33 Non-Rock Songs I’d Like To See In Rock Band 3: Part 1

June 15, 2010


With all the news about Rock Band 3 coming out, the big thing for me was the confirmation of keyboards as the 5th instrument. I think this opens up the door for the series to go into new genres it had previously left untouched and possibly attract new audiences. The series has already departed from a strictly rock soundtrack before, having featured a whole track pack devoted to country music, as well as some DLC from acts like Earth Wind & Fire, The Chemical Brothers, and Lady Gaga. I would love to play some hip-hop, R&B, funk, disco, dance, electronic, and pop music right alongside the rock and country. With Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock reaching back into that series’ classic rock and metal roots, Rock Band needs to position itself either through Rock Band 3 or through DLC as a multiplayer music game platform for people who like all kinds of music. Here is the first third of a working list of 33 songs that I feel could really expand the series’ audience.

The full list is after the jump:

Donna Summer – “Hot Stuff”

Other than a download 3-pack and a few songs on Lego Rock Band, Rock Band hasn’t really mined the funk/disco genre very much, even though a lot of that music, especially in the early part of the 70s, was played by full bands. “Hot Stuff,” one of Summer’s all-time best hits, is a very lively groove produced by Giorgio Moroder. It has stuff for all of the instruments, the keyboard chord progression is solid, and there’s a neat guitar solo in the bridge.

Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce – “Telephone”

Well, Gaga has already licensed four of her songs, including “Bad Romance,” to the game. Now with Rock Band 3’s keyboards and harmonizing, the game will be much more conducive for dance songs with multiple singers, and they don’t get much bigger than this. Epic video aside, “Telephone” is incredibly catchy, and I see a lot of potential for the game band avatars to have some sweet dance animations.

Eminem – “Lose Yourself”

“Lose Yourself” is arguably Eminem’s most rocking song, and it’s also one of his best. The lyrics balance the desperation and inspiration really well, the piano intro is sweet and continues throughout the track, and the chorus has a great shout-along quality. Also, I have to back a fellow native-Detroiter.

Adam Lambert – “For Your Entertainment”

Lambert’s music is this awesome fusion of glam, pop, classic rock, and dance. His vocal range would give singers a run for their money, and the keyboard arpeggios here are just sick. It would be a great pop challenge for the experienced players.

Jamiroquai – “Canned Heat”

Everyone knows this song from Napoleon Dynamite and/or Center Stage. This is some solid disco from the 90s. It’s so groovy with wah-wah guitar and its super chorus, I just wanna funk out all day.

Rick James – “Superfreak”

Ideally I’d like to see a Motown Rock Band, but if I had to choose one song from that label to go in-game, this would be it. Mr. James’s hit was so hot that MC Hammer sampled it for “U Can’t Touch This”. That bass line just gets in your head, and the backup singers get some neat lines towards the end of the song, resulting in one of the truly funkier hits in the Motown catalog.

Sam Sparro – “Black and Gold”

Well, here’s some cool techno ‘n’ B music. Sparro plays it cool for the whole song, but there’s still this earnestness in the song that sticks with you. Plus the drumline just keeps building and building into a stomping crescendo. The song has almost a Broadway-in-2050 thing going for it.

Toni Braxton – “You’re Making Me High”

Now I know there aren’t many smooth R&B songs in the series, so this would stand out and give players something different and relaxing after a thrash metal run. The sexy theme of the lyrics is reflected in the sensual, slow-burning quality of the beats.

N.E.R.D. – “She Wants To Move”

This single from the Neptunes’ second album has a really dynamic quality to it, and it seems like every instrument, including the bass and the singer, gets to shine. Lyrically it’s very quirky and it has a good build.

Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

This song has already appeared in SingStar Rocks, so music gaming has seen it before and it’s a given that the vocals are hot. The guitar line is hot but the drum track is so mellow. It’s just some fantastic music from the queen of soul.

Aaliyah – “Are You That Somebody”

Aaliyah was an incredibly talented and slightly eccentric R&B singer. I feel this Timbaland production is one of Aaliyah’s very best songs. The bassline is killer and Aaliyah sounds so damn good over the skittery beats.

In parts 2 and 3 I’ll dive into hip-hop, new wave, and more good music that should go in-game. Ideas?



  1. […] electronic, dance, and pop songs that I would like to see in the Rock Band series. Here are parts 1 and […]

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