Hoo boy: Activision today announced three new "Track Packs" for its Guitar Hero World Tour video game, which should be available next month. On Feb. 12, players can download songs from Incubus ("Drive"), The Shins ("New Slang") and Ryan Adams (his version of Oasis' "Wonderwall"). On Feb. 19, the Wings Track Pack is available, featuring the songs "Junior's Farm", "Hi Hi Hi" and "Jet" -- the song "Band on the Run" is already available in the game. Then, on Feb. 26, Bob Seger fans get to finally sing "Old Time Rock and Roll", in addition to "Her Strut" and "Get Out of Denver" with the three-song Bob Seger Track Pack.
No offense to the powers-that-be at Activision, but Bob Seger and Paul McCartney? I'm old, but not that old. It's bad enough that we had to watch Tony Hawk, Derek Jeter, Michael Phelps and Kobe Bryant lip-synch "Old Time Rock and Roll" as part of the Guitar Hero advertising campaign (thankfully, the Heidi Klum version of the commercial is more enjoyable), but do they really think that players will download these songs?
The folks that make Rock Band aren't immune from this, either. Rock Band downloadable content recently featured several songs from Roy Orbison. No offense to the song "Pretty Woman", but I find it hard to believe that your band-mates are going to want to get together and "rock out" to that song.
Having a wide variety of new songs available for download is the key for the long-term success of this game. After you've played the game for a while, you're going to want to play new songs or the game will get stale. I understand that getting artists to license their songs for these games can be a long and drawn-out process, but the upside of additional revenue for the game companies and the recording artists has to be worth the effort.
Here's just a quick list of songs that I'd like to see made available for the game. Your list, of course, may vary, but I think these songs would be good for fans of the music, plus would make for a good "band" experience:
Layla, Derek & The Dominos
Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
American Idiot, Green Day (really, any Green Day songs would be fun to play)
We're Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister
Under Pressure, David Bowie & Queen
Voices Carry, Til Tuesday (I guarantee that most women would love to sing this song)
Twilight Zone, Golden Earring
Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard (or Rock of Ages)
Working for the Weekend, Loverboy
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
Crazy Train, Ozzy Osbourne
Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2 (as well as Pride, Bad, and New Year's Day)
Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Meatloaf (how fun would that be?)
It’s the End of the World as We Know It, R.E.M. (if only because we'd finally get to see all the lyrics)
Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress), The Hollies
Rockstar, Nickelback (I'd love a Nickelback Track Pack that includes "Photograph" and "Someone That You're With" as well)
China Grove, The Doobie Brothers
In addition, songs that were on earlier versions of the Guitar Hero series (such as "Surrender" from Cheap Trick and "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns & Roses) should also be upgraded to the World Tour and/or Rock Band song lists. Also, add all of the songs from the special Aerosmith version and the "Rock the '80s" game as well. I'm not picky.
This story, "I Wanna Rock -- to Better Retro Bands" was originally published by Network World.