the horizons of: Hollander Cooper, news editor
If you asked me what I considered “classic
rock” five years ago, I would have listed bands like The Beatles, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and Guns N’ Roses. But if you asked me after Fallout 3 came out, my
answer would have changed to Roy Brown, The Ink Spots and Cole Porter. I’d walk
around in game with my Pip-Boy blasting Galaxy News Radio, listening to the mix
of early 20th century rock and jazz as I explored the Capital
Before long, my love for the music led me to
purchase all of the songs on the soundtrack, and then go deeper, picking up
entire albums by artists that were featured in the game. I’d drive to work
listening to The Ink Spots’ discography, and drive home to “Fox Boogie” and
other tracks by Gerhard Trede.
And it continued into Fallout: New Vegas.
While I enjoyed the country tracks, it was the fun, Vegas-y tunes that had me
downloading the music of Dean Martin and other members of the Rat Pack in between
long sessions with the game. Both games’ period-specific soundtracks did more
than bring me into the setting – they opened up an entire era of music to me
that, otherwise, I might have skipped over entirely.
4. Guitar Hero/Rock Band (series)
the horizons of:
Cheryll Del Rosario, design and content producer
It’s nearing 4 a.m., and an increasingly
painful ache has formed in my right wrist. My roommate and best friend has resorted
to wearing the brace prescribed by her doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome and my
other roommates look like zombies. What are we doing? Why are we here? Why is
my wrist sore? Five words: Rock Band 2’s Endless Setlist.
Above: There will be a very small number of you who will recognize who we
modeled our Rock Band band after
I grew up listening to soul, hip-hop, R&B
and any/all genres related to that thread of music, so when Guitar Hero came
out in 2005, it was like a grand awakening into a musical genre that I had only
experienced in bits and pieces throughout my childhood. Then, when Rock Band
unleashed four-player action it pulled my similarly brought up friends into the
same fold. Suddenly this group of hip-hop-lyric-memorizing friends were
actively cursing the composition of Dream Theater’s “Panic Attack” (the reason
we were up at 4 a.m.).
Above: I still feel my blood pressure rising when I hear this song
eventually left my 360 on overnight while we slept for a few hours, only to call
in a friend of mine who worked in QA for Rock Band to help us finish the final
three songs in the Endless Setlist. You would think that after that marathon
session, the last thing we’d want to do is hear more songs from the game, but
we caught ourselves mumbling the lyrics to System of a Down’s “Chop Suey”
throughout the rest of the weekend.
Above: Wake up! Somethingsomethingsomethingsomething make up!
Even if you were into rock to begin with, both Rock Band and Guitar Hero (and
especially Guitar Hero II) packed in enough weird, obscure and ancient tracks
to ensure that you’d run into – and probably enjoy – something you weren’t familiar with. The layer of dust gathering on
that set of Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments gets thicker every day, but
there’s no denying that both games opened up my ears to a wealth of music
beyond what I had grown up with. I’m now happy to report that the Metallica
songs I’ve grown to appreciate are happily sharing space next to Method Man on
my hard drive now.
3. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (series)
the horizons of: Michael Grimm, cheats and guides editor
While most licensed
soundtracks are coldly calculated moves made by sales teams looking to maximize
crossover earning potential in the games and retail music worlds, the Tony
Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks rang true. While the games did feature some major
artists, most of the soundtracks were composed of little-known bands on small
record labels. Whoever put these songs together was definitely looking for
music that would appeal to a young X-Games fan, but they put in some effort
instead of just throwing Metallica a huge check and calling it a day. Every
track felt like it made sense. Punk, pop-punk, hard rock, hip-hop – it was all
stuff an energetic, angry teen boy could enjoy.
Before the THPS games, I was mostly a rap and hip-hop
fan, but the game’s bevy of great tracks resulted in many, many trips to the
record store. Being a broke teen, I loaded up on Epitaph Records’ Punk-O-Rama
compilations and Fat Wreck Chords’ “Fat Music” samplers, primarily because
$4.99 for a 20-track CD was the best a bummy 15-year-old like me could afford.
And because the CDs were filled with different bands, it gave me even more
stuff to explore and track down.
Some of my all-time
favorite albums are a result of hunting down stuff as a result of THPS. Even
better, the new appreciation for punk helped me make some new friends, proving
that there’s no reason a mohawked guy in a patched denim vest and a guy in a
yellow XXL Ecko t-shirt can’t get along.
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