Video games and music tend to go hand in hand these days. Although there are plenty of games that compose their own unique scores there have been many momentous occasions where the combo of games and a particular track have created a memorable impression on gamers. In honor of the loving and explosive relationship between these creative forces I’ve picked some of my favorites…
N.E.R.D – Rockstar in True Crime: Streets of LA
Pharrell Williams is a fan of lending his music to video games and had this to say about his experience of allowing Activision use NERD’s Rockstar for their title True Crime…
“It’s a new means of expression for us. We get to do what we want in all of our splendour. We have no boundaries, it’s fun across the board. We’re providing the music, in our minds they’re providing the visuals, so it’s like a perfect marriage.”
Love Spreads – Stone Roses in Guitar Hero World Tour
Music is the most essential element of Guitar Hero but there were some tunes that made more of an impression than others. A stand out one for me is Love Spreads by The Stone Roses, the squealing guitar lick at the beginning makes it fun to master and a complete pleasure to listen to. I may not ever have the 6-string prowess of John Squire but for six minutes in Guitar Hero World Tour I got to get a glimpse at what that might possibly feel like. **Spoiler** It feels incredible!!!
Power – Kanye West in Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row is crazy, Kanye West is crazy. The marriage of the two seems like a volatile match destined for a rambunctious and explosive reaction, and thankfully it resulted in just that! Kanye’s rousing and somewhat unsettling anthem Power perfectly complimented the sheer epic nature of the skydiving, rooftop invasion level in the third Saints Row installment. The ultimate shoot-em-up, “I am the bomb” moment… West’s “I Am A God” for Saints Row 5?
Song 2 – Blur in FIFA 98
Possibly before the time that video games truly began boosting musician’s sales, beloved football game FIFA 98 contained some pretty stellar tunes.
Unlike many other games that pick and choose their music from times gone by, the masterminds behind FIFA work hard at choosing new music that are, generally, from new artists. Ok Blur weren’t exactly spring chickens in 1998 but Song 2 just seemed the perfect stomper of a tune, with nonsensical lyrics to get you pumped up for a game! The ultimate soccer song!
A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)
Of all the video games to use licensed tracks I think it is safe to say that Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series have got the combo of sound-tracking games down to a fine art. They know exactly how to get you in the mood for creating some mindless havoc with the variety of radio stations available you can flick between channels and listen to whatever suits.
GTA however, surpassed itself completely musically when it released Vice City. Complete with the craziest, but most charismatic of leading men, Tommy Vercetti, the eighties setting of this installment was emphasized and hammered home with an insanely brilliant soundtrack. From Hall & Oates to Spandau Ballet and Iron Maiden to Ozzy Osbourne every weird and wonderful genre of the eighties was represented. But there is always one track that comes to mind when I think Vice City and music and that’s I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls. Try not to sing-a-long to that chorus! Go on I dare you!
And here is a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure!