Part of the appeal of rock and roll in the first place is the draw of the electric guitar. Even if you gravitate more towards the lead singer position or the drums, there’s a certain X-factor that comes with hearing a Les Paul going through a Marshall stack that will give you an adrenaline rush whenever you hear it. You have to have songs to go the distance though, and the ultimate test is being able to play the song without any of your toys.
For the most part, every one of these hard rock bands stripped everything away on these tracks, doing a different version of their own song or just trying their hand at writing some acoustic material to mix things up. Before alarm bells start flashing in your head though, there’s a case to be made that these are some of the best songs in these bands’ body of work.
While the fire behind the guitars may be kept at a minimum here, you do get a more intimate portrait of what these songs are about, as the writer combs through their psyche to try and put something in between the lyrics that’s much more in line with who they are. You can add as many bells and whistles to these songs as you’d like, but there’s still a great foundation underneath it all.
10. Patience - Guns N Roses
Every gigantic hair metal band to come out of the '80s had to have their sappy ballad to play during their shows. These were the pretty boys of rock and roll, and the anthems were always balanced by the slower moments, bringing the shows down a notch and almost turning the entire Sunset Strip into a sea of rock and roll anthems and pretty songs for the future housewives of the world. So in the middle of acts like Poison and Motley Crue having their balladesque songs, how did the street urchins of the Strip pull that off?
For most of Appetite for Destruction, there was never a moment where Guns N Roses let off the gas, having the same kind of attitude even when doing love songs like Sweet Child o Mine. The Lies EP was just a breather for them to test out new material though, and Izzy Stradlin brought a little folk rock diamond into the mix with Patience, talking about a couple who's in the middle of a slump in their relationship and giving themselves time to heal.
As much as this might have been a stretch for the same band who wrote My Michelle, Axl pours his soul into this vocal, filled with emotion while Slash's guitar work brings a bit of country flair to the whole thing. Since the rest of the EP has some questionable moments on tracks like Used to Love Her and One in a Million, this is the kind of down and out rocker that the Rolling Stones would have been proud to have their name on.