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I guess I just like liking things

Harmonix are the people behind Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero 2, and the Rock Band series (and the Dance Central series, but for the purposes of today’s list I will be ignoring that). In every one of these games, I have been introduced to music I was either unfamiliar with or hadn’t enjoyed until I got the chance to play it. I know that part of this is due to my changing tastes over time, but a lot of it is being given the opportunity to interact with the music more personally – the biggest strength, I feel, of these kinds of music games.

I’m breaking the lists down by game, as that helps me process it a little better. These are all songs that I have added to my playlist to listen to outside of the game as a direct result of playing them in the game. Many of these songs have driven purchases of the albums they are on as well. I don’t know if there’s much point in ordering each set, but I have bolded my favorite from each game to soften the pain from the loss of a numbered order.

Guitar Hero – Many of these were “As made famous by…” versions, but drove me to get the real version

  • “Crossroads” – Cream
  • “Godzilla” – Blue Öyster Cult
  • “I Wanna Be Sedated” – Ramones
  • “Iron Man” – Black Sabbath
  • “Killer Queen” – Queen
  • “Sharp Dressed Man” – ZZ Top
  • “Take Me Out” – Franz Ferdinand
  • “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” – Judas Priest
  • “Ziggy Stardust” – David Bowie
  • “Even Rats” – The Slip

Guitar Hero 2

  • “Crazy on You” – Heart
  • “Heart-Shaped Box” – Nirvana
  • “Strutter” – Kiss
  • “Surrender” – Cheap Trick

Rock Band

  • “Black Hole Sun” – Soundgarden
  • “Creep” – Radiohead – Getting the non-radio-edited version of this was a rude shock to my system, let me tell you.
  • “Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Detroit Rock City” – Kiss
  • “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Öyster Cult
  • “Foreplay/Long Time” – Boston
  • “In Bloom” – Nirvana
  • “Learn to Fly” – Foo Fighters
  • “Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • “Orange Crush” – R.E.M.
  • “Run to the Hills” – Iron Maiden
  • “Say It Ain’t So” – Weezer
  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – The Clash
  • “When You Were Young” – The Killers
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – The Who

Rock Band 2

  • “Everlong” – Foo Fighters
  • “Feel the Pain” – Dinosaur Jr.
  • “Float On” – Modest Mouse
  • “Lazy Eye” – Silversun Pickups
  • “Let There Be Rock” – AC/DC
  • “Our Truth” – Lacuna Coil
  • “Pinball Wizard” – The Who
  • “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
  • “Round and Round” – Ratt
  • “Shooting Star” – Bad Company
  • “The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World
  • “Today” – The Smashing Pumpkins

Rock Band 3

  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen
  • “Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne
  • “Foolin'” – Def Leppard
  • “I Need to Know” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • “Portions for Foxes” – Rilo Kiley
  • “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” – The Smiths
  • “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
  • “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1” – The Flaming Lips


If you had told me twenty years ago that I ever would have liked songs by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and The Clash, I would’ve thought you were crazy.

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