10 Songs Rock Band Needs to Get, and Get Rid Of
Taste in music is always a touchy subject. What is a masterpiece to one man is often nothing more than another man’s vile ear-garbage. What I like, you might find worth listening to only as a bizarre form of self-flagellation, bringing yourself to let its slimy, musical tendrils into your ear-holes exclusively as a form of punishment for some mortal sin.
Nonetheless, there are songs that one can imagine are just objectively bad; songs that have literally reached the maximum level of crappyness (that level is somewhere around one Air Supply, I believe) and cannot be considered by any rational human to be any good. No enjoyment can be gotten from these songs, because they have been proven by science to be perfect examples of audio despair, which no person should have the displeasure of experiencing.
Likewise, no person should ever have to simulate the playing of such terrible songs in a video game format; forcing someone to merely listen to bad music is cruel, but forcing one to actively engage in the execution of bad music is an act that may actually destroy an important part of that person’s soul.
With the news that Harmonix has made the somewhat insane decision to release another Grateful Dead song pack tomorrow, with six whole, meandering, pointless, hippie anthems to absent-mindedly sway back and forth to, it seems fitting to go over what songs should be in Rock Band, and which ones have no place being anywhere near any person’s XBox, Playstation, CD player, iPod, 8-track, gramophone record player, or any other physical music medium for that matter.
So join me for the 10 songs that Rock Band needs to get, and get rid of!
SONGS ROCK BAND NEEDS TO GET RID OF:
I know, you can’t actually get rid of songs from Rock Band, mainly because they are written permanently onto the disc via some sort “burning” process.
So we’ll just look at this list as a lesson for future generations. The soul-searing pain we have felt as a result of having to listen to and mock-perform these songs will be our gift to those people down the line who will never have to sing lyrics like “because it’s nice in the afternoon” again. We are taking a rock and roll bullet to the audio processing portions of our brains, so that generations to come will not have to do the same.
Or you could just be selfish and try to literally scratch these songs from the surface of the disc, as I have tried many times.
Panic at the Disco – Nine in the Afternoon
Forget for a moment that the afternoon does not extend until nine o’clock, and in fact turns into something called “night time” several hours before nine. Forget for a moment that this song’s lyrics border on being nonsense due to the redundancy and blatant obviousness of their subject matter. You could, ’cause you can, so you do? I have absolutely no idea how you managed to use so many words there.
Finally, try to forget that this song is like an inescapable specter, haunting every appliance you own, including your TV, radio, and even your copy of NHL 09, a game that should by all rights be as Panic at the Disco-less as possible.
Even if you manage to forget all of these things, you will not be able to escape the fact that this song is the audio equivalent of a massive worldwide recession wrapped in a pink bow: it is the cheeriest looking thing to make you want to kill yourself in the last year.
Interpol – PDA
When you think about rock and roll, what words come to mind? If boring, repetitive, incredibly long-winded, and no redeeming qualities are the first things you think of, then Interpol’s PDA is for you.
But if you are not insane, then this song will make you wish you could build a Rock Band-playing machine to automatically perform it for you while you sit in a sound-proof room, preferably thousands of miles away.
Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf
When did the 80s become cool again? In the 90s all anyone ever did was make fun of the 80s. It was basically a full time profession back then. And the reason everyone made fun of the 80s in the 90s was because everything in the 80s sucked really really bad.
Duran Duran is no exception. It’s just that Hungry Like the Wolf is one of those songs that has somehow permanently burrowed itself into the soft, fleshy mass of our collective consciousness, where it resides to this day. Once inside it released its alien pheromones, modifying the chemical balance of our brains so that its horrible true nature was hidden from us, making us think it was actually a good song.
But you can’t trick me, Duran Duran. I know this because every time I have to play this song I have the sudden urge to shove a screwdriver up my nose into my frontal lobe, proving that your vile demon-larva are lodged in all of our craniums, just waiting to be reamed out with hand tools.
Ratt – Round and Round
I mean, are you kidding me?
If Winger ends up in Rock Band 3, please shoot me in the face.
Miranda Cosgrove – Headphones On
Okay, this is actually a download, so its not necessarily part of Rock Band. But it is a free download, which means there is a very high percentage likelihood that you will download it because its free, and why the hell shouldn’t I download it when its free? How much could that hurt?
Oh it can hurt, in so many ways. I made the mistake of downloading this song, and I repeatedly punch myself in the face every day as punishment for my folly. If you enjoy the current state of your face, in which it isn’t being punched by your own furiously clenched fist all the time, then don’t download this song.
Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot
Maybe I’m just prejudiced against Sonic Youth because of how much I hate them for needing three guitar players to make every one of their songs sound like a mess, but this song should not exist in Rock Band. “Noise rock” is pretty much the least fun sounding genre imaginable, and playing this song in Rock Band proves it.
Rob the Prez-O-Dent – That Handsome Devil
File this song under Makes Absolutely No Sense. The production of it is such that you can’t actually hear what’s happening. I have no real problem with that; some of my favourite bands have recordings that sound like crap. Its just that when I’m trying to play a video game version of a song, sometimes it helps to be able to tell what the hell is going on.
Add to that the fact that some of the drum parts you have to play in it are essentially just a jumble of coloured bars mashed next to each other, and this song basically turns into a screwed up game of Simon with a bad soundtrack, interspersed with random gun shot sound effects.
Linkin Park – One Step Closer
I don’t know why they called it “nu” metal, cause playing this song is getting pretty old! Haha.
God I want to kill myself.
Abnormality – Visions
I know, I know. Death metal (or black metal, or doom metal, or sludge or goop or crud or gunk metal or whatever the hell it’s called) bands have a lot of technical skill. They use weird time signatures like 15/Pi, play at tempos in excess of nine million beats per second, and are known to breathe fire on innocent civilians when they’re not playing at shows attended entirely by other bands.
That’s all well and good. I get it. But please don’t make me play their songs in Rock Band. Their riffs were not made for normal human appendages, my plastic guitar controller probably can’t even register notes as fast as these guys are playing them, and this song has all the musicality of the dying groans of a goat being crushed by a flaming boulder. That unique sound only means “party” for people who wear white makeup all the time and use real sheep heads as stage props.
Every Bonus Song - All of Them
We know that you guys at Harmonix are, like, real musicians and everything. We appreciate it, a lot. Your musical experience lends the game a very authentic feel, we are glad you know what you’re doing, etc. etc.
But that having been said, we have to tell you something: your friends’ bands are kind of a downer.
They always show up at our parties and get really drunk and start talking too loud and then get in the way when we just want to play songs that we actually like, and it gets really annoying.
I mean, it’s gotten to the point where I intentionally avoided downloading the 20 extra songs for Rock Band 2, even though they were free, because I didn’t want to dilute my song selection with their incredible mediocrity.
Oh, and don’t try to sneak your friends into the next party by taking away their “bonus” tags like you did in Rock Band 2; we know which ones they are (they’re the ones that suck that we’ve never heard before) and we’ll have a door man waiting. You’ll thank us when you give in to peer pressure and are too cool to even look them in the eye any more.
SONGS ROCK BAND NEEDS TO GET:
It’s nearly impossible to whittle this selection down to ten songs, to the point that even choosing seems almost blasphemous, but what must be done must be done, in the name of Rock and Roll.
Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
The game is called Rock Band, yet Led Zeppelin is not in it. This is essentially a logical contradiction in its most fundamental form. It is like explaining to someone that 2 plus 2 equals 4, then asking them to tell you what 2 plus 2 equals, and when they tell you “It is 4,” you punch them in the throat with a pair of brass knuckles.
I’m sure there’s some petty legal reason why Led Zeppelin hasn’t graced the Rock Band disc yet. But if you are reading this, Jimmy Page (which you are definitely not) then know this: putting your songs in Rock Band can never do as much damage to your reputation or credibility or any other aspect of your career as did the raping of Kashmir called “Come With Me” featuring Mr. Sean P Puffy Diddy Daddy Combs himself.
Dio – Holy Diver
Okay, I take back what I said about the 80s; everything except Dio (and all the other songs in this list that were released in the 80s) sucked. Three important facts to know about Ronnie James Dio: 1) He pioneered the use of the devil horns as a uniquely metal form of non-verbal communication, 2) He played the role of a rock and roll God in the Tenacious D movie, which required no actual acting on his part, and 3) He has rocked like freaking mad for every minute of every day of his entire life.
In fact, the entire Holy Diver album should be made available for download.
Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Hey Rock Band, guess what? Guitar Hero: World Tour has this song, and you don’t.
By not having it in Rock Band you are literally urinating all over Randy Rhoads’ long-dead, plane-crashy corpse.
Green Day – Basket Case
You can love them or hate them, but it is undeniable that Green Day is one of the biggest bands in the world.
Their absence from Rock Band is strange, to say the least. Even Metallica (who at one point sued everyone on the planet for thinking about downloading Napster to maybe download copies of Metallica songs) are in Rock Band and are even being featured in their own game, so there’s really no legal reason why you shouldn’t be, Green Day. Get on it.
The Band – The Weight (or Cripple Creek, or really anything by them, because everything they did is fantastic)
If you’re going to put country music in the game, why not try putting in country-influenced bands that aren’t marketed towards people who think that Reagan’s trickle-down economic plan is fantastic, follow a policy of carrying one gun per article of clothing during hunting season, and actually think Brad Paisley is good?
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
While Bohemian Rhapsody may well be one of the most rocking songs of all time, I decided against it because the game is called Rock Band, not Epic 10 Minute Piano Song Game.
Another One Bites the Dust is recognizable, rocking, and full of killer riffs and awesomeness, making it perfect for Rock Band.
(PS: No AIDS jokes will be made in this article.)
Van Halen – Hot for Teacher
Hey Rock Band, guess what? Guitar Hero: World Tour has this song, and you don’t.
By not having it in Rock Band you are literally urinating all over Eddie Van Halen’s crazy, double-tapping, soon-to-be-dead-of-cancer-or-alcoholism-or-something corpse.
Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City
While we’re on the other games have this song so why don’t you train of thought, let’s hit up some GnR. Burnout Paradise, a game about cars or heroin withdrawal or something, has this song in it, but all Rock Band could get was a song from the Axl Rose and Some Other Guys edition of Guns N’ Roses?
Shame on you Rock Band.
(And yes I know one of those other guys was Bucket Head. Please don’t send any letters.)
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
There is a surprising lack of Jimi Hendrix in Rock Band, which is, frankly, inexplicable.
Simply put, All Along the Watchtower is chock full of riffs and drum beats and notes and other rock and roll stuff that would be incredibly fun to pretend-play. Plus it would do double duty by getting more Bob Dylan into the game.
(Note: Make sure to open all your windows before setting your controller on fire, as plastic fumes can cause all sorts of rock and roll-inhibiting ailments.)
Thin Lizzy – The Boys are Back in Town
There are plenty of fantastic Thin Lizzy songs that would absolutely kill in Rock Band, but I went for the easy one, because everyone already knows it, whether or not they know that they know it.
The problem is that very few people know who actually wrote it, nor do they know that Thin Lizzy was one of the best rock bands of the 70s, nor do they know that there is a life-size bronze statue of the lead singer Phil Lynott in Dublin Ireland.
If having a bronze statue of yourself is not rock and roll enough to get you into Rock Band, then I have no idea what is.
And that concludes the list! I hope I have done a service to those of you who have yet to play all the songs in Rock Band, and cherish the integrity of your ears.
(Commence rabid, vitriolic insult-throwing about other people’s musical taste… now.)