10 Best Acoustic Hard Rock Songs
9. Rivendell - Rush
For all of their incredible musical feats across their discography, Rush has often been labelled as "nerd rock" for quite a while. Though the subject matter of songs is a bit too detailed for some, the music behind it would remain stellar even when brought down to its bare bones.
With an accompaniment that is almost completely acoustic, lyricist Neil Peart used Alex Lifeson's almost medieval chord progression as a template to pen a different kind of rock lyric. Out of all the members, Peart was always the most literate of the band and pulled the concept of "Rivendell" straight from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. While bands like Led Zeppelin had taken Tolkien's writings as a model before, "Rivendell" is a pure pastiche of the Lord of the Rings with its blissful guitar strums and Geddy Lee's delicate vocal delivery. You can practically feel the breeze from Middle Earth brushing past your face as the song plays out.
Meshed in between the chaotic prog of Fly by Night, this song is a gentle detour on an album already littered with bold new sonic directions. Whereas before the band was more of a straight rock outfit, "Rivendell" was one of many signs that Rush were switching up their styles quite rapidly.