you listen to it. You can't use words like "amazing" or "breathtaking" to describe it. It's just simple and beautiful and you'll love it if you like slow-paced songs with a acoustic guitar melody that sound really dreamy and wonderful.

from No Name Face (Dreamworks 4503382)

Spacebeach  performed by Arling & Cameron  1999
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A stunning instrumental from the Dutch duo Arling & Cameron, whose tunes are often more jaunty and upbeat than this one, which is a more moody, atmospheric number. Using similar synth sounds to some of Massive Attack's best work, live strings, a wordless female vocal and a nicely picked acoustic guitar sound, they weave together an intoxicatingly brilliant blanket of sound.

from Music for Imaginary Films, available on CD

  robert[o]: great track - best song on the LP
Spin, Spin, Spin  performed by Terry Callier  1964
Recommended by trivia [profile]

"Spin, Spin, Spin" is a graceful and romantic folk song which Callier sings with a smirk - almost as if he's in on a secret joke. His guitar phrasing is pitch perfect and his voice is both rich and subtle. HP Lovecraft covered this tune as a string-heavy psych-lite track on "HP Lovecraft II," but I prefer this original rendition's low-key and unpretentious acoustic charm.

from New Folk Sound of Terry Callier (Prestige)

Spring Summer Autumn  performed by The Style Council  1984
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Demoted to a 12inch b-side when the muse was thick and fast .A poetic vision of renewal and springtime set to simple melody picked out on a steely sounding acoustic guitar and some well behaved keyboards.Lost amidst Wellers considerable legend and back catologue .Have a listen to a writer pushing the boundaries of his own ability

from The Complete Adventures of the Style Council, available on CD

Sueno  performed by The Young Rascals
Recommended by snafkin [profile]

B-side of Groovin, the intro caught my attention as the sample from the beginning of A Tribe Called Quest's 'I Left My Wallet...'. The rest of the track is even better though - a really dynamic song built aroung a fantastic acoustic guitar riff.

Summer, Highland Falls  performed by Billy Joel
Recommended by mklinsao [profile]

from Turnstiles

Sweet Tuesday Morning  performed by Badfinger  1971
Recommended by nuthings [profile]

A very sweet, acoustic song about the beauty of a lover's smile in the morning.

from Straight Up, available on CD

Telling Stories  performed by The Argonauts  2004
Recommended by chris kane [profile]

Acoustic summery song. Very 60's sounding with great harmonys and really odd guitar out of one of the speakers. A must hear for fans of Teenage Fanclub

Tereza and Tomas  performed by Bright Eyes  1998
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

'Bright Eyes' O'Connor Oberst is a gifted lyricist and probably the best for his age (19 at record release). With his literary references and unconventional recording, listening to Bright Eyes is quite an experience. In this instance we meet the protagonists of the novel, 'The Unberable Lightness of Being,' and find in their weightlessness the desire to escape. Slow acoustic struming by O'Conner steady his intense vocals and between the chimes and reverberating forte piano we experience a disjointing storm used to great effect. The song has us drifting at sea with a delicate melody until we are at last erased like a skeleton in chalk. Bright Eyes sings - 'Let's sail away disappearing in a mist. Let's sail away with a whisper and a kiss. Or vanish from a road somewhere, like Tereza and Tomas, suspended in this bliss.' We feel his expressive words and sound pass through us, and late in the day we find it echoing softly in our heads. Quite an accomplishment for someone who couldn't drink yet, I look forward to following his career.

from Letting Off the Happiness (Saddle Creek Records lbj - 23)

The Ballad of Mary Magdalen  performed by Cry Cry Cry  1998
Recommended by indigobo [profile]

This clever little gem was written by folk singer/songwriter Richard Shindell and originally appears on his 1994 Shanachie release, Blue Divide, as "The Ballad of Mary Magdalene." A perfect example of Shindell's non-confessional, often ironic, storytelling, it recounts the ill-fated love affair between the title character and JC: "Jesus loves me, this I know/ why on earth, did I ever let him go?/ He was always faithful, he was always kind/ but he walked off with this heart of mine." On this version, Shindell is joined by fellow folkies Dar Williams (lead vocal) and Lucy Kaplansky (harmony). In 1998 A.D., the three artists became incarnate as Cry Cry Cry for one album, which, if you like three-part harmony, is almost a religious experience. A good example, too, of what Shindell can do with a Martin acoustic.

from Cry Cry Cry (Razor and Tie)

The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot  performed by Brand New  2003
Recommended by nospmohtetak [profile]

long name for a very, very good song about someone wishing to better than what he really is

from Deja Entendu (Razor&Tie Music 82896)

The Cure For Broken Hearts  performed by ANT  2000
Recommended by kkkerplunkkk [profile]

If you like your pop, soft and acoustic with witty lyrics, then check this out! 'I'd give up all my selfish little dreams to be in hers' coos ANT over a strummed acoustic, brushed snare drum and tinkling Wurlitzer piano.

from Cures For Broken Hearts, available on CD

The Dogs and the Horses (NYC acoustic)  performed by The Divine Comedy  1996
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A very beautiful song musically and lyrically. I much prefer this piano/vocal version from the Becoming more like Alfie CD single to the rather over-orchestrated one on the album "Casanova"

from Becoming more like Alfie

The Hardest Part of Hurting Is The Hope  performed by Scott Gibson  2003
Recommended by wattsup [profile]

This is the last tune on the disc "Make REady" by Scott. It is a gorgeous slow love song with a killer refrain and title; "The Hardest Part of Hurting Is The Hope". It features Scott's voice as well lap steel and acoustic guitar. They fit together so well--it is like they are a single performer. It is a great finish to this wonderful disc. It makes me want to start the song all over again [I think I will--grin!].

from Make Ready (Hayden's Ferry B0000A4G4H)

The Land / Rainy Sunday Evening  performed by Ramatam  1973
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Ramatam, who walked the earth in the early '70s, were an annoying '50s-influenced hard rock band who nevertheless managed to kick off their second LP with the mostly acoustic two-parter listed here. The first half is slow, slightly off-kilter and full of sharp harmonies, while the second part is the most wistfully resigned paean to lost love this side of the late John Phillips. The whole thing is string-drenched and utterly lovely.

from In April Came The Dawning Of The Red Suns (Atlantic)

The Minx  performed by Cyrkle  1967
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

Cyrkle recorded the soundtrack to this X-rated adult film in 1967 -- only shortly after after their biggest hit, the Paul Simon-penned "Red Rubber Ball." The film didn't screen until 1969. Judging from the title track, it is a pretty cool score and maybe not what I would expect. Soft, almost bossa acoustic guitar and wordless ba-dum-dum vocals that could of come off of a Gary McFarland record. Supposedly, Cyrkle appear in the film as well.

from The Minx
available on CD - Cafe Apres-Midi - Marine

The Most Important Man Alive  performed by Momus  1997
Recommended by tinks [profile]

This accursed short attention span of mine makes it nearly impposible for me to pay attention to lyrics. But Momus has a definite savoir-faire that just keeps me riveted. Nick Currie does his usual sardonic "thang" on this acoustic-guitar-and-sequencer ballad about just how great Howard DeSoto is. "I am/quite simply/the most important man alive." Makes me want to go to Montparnasse, too. Only available on Bungalow's "Suite: 98" compilation.

from Suite: 98, available on CD

The Next Step You’ll Take  performed by Club 8  2003
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Club 8, consisting of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Johan Angergaard and vcalist Karolina Komstedt, started of in the mid 90s with a twee indie pop sound, with jangly guitars (Angergaard being a major Smiths fan) and simple instrumetation. With the release of their self- titled album in 2001 they added some electronica without losing the general tone of their music which is basically well crafted, melodic, gentle, airy, etheral, melancholic indie pop. Karolina Komstedt vocals are quite similar to early Nina Person of The Cardigans or Claudine Longet in their airy, angelic, dreamlike delivery. "The Next Step You'll Take" is a bossa nova influenced track, with gentle acoustic and electric guitars, some percussion and vibraphone. Nothing groundbreaking, but they combine well known elements in such a charming, delicate way i find them hard to resist.

from Strangely Beautiful, available on CD

The Park  performed by Feist
Recommended by brandyalexander [profile]

I feel like I've found love when I hear this song. I also love love the acoustic sound. Go outside when you're listen to this one...if you have those capabilites that is. You'll enjoy it. Promise.

from Let It Die

The Past and Pending  performed by The Shins  2001
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

A beautiful ballad, with minimal vocals and sparse acoustic guitar. A departure from the Shin's normal upbeat pop.

from Oh, Inverted World (subpop)

The Rip  performed by Portishead  2008
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

Damn, the new Portishead LP is good!
This song mixes eerie theremin tones, acoustic and surf guitars, Kraftwerk-esque keyboards and a swell kraut-rock drumbeat.
Meanwhile Beth Gibbons drifts in from above, doing her best "Sandy Denny sings the Nico Songbook" impersonation.

available on CD - Third

The River(live)  performed by Bruce Springsteen  2000
Recommended by giant [profile]

Ok, Ok, cut it out, we all know Bruce went ultra commercial and slightly "rock n roll artificial" there in the eighties but what the mainstream listener doesn't know, is that Springsteen has some very powerful songs tucked under his belt. Similar to the Beach Boys, Bruce is widely known on the weight of his biggest commercial succeses, ie. "Born in The USA", however he has written some incredibly moving songs, most of them acoustic on such albums as "Nebraska" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad." Here is Bruce in the vein of our great American folk singers like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash(who has covered a Springsteen Song)in one of the most tender and haunting songs, sung live, Harmonica by bruce as well, and it is called "The River" This concert was also televised, and the tear I noticed in his eyes as he performed this lovely and sad song further shows how much he brings and to what depth he is able to express.

from live in New York City
available on CD - live in New York City

  phil: Hm - a very good friend of mine is really into Bruce Springsteen, and out of the respect I hold him in I have tried listening to the Boss' stuff. And I really began to like this one - I have a live version of this from Barcelona which is really very moving, in which Bruce talks about failing his medical for the Vietnam draft.

It always strikes me as - er - outdoor music, quite different from the hair-splitting, neurotic, urban stuff I usually listen to. Definitely worth a listen if you have previously sniffed at the springsteen but are willing to have another go - as giant says, it's real great american folk singer stuff.

Incidentally, while recording my band's last demo, the rest of the band described a solo I played as 'sounding like bruce springsteen'. A small chill ran down my spine.

The Saddest Song  performed by The Ataris  2003
Recommended by izumi [profile]

I love the meaning and melody of this song. It's not about love or death or anything, but about how the singer feels sorry because he doesn't spend enough time with his daughter. It always makes me feel sad listening to this because I can relate to it on a personal level. There are two versions of this song, a guitar/drum version (which I prefer), but the acoustic version is just as good and the same piano theme occurs in both.

from So Long, Astoria (Columbia 5105302)

The Seed (2.0)  performed by The Roots  2003
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

Funky, and soulful, and very smooth. I love the sound of acoustic guitar in a hip-hop song.

from Phrenology

The Tide  performed by Neurosis (US)  2001
Recommended by BM_DM [profile]

A real journey, from a gentle acoustic introduction to an earth-moving riff-feast in the middle, and developing organically towards a satisfying ending. Neurosis really are an extraordinary band, and this is one of their very best tracks.

from A Sun That Never Sets (Relapse)

The Way You Look Tonight  performed by Air (french band)  2002
Recommended by dedismo [profile]

Good music to fall in love to. Classic Air use of Acoustic guitar, french accented voices singing English, and melodious synthesizers. Fall in love with Air again.

from Everybody Hertz, E.P. (10,000 Hz Remixes) (Astralwerks 11833)
available on CD - Everybody Hertz E.P. (Astralwerks)

This Year's Love  performed by David Gray
Recommended by Silly Goose [profile]

This song is all about being hopeful for a relationship, even after you have been hurt many times. David Gray's whole album has this acoustic/electronic feel to it, and his voice is so soothing.

from White Ladder, available on CD

Thrash Unreal  performed by Against Me!  2007
Recommended by Jeremiahcity [profile]

This four piece rock band from Florida delivers their new album featuring the song "Thrash Unreal." The song delivers the same kind of real person feeling used by John Lennon. A great album displaying absolute feeling and true life. Not for your normal prog fan, def alternative music.

from New Wave

Times Like These (Acoustic)  performed by Foo Fighters  2002
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

The original song is amazing, but the acoustic version is better. Dave Grohl's voice is put to a great use here. The song is stripped down, made quieter and more powerful in acoustic form. Very very beautiful.

times like these (acoustic)  performed by dave grohl of foo fighters
Recommended by atticus [profile]

this rendition of the foo's hit single surpasses the original version in every way. while the radio release generates power and energy while conjuring up a sense of nostalgia that accompany the song's lyrics, the acoustic version allows dave grohl's voice to, in a sense, speak to the listener comfortingly. the lyrics inspire all who listen to look around and seize the day, and to do this by cherish the relationships in one's life.

Tive Razao  performed by Seu Jorge  2004
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

So anyone who's seen The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or City of God will recognize Seu Jorge as the handsome, dark-skinned actor with the gravelly voice. In Life Aquatic he plays Pele, the Brazilian safety officer on board Zissou's boat and the bard that plays Portuguese language covers of David Bowie songs. Although this is changing, even in Brazil he's better known as an actor than a musician. His second solo album (he used to be in a band called Farofa Carioca), Cru, was released last fall in France and was impossibly hard to find until recently. Tive Razao was the first release from this album and is fairly representative and is the shining peak as well. Based around an acoustic guitar riff and Seu Jorge's multi-tracked vocals, the song just floats in this melancholy haze like some of the best Chico Buarqu de Hollanda ballads. The production on this song (and the album) is much more sparse than the previous album, but much more original as well. Jorge even uses what I think is a theremin to add a slight spookiness to the preceedings. The lyrics mean something like, "I had an excuse" or "I had a reason."

from Cru, available on CD

  ambassador: I since found out that the title means "You were right." makes a bit more sense that way.
Toxic Girl (Monte Carlo 1963 Version)  performed by Kings of Convenience  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The basic track, as heard on their album "Quiet Is The New Loud", is pretty minimal with just acoustic guitars, bass and drums. For the single release they added wonderfully lush strings arranged by David Whitaker, transforming the rather autumnal, Simon & Garfunkel-esque track into a lighter, brighter, well, more "Monte Carlo 1963" sounding song.

from Toxic Girl (CD Single)

Tres Cosas  performed by juana molina  2002
Recommended by fiftyfootgirl [profile]

This is an absolutely magical song! Juana Molina is a singer/songwriter from Argentina. I first heard her on KCRW (Santa Monica radio station) when I was living in Los Angeles. Her music is totally captivating; it's melodic, ethereal, quirky, whimsical, a little melancholy sometimes, very very sweet. She often uses acoustic instruments (guitar, piano), but what makes her music unique is her use of electronic elements. It often sounds like she is recording in the middle of the rainforest. Tres Cosas, from the album of the same name, is a very up-beat, sparkly little song. Her live performances are archived on the KCRW website: (do a search for Juana Molina in the "Find it!" feature), and you can purchase her music at:
Gourmet Musical

from Tres Cosas, available on CD

Turning of the Tide  performed by Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3  2006
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Songwriter Steve Wynn, the former Dream Syndicate frontman, has been on a tear since 1996 when he offered Melting in the Dark. Since then, his records have featured howling, wailing rock & roll and deep, dark acoustic reflections — all of them bearing his trademark noir-ish lyrics that offer the shadowy side of life, love, and violence. He's employed a variety of musicians, and they've always sounded like hired guns. On ...Tick...Tick...Tick he's got himself a real band. They're all younger than he is, and they have the hunger it takes to really execute Wynn's unique songs. Start with drummer Linda Pitmon, who acts as co-producer (along with Wynn and Craig Schumacher) on these sides. Add to this the fact that the entire band (including Dave DeCastro on bass and guitarist Jason Victor) plots the arrangements.

"Turning of the Tide," is the mirror image, with the refrain stating "Don't be afraid/It's just the turning of the tide." Here again, guitars climb astride one another and begin ringing, jangling in heated dialogue to underscore the words as Pitmon's in-the-pocket drumming urges them forward.

from ...Tick...Tick...Tick, available on CD

Two Star  performed by Everything But The Girl  1994
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

To me, Everything But The Girl are one of the most memorable bands of the 80s and 90s. What always strikes me is how their sound evolved from jangly, jazzy-pop in the beginning to polished, rather slick sophisti-pop in the late 80s/early 90s to sample-heavy, drum & bass/trip-hop influenced, house-embracing electronica at the end of their recording history in the mid/late 90s. Despite the change in sound they always managed to capture a consistency in the feel of the music, always revolving around the same themes over the years, dripping with melancholia, unrequited love, self-pity, romantic disillusionment etc. "Two Star" is a delicate, yet emotionally bleak ballad. Acoustic in sound, with piano, double bass and a wonderful string arrangement by Harry Robinson plus some cor anglais embellishments by Kate St. John.

from Amplified Heart, available on CD

Underglow  performed by EO -  2011
Recommended by phaeocstar [profile]

Electro Acoustic, Dark, Tribal, Cosmic, Futuristic, Dubstep, Through-Composed, Journey, Classical, Exploration, Experimental, Balkan, Psychadelic

from Underglow

Up On The Hill  performed by Mark Burgess and the Sons of God  1994
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Ex-Chameleons leader Mark Burgess released this CD in '94, which was supposed to be demos, but his "demos" are superior to most acts' finished products. This particular song is very gloomy, in two parts, and the second half has ghostly backing vocals (very likely synthesized) which recall those in Terry Stafford's '64 hit "Suspicion". There is a cello snaking around throughout, not to mention a banjo (!), and the acoustic guitar backing sounds muted. The lyrics seem to be critical of religion ("Yes I'm a fool, A fool not a rat, I have no fear of the cat"), which makes it the kind of song one would wish to have played at one's funeral. Mark Burgess has more talent in his little finger than most phoney chart acts have in their entire persons!

And by the way, the Chameleons' "Strange Times" LP is awesome!

available on CD - Zima Junction (Pivot)

Vim Da Bahia  performed by Quarteto Em Cy  1967
Recommended by sodapop650 [profile]

Quarteto Em Cy "Som Definitivo" was the first brazilian LP I purchased because I liked the cover. Before that I had only been familiar with Sergio Mendes and things like Les Baxter or Michel LeGrands excellent Rio LP. The darkness and power of Som Definitivo blew me away. Instead of the sacharine sweet vocals and ultra-clean arrangements of Sergio Mendes this sounded like 4 rowdy schoolgirls who got dragged into the studio off the street. The sound was much more throaty and the music by Tamba Trio is the primitive repetitious acoustic stuff that, personally, affects me the most. they do a lot of "call-and-response" type of arrangements. I always imagine the solitary life of people living in Bahia and the importance of the sea and the repetitious sound of the breaking waves in much of the music and the voices of the 4 girls like ghosts of the sea calling out to the fishermen. (I make up all kinds of stupid shit about the songs becasue I can't understand a word their saying anyway) Quarteto Em Cy also perfom on the classic Baden Powell/Vinicius De Moraes LP "Os Afro Sambas." In one of my earlier comments I mention that I have been told that Voodoo had a big influence on the people of Brazil and this LP is the best example of this influence.

from Som Definitivo, available on CD

Voice of the Soul  performed by Death
Recommended by Lustii [profile]

I think this is one of the most beatiful songs. The way how it have been made two guitars leading acoustic steel and solo electrick. I don`t know what else to say i almost cry everytime i listen this song.

Walk Away Renee  performed by Orpheus  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A really lovely version of this song, which was more famously recorded by The Left Banke. The introduction nicely recalls the melody of The Association's 'Never my love'.

The instrumentation has a folk flavour, with a nice strummed acoustic guitar. The production is superb, with great, slightly distant sounding vocal harmonies and occasional sparkly percussion sounds. Overall, it's a sound not millions of miles away from groups like Spanky and Our Gang, but it has a melancholic edge to it that makes it more listenable to my ears. Something has happened to me over the last couple of years, and some of the more lightheartedly happy music I used to like appeals to me much less.

from Ascending (MGM MGM 4569)
available on CD - The Very Best Of Orpheus (Varese)

  executiveslacks: I had just finished recommending Belle & Sebastian's "Piazza, New York Catcher" when I came across this recommendation. They namecheck "Walk Away Renee" in "Piazza..." I haven't heard this song, but now I want to hear it!
  WayCool: Orpheus' version of "Walk Away Renee" is a classic example of how this group effortlessly applied their distinctive sound to material by other bands. I enjoyed the original version by The Left Banke but always thought the wimpy vocals could have used some testosterone. The Orpheus version is without fault and I'm totally puzzled why it failed to eclipse the original.
  jeanette: I hear the legendary Pink Lady have also recorded a version - what a treat! Anyone heard?
  delicado: Having heard several versions of this song (most recently, The Blades of Grass), I'd just like to reiterate that this for me is THE rendition of the song - I'm with WayCool on this one!
  artlongjr: I have a 45 of this by the Four Tops...I like their version, it sounds very mature the way Levi Stubbs sings it, compared to the youthful innocence of the original! I have the Orpheus version and it's great, but I will always like the Left Banke original best...I wonder if anybody ever covered "Pretty Ballerina"?
We Dance  performed by Pavement  1995
Recommended by phil [profile]

I get the impression that even a lot of Pavement fans don't know this one very well, presumably because it's on a pretty duff album (wowee zowee). However, it's one of my absolute favourite pavement songs. Musically it is very quiet - it's essentially just an acoustic guitar, though the funny noises the band make are quite entertaining. However, I really love the structure: there's nothing that can be called a verse or a chorus there - he just rambles on until he is finished. It has the full extent of Pavement's lyrics - completely ridiculous, funny, and sometimes very moving. Plus, as ever, malkmus' weirdy voice is a joy to listen to. So, if you like the pavement style - slow, quirky, funny, and often amazingly beautiful musically, and you don't know this one, you should really look into it. There's a brilliant solo version of it you can get off Napster (legally - Pavement distribute this stuff) - search for "we dance acoustic" - means you don't have to cough up for the album too.

from Wowee Zowee, available on CD

  karlmort: this one has been among my fave pavement albums since it came out. this album has some stand out tracks like grounded , fight this generation and we dance. there is also a rare version of this song on a 7". it was released prior to wowee zowee.
  your_namesake: absolutely love this track. can't agree with you on wowee zowee though, i think that's a brilliant album...
Whistle Down the Wind  performed by Nick Heyward  1983
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A lush orchestrated pop song that carries the sadness of autumn and the hope of spring in its stunning almost visual arrangement ,piano ,acoustic guitar and strings weave in and around a deceptively simple song whose chorus will stay with you long after music ends.Very close to perfect pop ,if such a thing exists,thoughtful ,intelligent ,sensitive and humourous .

from North of a Miracle
available on CD - North of a Miracle (Bonus)

Who Are You Now?  performed by Justin Hayward & John Lodge  1975
Recommended by ChiswickChick [profile]

I can't find enough words to express what I think of this stunning track.

The lead vocals, harmonies and arrangements are as close as you are likely to get to perfection.

Lyrically, it is both cleverly written and emotive, and combined with the beautifully simple melody and Hayward's ethereal vocals, totally heart-rending.

Very very few songs have instantly reduced me to tears (for the right reasons at least!) but this is one of them.

from Blue Jays (Threshold)

Wish You Were Here  performed by Pink Floyd  1975
Recommended by polyphemus [profile]

A soft-spoken paean to the dear-departed Syd Barrett (drowned in a psychedelic abyss), an acoustic lullaby weaving a dreamscape cocoon, a hymn to self-destruction. Too heart-breakingly beautiful for the living: Play this at my funeral.

from Wish You Were Here (EMI/Capitol)

  SuzyCreamcheese: Pretty nice song, a little irratating after a while
  el.oh man.: i agree, this should be played at my funeral please. and no, it doesnt get irratating after a while.
Yesterday and Today  performed by YES  1968
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Sweet and simpler than this groups future output ,a piano,acoustic guitar ballad ,with angelic vocals and unusual chord progressions which make it sound less repetitive than it actually is .This was Yes,s first album and gave little sign of their future prog direction this track has more in common with The Beatles than than the wigged out fantasy jams that filled future albums .Short ,sweet and lovely

from YES!, available on CD

Your Guardian Angel  performed by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Recommended by bluewatafrog342 [profile]

Acoustic/Punk Rock, I absolutely love this song because of the way it is starts so smooth and slow and then gradually erupts into an amazing finish. It also has great lyrics and a story to it.

from Don't You Fake It

yuma, arizona  performed by Damain Jurado
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

Sweet,imperfect and acoustic. All of his lyrics have this nerdy common man feel to them. His music is beautiful but very tangible.

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