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

June 30, 2010

Image from rofanator @ Flickr

Here’s part 3 into my working list of hip-hop, R&B, funk, disco, electronic, dance, and pop songs that I would like to see in the Rock Band series. Here are parts 1 and 2!

But first a word about exclusivity and shared experiences.

Now if any of these songs I’ve been listing were to actually go into a Rock Band game, I imagine some people would be kind of upset, that “their” game was being compromised or diluted and that it was no longer “for them.” However, I would argue that these scenesters are depriving themselves of the opportunity for a shared experience. Oftentimes I find that the people I like to hang out with are those with whom I find similar interests or at least something to go beyond small talk. If I can chat with someone about one of my favorite music games, I don’t care if our favorite songs are different. I just like that in this age of splintering interest groups I can find someone to geek out with even if it’s only for a few minutes (at least until I have a kid). We all have to interact with one another and the shared experience or interest can make those interactions a lot easier. Let’s bring others into the tent. We may not all go for the same songs, but we can all play the game.

Note: Chuck Klosterman’s essay on Johnny Carson covers this idea of the common experience in a much better way than I ever could.

Full list after the jump.

The Bee Gees – “Stayin’ Alive”

This is one of the most iconic mainstream disco hits of all time. The Gibb brothers sang their falsettos in harmony plus they played their own instruments. Truly a disco rock band!

Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil’ Wayne – “Let It Rock”

Though it has “rock” in the title, this is pure pop. It has a slow, driving beat and the chorus is just so chantable. Plus the rap from Weezy on the bridge changes things up pretty nicely.

Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, and Mya – “Lady Marmalade (Moulin Rouge Version)”

Pop diva vocal extravaganza! There are four vocal parts in this song (five if you count Missy Elliott on the outro), and each one shines. You get the soaring vocals from Pink and Xtina, the breathy cooing from Mya, and the hard rap from Lil’ Kim. Rockwilder and Missy’s production isn’t too shabby either. With only 3 mics, there would have to be some part sharing, but damn the group sing off would be amazing!

Soft Cell – “Tainted Love”

Black Eyed Peas – “Pump It”

Time to up the challenge! A criticism of a lot of pop songs related to music gaming is that they are not very demanding instrumentally. This song sample’s Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” aka that crazy surf guitar song from Pulp Fiction and Guitar Hero 2, so the shredding should give the guitar players a run for their money. The horns on the chorus could easily be mapped to the keyboards. The Peas provide some vocal variety with the boys’ rapping and Fergie’s vamping combine for some neat call and response vocal interplay.

Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”

That worldbeat guitar sounds like it’s looped, but if KT Tunstall can turn this hit into a live acoustic jam, then the Harmonix team can turn the original into a chartable jam. And you know Missy comes hard with the rhymes!

Justin Timberlake – “What Goes Around/Comes Around”

This is for all of those hardcore players who like their songs epic. The album version of this one clocks in at more than seven minutes long, and JT brings his soldering tenor atop Timbaland’s skittery beats. It would make for a solid, slow break from all the party cuts. Not that it matters for the game, but the video is just as epic.

John Legend ft. Andre 3000 – “Green Light”

Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi – “Tightrope”

See my previous write-up on Ms. Monae here.

Outkast – “B.O.B.”

And you can’t include both Big Boi and Dre without an Outkast song and man oh man this is the Outkast song to include! It’s an insanely catchy and danceable song; the drum fills are insane, the organ and bass have this ominous tone to them, the guitar solo on the bridge is crazy, and both vocal parts feature some challenging speed rapping! And anyone who has been to an Outkast show knows that they really vamp it up live, which is a great criteria for a video game that emulates the rock star fantasy. This is the complete package, the real deal, and my top pick for RB3.


One comment

  1. […] Regarding dlc, I would like to see more content beyond music. While you can pay for Doors and Who T-Shirts for your avatars, I have a feeling those items were on the disc and you’re just paying to unlock them. I’d like to see new ensembles come out as often as songs. For more on this, Lisa Foiles has a neat article on Kotaku advocating for more crossover between fashion and gaming. As for the music content, offerings have been solid, but pretty conservative. Can we get something that was recorded in the past ten years? Nonetheless, I hope the Bee Gees dlc may be a sign of things to come. […]

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