I'm absolutely biased in believing that acoustic versions of songs are often better then the original. Maybe it's the classical musician in me, but often boiling down a song to it's basic elements enhances really good songwriting.
Here's some of my favorites:
The Brian and Gary Setzer version of "I Fought The Law"
. Just two guys and two 12 string guitars. There's something raw and joyous in this version, and of all the different covers out there this is by far my favorite.
It's not really acoustic as Paul Simon is playing an electric guitar, but his version of Long Long Day on the Muppet Show
is one of my favorite. I consider it acoustic as it's just Paul and a guitar, no fancy effects or pedals. Boiling down everything to a basic harmony and melody line shows off the beauty of the melody and the deep feeling behind the music.
I was fortunate enough to see Barenaked Ladies in concert in Toronto a bunch of years ago just after Barenaked Ladies Are Me came out. They did a whole set of songs totally acoustic...sta
nd up bass and bongos included. Ed does a LOT of songs of theirs acoustic, and has a whole set of "bathroom recordings" of just him and the guitar. I can't find the set I saw in Toronto, but here's a version of "For You" from the same tour I saw.
I admit I don't know a lot of Korn songs, but their acoustic version of "Throw Me Away" with taiko drums
is just outstanding. They managed to stay completely acoustic despite being a pretty hard rock band, and retain all of the power of the original song.
Everything Apocalyptica does is amazing, and recently they've gotten into more electronic cello and adding extra instruments. But their early stuff, just 4 cellos and a version of Metallica music, has all the grit and feel of the original song with even more amazing solos. Enter Sandman
was the first thing I'd ever heard them do, and it still makes me grin. For a ...