Rock Band: Where Are They Now?

_Rock Band. It’s been around for a while. It’s hard to believe that, since its release in 2007, we’ve seen nearly 4 years of weekly DLC. But that is indeed the case. At the time of this post, there are a total of 1,601 songs available for download on Rock Band 3, with another 1,300 on the Rock Band Network. Throw in the ability to import 99% of the song lists from RB1, RB2 and LEGO RB, and its entirely possible to have a 3,000+ song setlist on Rock Band 3. Holy piss. Just imagine having that much DLC, with at least 50% so much of it being bad songs! I kid, I kid, the bad song rate is probably closer to 60%. But that would still be at least 1200 quality songs if that math wasn’t just a random number pulled out of my ass.

_But how is it that with 3000+ songs available for DLC, 1600 “official” downloads from Harmonix with licenses acquired with help by MTV,  270 songs featured on the RB discs themselves…there’s still NO Led Zeppelin? NO Prince [GG Prince for copyrighting everything on youtube]? NO Andrew W.K.? NO Scorpions? NO Ace of Base? NO Aphex Twin? NO Hum? NO Casey and His Brother? All travesties…but I’m not here to talk about any of these artists, unless you count mentioning them here once as an excuse to link to the songs on youtube. I’m sure all of these artists have their reasons for not being on Rock Band. What I’m ACTUALLY here to talk about…is bands that HAVE had songs in Rock Band…once.

_What’s the significance of bands being in Rock Band one time? Well, it shows that, unlike other artists that don’t have any songs featured throughout the games, they ARE willing to license their songs to Harmonix for use in the games. Harmonix has been in contact with either the artists themselves or their people, and a previous agreement was reached. We know they are willing to license their music…they’ve just been conspicuously MIA for ??? reasons.

The Rolling Stones

-Last seen: Rock Band 1 [Gimme Shelter]

_Honestly, I’m not even a big Stones fan, and their absence since RB1 seems like the biggest omission in the series. One of the most prolific rock bands in history, with a large number of classics that even a non-fan like me can rattle off at the drop of a hat. Satisfaction. Sympathy For the Devil. Jumping Jack Flash. Paint it, Black. Brown Sugar. Mick Jagger’s Dancing In the Street duet with David Bowie. The list goes on, the hits keep coming…or rather, if you were someone with a greater appreciation for the Stones, they would. But really, where have they been? The Stones were licensing their stuff back in the Guitar Hero days, and continued even after Neversoft took over the franchise. Hell, they licensed Jumpin’ Jack Flash in Elite Beat Agents, albeit in cover form. They’re no strangers to video game licensing, which makes their absence of any DLC or even an appearance in any of the other on-disc set lists all the more baffling.


-Last seen: Rock Band 1 [Creep]; Dec. 18, 2007 DLC [My Iron Lung]

_Two bands in, and I’m already bending my rules by putting in a band that has two songs. But I think this is a special exception. My Iron Lung was a DLC single released 4 weeks after the launch of the first Rock Band game, which has Creep in the on-disc set list. The relationship between the songs is rather unique. Creep was Radiohead’s breakout single in the US, and brought them a massive amount of fame and notoriety. But after the success of the song, they had lots of people showing up at the concerts only to hear Creep. This created a situation where the band started to resent the song, as they were viewed as a one-hit wonder. [And funny enough, they technically stayed a one-hit wonder in the US by chart standards for almost a decade, through they enjoyed near-universal critical acclaim and with as fanatical a following as any band on the planet. Neither of those ever extended to their singles chart success, that’s all.]

Frontman Thom Yorke’s reaction to the reception of Creep? Writing “My Iron Lung,” a song about the band’s resentment to their previous hit song. So the two Radiohead songs in Rock Band are the single the band has distanced themselves from for nearly 15 years and the song written about their resentment towards it. While the band have seemed to soften up to their initial hit since the mid 90’s, it’s likely the only reason the song was licensed in RB1 was because they really don’t care enough about it, and My Iron Lung was DLC because they thought the irony would be humorous. But I can always hope that we might see an OK Computer full album download someday, or maybe just Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors DLC.

The Cranberries

Last seen: May 26, 2009 DLC [Linger]

_Let’s get away from classic and/or highly respected bands for a moment…to delve into awesome 90’s music, fuck yeah! The Cranberries were one of those 90’s staples…a bunch of awesome singles, but no real awesome front-to-back album. They were almost like a band waiting for the time for their greatest hits compilation, which was pretty solid. So…it was awesome when Linger was announced for DLC…but…it was just a DLC single. The Cranberries are a band that begs for at least a 3-pack. If Disturbed can get three separate 3-packs, the Cranberries should be able to get at least one. Come on, man!


Last seen: May 20, 2008 [Hysteria]

_Not too long ago, Muse blew up. Like, big. Which is understandable. They’re basically Radio-Friendly-Radiohead. Like, “What would Radiohead sound like if they tried to appeal to the masses?” They’d sound kind of like Muse. And just like any real Radiohead-lite, they have a large consistency of fans that thinks they’re the greatest thing that walks the planet. Though with Radiohead, those guys are all snobby music critics, and with Muse it’s all like, 18-30 year old guys who purchase all of their music individually from iTunes. Anyways, right as they were starting to blow up…Hysteria comes out as DLC. Sweetcakes! And then…nothing…kaaaaay…then The Resistance came out and was so over-saturated on the radio that I don’t even listen to the radio and I heard it everywhere. And…nobody capitalized on it for Rock Band DLC. Missed opportunity! Really, I don’t know if the same people still cream over Muse like they were, so Harmonix might have missed the boat on this one. But who knows! Ma~aybe…

_1000 words? Good place to end this one on. Maybe I’ll do another post like this some time…or maybe I’ll just be lazy and won’t. Either way…I hope you enjoyed it =)



Filed under Playtime, Sounds

3 responses to “Rock Band: Where Are They Now?

  1. J.G.A.Potter

    I second this wish for Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors DLC.

    Also, you’re right, why aren’t they pimping out Muse?

    • J.G.A.Potter

      Also it’s totally hip to “like” posts right? Or am I hilariously uncool now?

      • _hojo

        No idea, man. Like I said, I almost get the feeling like they missed the boat with them. A Resistance 3-pack would’ve just blown up back when the album dropped. Now…I don’t know. But then again, I wouldn’t call myself “Mr. Finger On the Pulse Of What’s Hip”

        I have no idea what the cool status of “like”ing posts is. But I won’t judge you for it. At least not out loud.

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