Needs more accordion.
June 20, 2009 5:31 AM   Subscribe

What are some good pop/rock songs that feature an accordion? I'm not looking for any polka/cajun/zydeco-influenced sounds, but more traditional rock tunes - think "The Last Beat of My Heart" by Siouxsie and the Banshees or even "What it Takes" by Aerosmith - where it's just another backing instrument.
posted by adverb to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of songs by the Arcade Fire -- a good example is "No Cars Go."

Nirvana's version of "Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam" (from Unplugged).

posted by Jaltcoh at 5:50 AM on June 20, 2009

This list will give you a good start.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:50 AM on June 20, 2009

Counting Crows - Long December
posted by swordfishtrombones at 5:58 AM on June 20, 2009

Constant Craving by kd lang.
posted by essexjan at 6:05 AM on June 20, 2009

They Might Be Giants feature it in many of their songs. This page has a list.
posted by Gungho at 6:06 AM on June 20, 2009

Lots of Decemberists songs - Leslie Ann Levine, for one.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:08 AM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Lots of Weddings Parties Anything.
posted by hawthorne at 6:17 AM on June 20, 2009

Neutral Milk Hotel - The King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1
posted by hydrophonic at 6:27 AM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure the Benjy Davis Project uses an accordion in some of their music, but I can't think what song off hand.
posted by quodlibet at 6:29 AM on June 20, 2009

Lots of John Cougar Mellencamp tunes used accordion.
posted by fish tick at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2009

The Felice Brothers.
posted by Sailormom at 6:51 AM on June 20, 2009

All of Paul Simon's Graceland has insanely good accordion playing.

I think Rickie Lee Jone's Pop Pop has a lot of's sort of vaguely or less vaguely jazz.
posted by sully75 at 6:56 AM on June 20, 2009

The Cowboy Junkies often include a plaintive accordion as accompaniment. (Everything about the Junkies is plaintive.)
posted by megatherium at 6:59 AM on June 20, 2009

Bruce Hornsby plays the accordion a lot.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:10 AM on June 20, 2009

Poi Dog Pondering
posted by jdfan at 7:23 AM on June 20, 2009

Moxy Fruvous used a fair amount of accordion. The only song coming to mind right now is "Bargainville," but I'm sure there are others.
posted by sineala at 7:31 AM on June 20, 2009

jdfan: Thank you, thank you. I have been trying to remember the name of the band I saw at Ravinia in the northern Chicago suburbs circa 1997. They were terrific. It was Poi Dog Pondering. What was so great, was that they played a Saturday night. But, on that Saturday morning, they played a free kids show. I went with my 3 and 2 years olds and with a bunch of fathers with like aged kids. Everyone loved it especially the kids. I distinctly recall an accordion being played and my daughter asking, "what's that?" The evening show rocked.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:32 AM on June 20, 2009

A poppy example in French is Tu Es Foutu by In Grid. It was quite popular when I was in Europe a few years ago.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 7:53 AM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

They Might be Giants. If you cut open my head you'd hear this song playing all the time (this version too).

The Pogues, although I appreciate we're stepping into slightly polka territory here.
posted by humblepigeon at 8:01 AM on June 20, 2009

I saw Po' Girl (warning: autoplay) last summer and they had an accordion. Although their "Home to You" album doesn't seem to use it very much.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:02 AM on June 20, 2009

Kinda surprised I don't see The Who's "Squeeze Box" listed yet. It's about an accordion (or is it...).
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 8:02 AM on June 20, 2009

Brave Combo
posted by omnidrew at 8:18 AM on June 20, 2009

The new Dylan has a goodly amount
posted by captainsohler at 8:31 AM on June 20, 2009

Fairground Attraction.

Folky, rather than rocky. Definitely worth a listen IMHO.
posted by humblepigeon at 8:49 AM on June 20, 2009

A few songs from the World/ Inferno Friendship Society would fall into this category. Your Younger Man comes to mind.
posted by milquetoast at 1:04 PM on June 20, 2009

And there's always World/Inferno Friendship Society member Franz Nicolay's day job - The Hold Steady. Probably not quite as accordion-heavy, but rather rockin'.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:12 PM on June 20, 2009

I don't think it's exactly what you're looking for (definitely more metal than classic rock), but Turisas features a pretty prominent accordion.

If I remember correctly, the last link is somewhat NSFW due to language in the pre-song banter.
posted by N2O1138 at 1:06 AM on June 21, 2009

Road To Nowhere, and Radio Head (which some band named themselves after), both by Talking Heads.
posted by idiopath at 1:24 AM on June 21, 2009

In addition to A Long December, Counting Crows put out a live album (Across a Wire) where one disc was all acoustic, with a lot of the songs featuring accordion (like this version of Mr. Jones).
posted by anthom at 6:54 AM on June 22, 2009

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