Top Ten Songs Featuring a Pedal Steel Guitar

The pedal steel guitar was developed in the 1950s by adding pedals and levers to an ordinary console steel guitar. It's an essential staple of country music and has been used on some occasions outside of the Nashville scene. Note: I am not as dedicated of a country music fan as I am a rock music fan, so a lot of the stuff on this first draft of the list is either country rock stuff or not country at all. Therefore, I encourage all of the real country music fans out there to contribute to this list. Also, the songs on this list can be of any genre. Just make sure it has a pedal steel guitar on it, as opposed to a lap steel. People frequently get the two confused.

The Top Ten

1 Slowly - Webb Pierce

As any dedicated country fan will tell you, this is one of the first country songs to feature a pedal steel guitar. Buddy Isaacs played the solo, being the first to push the pedal while the notes were still sounding. - Gg2000

Sounds nice - BreakFastBeast2005

2 Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Jerry Garcia played the pedal steel guitar on this song. He did it in exchange for the members of Crosby, Stills, and Nash teaching the Grateful Dead how to sing in three part harmony. - Gg2000

3 Christine's Tune - The Flying Burrito Brothers

"Sneaky Pete" Kleinow played the pedal steel guitar. He did something different by running it through a fuzz pedal whenever he played a solo. - Gg2000

4 Torn and Frayed - The Rolling Stones

Session man Al Perkins played on this song. You can hear his pedal steel playing all over the country rock scene of the 70s. - Gg2000

5 Tangerine - Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page played the pedal steel guitar. He also used one on "That's the Way" and "Your Time Is Gonna Come". - Gg2000

6 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - The Byrds

Another prominent session musician, Lloyd Green, played the pedal steel guitar riff that keeps recurring throughout the song. - Gg2000

7 Country Feedback - R.E.M.

This is my favorite R.E.M. song. - JCHOW

Outside musician John Keane added the pedal steel guitar to this song. - Gg2000

8 Out on the Weekend - Neil Young

Played by Ben Keith. He's worked with Neil Young for over 40 years. - Gg2000

9 Nashville Cats - The Lovin' Spoonful

John Sebastian played the steel guitar here. Makes sense, considering that this song is his ode to Nashville musicians. - Gg2000

10 East St. Louis Toodle-Oo - Steely Dan

Jeff Baxter played pedal steel guitar. Since this song was a cover of a Duke Ellington song (the only cover they ever did), they had Jeff play what would have been the trombone solo on a pedal steel guitar. He played steel guitar on a couple other songs from the Pretzel Logic album; he tried to avoid using overly country sounding licks. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams

I did some research, and all the Hank Williams stuff has a steel guitar, but not a pedal steel guitar. Hank passed away before it was even invented. I had no idea. - Gg2000

It's alright. I never realized when exactly the pedal steel was invented either before making this list, so I understand how it goes. - Gg2000

12 Breathe (In the Air) - Pink Floyd

Nice list!
Apologies if this added item isn't correct (I'm not a massive Pink Floyd fan), but I have it on good authority that this song does have a pedal steel guitar featured within. So... - Britgirl

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List Stats

12 listings
106 days old

Top Remixes

1. Slowly - Webb Pierce
2. Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
3. Christine's Tune - The Flying Burrito Brothers


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