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 Slowly - Webb Pierce Cover Art

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 Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Cover Art

This was Crosby, Stills and Nash - no Neil 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 Christine's Tune - The Flying Burrito Brothers Cover Art

"Sneaky Pete" - Simply the best!

"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 Torn and Frayed - The Rolling Stones Cover Art

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

Al Perkins is amazing!

Al Perkins is a country rock legend!

Doesn’t get better than the Stones and Al Perkins.

5 Tangerine - Led Zeppelin Tangerine - Led Zeppelin Cover Art

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 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - The Byrds Cover Art

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. Country Feedback - R.E.M. Cover Art

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 Out on the Weekend - Neil Young Cover Art

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

9 Best of My Love - Eagles Best of My Love - Eagles Cover Art

Let's give this song some more votes... - Gg2000

Eagles!

Really beautiful pedal steel played by Bernie Leadon to go with the beautiful harmonies.

10 Nashville Cats - The Lovin' Spoonful Nashville Cats - The Lovin' Spoonful Cover Art

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

The Newcomers

? Shine on You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd Shine on You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd Cover Art

The Contenders

11 East St. Louis Toodle-Oo - Steely Dan East St. Louis Toodle-Oo - Steely Dan Cover Art

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

12 Breathe (In the Air) - Pink Floyd Breathe (In the Air) - Pink Floyd Cover Art

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

13 Behind that Locked Door - George Harrison Behind that Locked Door - George Harrison Cover Art

Played by Nashville session musician Pete Drake, who had previously worked with Bob Dylan on Nashville Skyline. George wrote this song as an encouragement to Dylan to get him out of his shell when he stopped performing live. - Gg2000

14 Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams Cover Art

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

15 Bad Weather - Poco Bad Weather - Poco Cover Art

This is one of many songs that Rusty Young played pedal steel on during Poco’s early years. More than any other band, they defined the genre that came to be known as country rock.

16 Country Song - Pure Prairie League Country Song - Pure Prairie League Cover Art
17 Statesboro Blues - Allman Brothers Band Statesboro Blues - Allman Brothers Band Cover Art

Slide guitar played by Duane Allman on Live at the Fillmore East album.

Slide guitar is not the same as a pedal steel guitar. Slide guitar is done with a round slide on a normal six string guitar. A pedal steel guitar is a completely different instrument and is played horizontally with a steel bar. - Gg2000

18 Tiny Dancer - Elton John Tiny Dancer - Elton John Cover Art
19 Above and Beyond - Buck Owens Above and Beyond - Buck Owens Cover Art
20 Funny How Time Slips Away - Lyle Lovett Funny How Time Slips Away - Lyle Lovett Cover Art
21 Swimming Into Deep Water - Don Rosenbaum
22 He Went to Paris - Jimmy Buffett He Went to Paris - Jimmy Buffett Cover Art
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