Going all the way back to 1970, this is a lovely tune from McCartney’s debut album, whose release pretty much led to the official announcement that the Beatles broke up. It was actually briefly rehearsed by the Beatles for the “Let it Be” sessions – with John playing a slide guitar that wasn’t included in the final solo version. It’s another lovely acoustic love song, this time with full band and some tricky instrumental parts. Another great classic by McCartney.
yThis one probably doesn’t need too much introduction. This ballad from 1984 is one of the standouts of McCartney’s solo career, a beautiful single with a great melody, and two guitar solos by none other than David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. A huge song and we’re so happy to finally bring it to Rock Band.
The title track to Paul McCartney 1993’s album, a nice, melodic, rocking tune. The guitar chart is very interesting, with 2 solos and a lot of leads and licks spread all through the song. There’s also some really nice 3-part harmonies. Great song and a classic opener to a great album.
yaniv297 writes "Nice, beautiful acoustic love ballad from McCartney’s 1997 album Flaming Pie. Even thought that particular song was recorded way back in 1992. Guitar is fairly tricky, and vocals are really nice. A great one to chill between the rocking tunes."
Taken from 2007’s “Memory Almost Full”, “Mr. Bellamy” tells the story of a gentleman standing on top of a building and threatening to jump. A curious, jumpy and fun song, it’s a favorite of many, and absolutely great to play in Rock Band.
Fun fact: McCartney invited Thom Yorke of Radiohead to play on this tune, but Yorke declined; he said he “really liked it”, but feared he’s simply not good enough at piano to play the required part (“the piano playing involved two hands doing things separately. I don’t have that skill available”, according to Yorke).
Thank you, see you next time!
4.26 - Two songs from John Grant!
So, when I’ve heard there’s an LGBT week happening, my first thought was “awesome, I can do some John Grant for that”. And most of you are probably thinking – “who the hell is John Grant?”.
So far that I would answer, imagine Elton John, but if Elton John was a pathetic, troubled, self-hating alcoholic, who grew up in a ultra-conservative Christian family and was raised to hate and hide his sexual identity. He’s an extremely honest and talented songwriter. And the songs charted here are named “JC Hates Faggots” and “Greatest Mother Fucker”, but they’re not humorous or outrageous or purpusely controversial – they’re honest, brilliant and true personal pieces of songwriting. So hopefully, that was enough to garner some interest!
“GMF”, stands for “Greatest Mother Fucker”, is more of a traditional piano ballad. It’s Grant’s most popular song, and for a good reason – it’s beautiful, catchy and has some awesome lyrics. “I am the greatest mother fucker that you’re ever gonna meet” – declares Grant in the chorus of a touching personal ballad, that analyses his personality and lack of self confidence. “Go ahead and love me while it’s still a crime” – slyly referencing his homosexuality – “And don’t forget, you could be laughing sixty-five percent more of the time” – sings Grant, as this number slowly drops in the final chorus, mirroring his shattered, fake self confidence he puts on for this song.
It’s a beautiful tune to sing and entertaining to play, with some awesome vocal harmonies, cool drums and bass, and really interesting melodic ideas – give it a shot!
So yeah, after “No Pussy Blues” and the lyrics of “Stagger Lee”, it seems like I’m competing with myself for the least politically correct lyrics!
But seriously, this song is extremely dark, troubling and personal. Grant is an homosexual that was raised in an extremely conservative house, and the title is a direct quote form his parents. “I can’t believe I was considered taking my own life, cause I believed the lies about me were the truth” – sings Grant, in one of the most honest and heartbreaking lines I know. The choruses are sung from the perspective of his parents, who explain how Jesus hates faggots, Jews, sitcoms, parking fines, “men who cannot tame their wives”, and “pretty much anything you want him to”. It’s personal, touching and just brilliant.
Musically, it’s based on some heavy synths and piano, so key players how there should have fun. There’s no guitar, but the bass is totally awesome all through the song, and there’s even a bass solo – yes, a bass solo! And drums are pretty cool as well with all kind of fills. It’s one of the most unique tunes I’ve done, musically and lyrically, and it’s just brilliant.
4.12 - Singles by David Bowie, Tom Waits and Buffalo Springfield!
Super happy to assist CUTstudi0s on finally bringing in the already legendary "Blackstar" by David Bowie to the game! 10 minutes of pure bliss.
Easily Bowie's most groundbreaking and interesting feat, Blackstar is a final breath of sorts (figuratively and literally) for Bowie's 50+ year career, and, clocking in at just under 10 minutes on the record, it's easily one of his longest. The song takes you through a psychedelic rock/neo-jazz infused journey inside the mind of a dying man, exploring themes of death and his acceptance of it (hints that also appeared on other songs on the record like Lazarus), before culminating into a rocking finale reminiscent of his most popular days. -CUTstudi0s
Tom Waits – fittingly, he said this during his Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
And indeed, Tom Waits have no “hits”, and he never really seemed to attempt any either. His arguably best work was done right in the middle of the 80’s – the height of synthesizers and drum machines – but Waits was busy recording accordions and marimbas instead. He would spend hours trying to achieve the sound he wanted organically – in various methods, such as hitting the bathroom door with a two by four to create percussion – much to the frustration of his studio engineers, who claimed they could achieve anything he wanted with modern technology. But Tom Waits is pretty stubborn.
But if he ever came close to having a hit – it’s probably this song right here. It took 17 songs, but right at the end of his magnum opus “Rain Dogs”, and after going through many different genres, “Downtown Train” is the first song that have any resemblance to the decade it was released in. It’s still quite far from an actual 80’s pop tune - but the snare drum, the melodic chorus and the smooth guitar line in it definitely have their potential. Which Rod Stewart realized several years later, when his infamous pop cover of this tune became a major Billboard hit. When asked about his opinion of the cover, Waits said he liked it, because “it paid for my swimming pool”.
The Tom Waits original, charted here, is widely beloved by music fans. Rock Band wise, the guitar track is the definite highlight – smooth rhythm, a catchy riff that’s inseparable from the chorus, a great solo, and a sweet outro too. Other instruments are more basic, but are all entertaining and ever present. Waits is an unique vocalist, and you get to sing along with him, and the brilliant ways in which he reinterprets the verses and the chorus. It’s a classic from a legendary artist.
Buffalo Springfield - Flying on the Ground is Wrong
From one music legend, to another – but this time we go early, really early. In fact, this album is the first time the songs written by Neil Young (and Stephen Stills) would ever be released on an album. So early that Young doesn’t even sing most of his songs yet – this tune here, while being written by Neil Young, is sung by Richard Furay, while the duo of Young and Stills contribute their harmony voices, who will become legendary in the future.
Despite being written extremely early in his life, “Flying on the Ground” shows the obvious insane talent Young had, and in my humble opinion would rank (at least) among the top 20 songs Neil Young has written. He would later transform it into a slow, aching acoustic ballad – as heard on the brilliant “Live at the Riverboat” album – but this original version is upbeat, and extremely entertaining to play on all instruments. The lead guitar is everpresent through the entire song, with large amounts of nice riffs and licks, while drums and bass are similarly active and varied. Furay does a great job of delivering this beautiful melody, while the Young-Stills harmonies are already as beautiful as they would ever be. This is a fascinating glimpse into the early years of a musical legend, but most importantly, it’s an amazing song that’s extremely fun to play on all instruments.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the original thread to enjoy the full Primavera experience:
The Replacements, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney - 5
PJ Harvey, Wilco, Pulp, Suede - 4
Manic Street Preachers - 3
Pavement, Tom Waits, John Grant - 2
Plus singles from 30 different artists.
Overall: 124 songs, and counting!
If you're interested in full write-ups, visualizers and the rest, it's all in here:
3.23 - Elvis Costello "This Year's Model" pack
Let’s start with the obvious: Elvis Costello is a legend of music. But for most of us RB players, he’s mostly known as “the Pump It Up guy”. This pack has 5 more tunes from the same album. However, it’s my honest opinion that while “Pump it Up” is a good tune, it’s not even among the best on this album, let alone his career – I would rank all 5 songs here above it.
So if you liked Pump It Up, great! Here’s more and better. But if you didn’t – don’t go into conclusions and still give those tunes a shot. They’re easily among the most entertaining charts I’ve ever done – drums and bass especially.
So here we go!
“This Year’s Model is one of the most distinctively brilliant albums ever to be released. For fans of rock music bursting with wit and character, it really just doesn't get any better than this” – Pitchfork, 10/10.
Elvis Costello was always too much of a geek for punk. His voice is too high, his background is too high class, not to mention his affection for clever geeky word play. But that’s why he’s so interesting. “This Year’s Model” is the essential “angry geek” album, full of raw emotions and anger, but also cleverness and brilliance. It’s one of those unique album where every song is better than the other one. It’s a joy on all instruments, and I’ve loved every minute of working on it.
You can also say it’s fairly well regarded:
But Costello is only half (or really, a quarter) of the story – this is an album by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, so let’s talk a bit about those Attractions. AKA one of the best backing band in rock history. They are 3 incredible players: Pete Thomas and Bruce Thomas, are, in my humble opinion, the best rhythm section in rock and roll history. Yes, I’ve thought this through. Yes, I know Led Zeppelin and the Who and the rest. Those guys are better. I wish I could find a way to describe the genius of the drums and bass on those tracks, how absolutely tight and groovy they are, carrying the songs while never eclipsing them. But I can’t. You’ll have to play those yourself to find out.
Traditionally, the third player would be a guitarist, but here we have Steve Niece, whose brilliant organ and keys are all over this fucking record. It’s really the last twist in it’s brilliance, a completely unique sound – the tightest rhythm section imaginable, a genius songwriter at the front, and this unique, colorful, brilliant organ giving this record it’s unique vibe. And than there’s Costello’s guitar, which is mostly fairly basic and sits in the back – which is why I recommend vox-taring this album (playing guitar and singing at the same time), just like Costello himself.
“I don’t wanna kiss you, I don’t wanna touch.
I don’t wanna see you cause I don’t miss you that much”.
Could there possibly be a better way to open this album? With those timeless words of rage and contempt, Costello kicks off the record with an absolute bang. Not wasting any time on build up, the might Attractions come in with full power, Pete Thomas banging those drums, as Costello shoots one of his masterful creation, a song about conflicting emotions. Starting as a simple “fuck you” song to an ex, “No Action” slowly unmasks more, and evolves into a song of jealousy and burning emotion. In one of his most breathtaking verses, Costello moves from his “I don’t care about you” opening stance to something else entirely:
“Knowing you’re with him is driving me crazy,
Sometimes I call you when I know you’re not lonely,
But I always disconnect it in time”.
It’s one of those sprawling beautiful songs Costello is known for, while being an absolute banger and killer rock tune. It’s a perfect opening to a classic album, and now you can play it yourself.
Also, those drums!
After the blistering “No Action”, it’s time for this half-title-track (don’t worry, the other half of the title will appear too). Lead by a steady drum beat – a tribute to the Beatles “Ticket to Ride” – it is soon joined by a great synth line and beautiful melodic bass. This is another chance for the Attractions to shine, while this time the bass is the star of the show, with an absolute classic bass line, as Costello delivers another classic. A steady, brilliant tune, this is probably the easiest song from this pack, but it’s not one you want to miss!
Track 3 of this album is another masterful tune, once again brilliant drums and bass (seeing a pattern here?), this time with slight disco influences. Costello once again demonstrates his lyrical mastery, creating a complex, funny and clever tale with his lyrics. Instruments are all an absolute blast to play, the beat (see what I did there?) is infectious, and the song climaxes as Costello delivers an absolute classic verse over a naked drums and bass arrangement with one simple keyboard line:
“I keep thinking about your mother/No I don’t wanna lick them
I don’t wanna be your lover/I just wanna be your victim
I don’t go out much at night/I don’t go out much at all
Did you think you were the only one who was waiting for a call?”
One of the most famous tracks from this record, Costello brings in a reggae influenced vibe (but in the coolest way possible!) as he delivers yet another brilliant tune. I know I’ve been hailing the drums and bass this whole time, but for those last two tracks, they’ve really are unbelievable. The drum track on this one is absolutely amazing – not devil tiered difficult, but it’s so clever, and has an unbelievable amount of small changes and variations, as the beat seems to change almost every line. While the bass line is absolutely groovy and fun to play. Oh, and did I mention this song has 3 keyboard solos? Because it absolutely does.
The song itself is unsurprisingly great as well, and it also includes the second half of the title (“She’s last year’s model”), as Costello rejects the over romanticism of the Chelsea area (“Oh no, it does not move me/Even though I’ve seen the movie”). It’s catchy, cool, classic and fun.
Last but not least, a Costello classic, straight from this genius drum pattern, to the ultra-tight (even more than usual!) drums and bass. This is one of the Attractions hardest rocking tunes, and it’s pure virtuoso – from this epic bass line, to the drums solo, to everything in between. According to AllMusic, this song "serves as a showcase for the new group's extraordinary energy and impressive skill, while Costello plays the role of the scornful cynic, spitting bitter words of one who has suffered third-degree burns at the hands of love”.
Costello is indeed in top form – shooting gems like “Sometimes I think that love is just a tumor – you’ve got to cut it out”, “You say I have no feelings – this is a good way to kill them”, and the classic “Sometimes I almost feel just like a human being”. Instruments wise, it’s probably the best in the pack. And it’s always been one of my favorite Costello songs. I wanted to chart it for ages, but took me a while to believe I was good enough to do so! So here it is, and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I do.
3.1 - Singles from Teenage Fanclub and Andrew Bird!
Teenage Fanclub, the brilliant power pop band that Kurt Cobain called “the best band in the world”, finally make their Rock Band debut! Initially lauded for the sonically dense, guitar-driven anthems that heralded them as unexpected stars of the alternative rock era, the perception of Scotland's Teenage Fanclub transformed over time, eventually earning the group a reputation as pop craftsmen famous for a distinctive brand of classicist '60s- and '70s-style power pop and folk-rock. Originally centered on the talents of three singer/songwriters -- Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley -- Teenage Fanclub emerged in the late '80s mixing sludgy guitar riffs and memorably hooky choruses that drew inspiration from iconic guitar rock bands like Big Star, Badfinger, and the Byrds.
“The Concept” is the opening song of their 1991 masterpiece “Bandwagonesque”, and it’s one of the band’s finest moment and a brilliant showcase of their talent. It’s filled with the beautiful, catchy melodies the band are known for, with brilliant harmonies and several guitar solos – making it a great fit for Rock Band.
( *** note that the drum animations have been fixed from the preview )
Since the turn of the millennium, few pop artists have established such a distinctive aural identity as Andrew Bird. A virtuosic violinist, singer, songwriter, composer, and expert whistler, his career has undergone a wide variety of stylistic shifts from his early days playing jazz and swing music to his mid-2000s reinvention as a savvy pop sophisticate and instrumental looping pioneer.
“Two Way Action”, the opening track of his brilliant record “The Swimming Hour” with his band Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, is one of his rockier tracks, full of guitar and violin riffs. The song is sang almost entirely in unison with singer Nora O'Connor, the melody is complex and changes scales and yet very catchy, and it’s a perfect demonstration of Bird’s abilities as a songwriter, and the magic of his band.
2.14 - 11 Songs of Love… and One Song of Disappointment!
A Valentine’s Day pack… with a slight twist.
So let’s start with the songs of love… because of the wall of text, each one of those have a short description, along with a longer one if you’re interested.
Note: some preview videos show errors that were fixed in the final version.
TL;DR - A kickass, female-fronted rock tune, with strong 70’s vibes, brilliant vocals, great drum fills and a nice twin-guitars solo at the end.
If you liked indie music in 2016, you probably didn’t miss Angel Olsen’s album “My Woman”, one of the best and the most acclaimed records of that year. Olsen is influenced by 70’s rock and folk, the like of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young, and she’s a great songwriter. “Shut Up Kiss Me” is pretty much pop-rock perfection - a kickass tune, a love song with a hint of aggression (as the title implies), it’s so cool and also emotional at the same time. Instruments are all pretty fun - lots of drum fills, cool guitar solo at the end - and it’s a great one to sing along to.
TL;DR - A romantic moment from the iconic indie slacker, “My Kind of Woman” is a touching love ballad that’s also really fun to play, featuring Mac’s signature guitar playing.
If you like indie music, you’ve definitely heard of Mac DeMarco. Combining a goofball public persona with a distinctive songwriting style and production sound, the Canadian rose to the higher reaches of indie fame unexpectedly quickly. While his image projected a charmingly laid-back slacker prone to occasional antics but never taking anything too seriously, his songs ironically often hid mature themes like aging, commitment, and morals under layers of chorus and reverb. “My Kind of Woman” is, in my humble opinion, his best song. A gentle, touching and ultra-relatable love ballad, that’s also brilliant to play in Rock Band and fun in all instruments
TL;DR - Dark alternative country masters 16 Horsepower offers a fresh and surprising take on a lost Bob Dylan tune.
16 Horsepower are one of those small, unknown gems that will blow your mind. The Denver-based alternative country band made its name with music that combined rural backwoods kitsch with edgy, off-kilter country-rock, often with a dark twist, similar to Nick Cave or the Gun Club. Certainly not an obvious fit for a Valentine Day’s pack. But nevertheless, their classic album “Secret South” includes, among all the dark country tales, this sweet gem - a brilliant cover of Bob Dylan’s “Nobody ‘Cept You”, which wasn’t included in any of his albums (but released as a part of the “bootleg series”).
16 Horsepower completely transformed this song, and made it into this huge, positive love anthem. Frontman David Eugene Edwards is also known as a devoted christian, which leaves the song open to interpretation - is it a love song to a woman, or to God/Jesus - but than again, that’s part of the charm. It’s a great addictive tune, I’ve had a lot of fun working on it and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too.
TL;DR - Brit-pop master Suede delivers an epic, grandiose and absolutely beautiful love ballad that’s an absolute joy to play on any instrument, with a particularly awesome guitar track.
In my humble and somewhat controversial opinion, Suede were the best britpop band of the 90’s. The brilliant British band fused glam decadence with dark romanticism, and left us with a few unforgettable albums. “Dog Man Star” probably sits on top of that list - it’s among my top 20 albums ever. And this is the first song to off this great album to be released in RB - and if it’s up to me, definitely not the last!
“The Wild Ones” is a particularly epic and beautiful love song from that record, and considered a favourite among fan. Singer Brett Anderson has said on numerous occasions that he regards this song as not only the high-water mark of his writing partnership with Bernard Butler, but his favourite of all Suede songs. It’s a song of absolute beauty.
But even more, it’s an amazing custom. My personal favorite of this pack - it’s really one of those “shine on every instrument” song. Just look at the preview video! Guitar has almost constant beautiful licks and riffs, bass is melodic and great, lots of drum fills, and the melody is amazing to sing. There’s even a great harmony voice too! Seriously, check this one out.
TL;DR - The beautiful baritone voice of Richard Hawley, reminiscent of Scott Walker and Frank Sinatra, delivers an upbeat, beautiful and uplifting romantic anthem.
With a melodic baritone anguish that falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Scott Walker and Frank Sinatra, Pulp touring guitarist and former Longpigs member Richard Hawley is a songwriter, guitarist, and producer whose responsible for a line of beautiful and critically acclaimed solo albums. He has been nominated several times for the Mercury Prize as well as a Brit Award, and collaborated with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, and Paul Weller, among others.
‘Tonight the Streets are Ours” is among his finest moments, a beautiful, elegant and uplifting romantic anthem, with a slight Christmas-like feel. It was chosen as the title track for the Oscar nominated 2010 Banksy film “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, and now it marks Hawley’s RB debut - it’s a joy to sing and play on any instrument.
Preview Video(Note: the video includes an issue with the harmonies in the chorus, it is fixed in the final version).
TL;DR - A beautiful piano ballad reminiscent of the Beach Boys, it was named “the most romantic song I’ve ever written” by singer Michael Stipe.
Legendary band R.E.M. surely needs no introducing. This particular song comes from their 1998 album “Up”. The chord progression reminded the band of the Beach Boys, and songwriter Michael Stipe, whose used to write more cynical or “clever” lyrics, has challenged himself to be “fearless” and write a straightforward, honest love song. It wasn’t an easy task - he came up with the opening line (“I found a way to make you smile” - another homage to the Beach Boys “Smile”), but it took him an entire year to write another lyric for the song, as he struggled to follow up the line.
Once he did, it was delightful - “At My Most Beautiful” is a honest, romantic and well, beautiful song - unlike anything he’s ever written. Musically, instead of shying away from the Beach Boys influenced, the band embraced it, by making a Pet Sounds style arrangement, including some famous harmonies. It’s just an absolutely lovely song, and while some of the charts are kinda basic, I’m sure key players, singers and anyone who likes R.E.M. will enjoy this custom.
TL;DR - a sweet britpop anthem about fate and the randomness of meeting your romantic partner.
Britpop legends Pulp with yet another hit from their legendary 1995 album “Different Class”. After “Common People”, “Mis-Shapes” and “Disco 2000” - “Something Changed” is a lovely, romantic tune about fate and how our life would be entirely different if not for random events. What would happen if you’ve never met the love of your life? “I could have stayed at home and gone to bed/
I could have gone to see a film instead/You might have changed your mind and seen your friend” - and everything would have been different.
Musically it’s just a sweet song, great strings charted to kiss, nice guitars and drums, and a joy to sing. A lovely tune and a great fit for Valentine’s Day.
TL;DR - Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner delivers a dramatic, old-school 50’s-style love ballad, with a brilliant vocal performance and great arrangement.
I don’t even like the Arctic Monkeys that much. I don’t listen to their albums, I’ve seen them live once and I was pretty bored. So Alex Turner doing a big, ambitious Sinatra-like 50’s love ballad? Sounds like exactly something I’ll hate. But this song is so damn good, it broke into my heart and stayed there.
The Last Shadow Puppets are the side project of Turner and Miles Kane - though in this particular track, Kane isn’t really doing much, it’s all Turner. In my opinion, they’re a hundred time better and more interesting than the Arctic Monkeys. “Sweet Dreams, T. N.” is the pineapple of their latest album, “Everything That You’ve Come to Expect”, and in my humble opinion, the best song Alex Turner ever wrote. And he delivers it with a huge vocal performance that shows his great singing qualities. Instruments are all great, maybe other than guitar which is repetitive - but drums are full of marching beats and snare rolls, bass is melodic and keys include an entire string arrangement. It’s a gem of a song and hopefully a great custom!
TL;DR - A huge festival anthem from Elbow, a bright, beautiful, optimistic love song with a tricky drums pattern and an Hey-Jude style singalong at the end.
The Manchester-based alternative band is known for their socially relevant lyrics, steeped in the British experience, over atmospheric, epic rock. But “One Day Like This” is different - it’s one of those special, just plain beautiful and happy songs. It’s shamelessly huge and anthemic, it’s been made for stadium singalongs - and it just nails it. If you’ve been to an Elbow concert, you know this song is always a special moment.
It starts off as a beautiful, optimistic and uplifting tune, with dominant strings echoing Guy Garvey’s voice, who repeatedly sings “It’s going to be a beautiful day”. The song explodes and builds, with Garvey famous “Holy cow I love your eyes” line, before becoming a huge, Hey-Jude like repeated singalong of the outro. It’s fun to play and quite tricky on drums (no it’s not overcharted - check out live performances of the song to see the drums) and great on most instruments. And of course, to sing along!
TL;DR - Folk lost legend Nick Drake, possibly the man with the most beautiful voice in music history, with this beautiful romantic masterpiece, with some insane piano by John Cale.
Nick Drake is one of the saddest stories in musical history. The genius guitarist and songwriter, with an unbelievably beautiful voice, was also a shy, quite men who suffered from depression and possibly schizophrenia. He died at the age of 26 from an overdose of antidepressant, still unclear if by suicide or accident, a complete unknown with his 3 records all complete flops. His music was somehow discovered after his death, at first by other musicians (The Cure were actually named after one of his lyrics), and slowly gained popularity. He’s now regarded as a folk legend, and his three albums are all regarded as masterpieces - particularly his last, “Pink Moon”, which is my 4th favorite record of all time.
Most of Drake’s songs were solo acoustic pieces, sometimes with strings or a piano, and would not work in RB. However, his second record “Bryter Layter” was a full band effort, and this is where this gem is for. “Northern Sky” is an absolutely beautiful, heartwarming love song. It was described by NME’s magazine as the “greatest English love song of modern times”. Lead by Drake’s beautiful voice and guitar, it is produced by Velvet Underground legend John Cale, who also added a brilliant piano part - which means keys on this custom are brilliant (and were very difficult to chart!). Drums and bass are also entertaining and more complex than they seem.
Honestly, this is the one song that made me start this whole project. It’s a magical song from a magical artist that deserved to be in RB. Hopefully my custom does it justice.
TL;DR - A Springsteen classic, originally written by Tom Waits, and a beautiful love ballad with entertaining instruments by the legendary E-Street Band.
It’s weird when two of your favorite musicians collide, but sometimes it yields wonderful results. “Jersey Girl” was a Tom Waits song on his 1979 album “Heartattack and Vine”. But you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t know that - because Springsteen’s version has completely taken over the original, and with his association with New Jersey, many people are shocked to learn it’s not a Springsteen original. This, despite the fact that Springsteen never recorded it in the studio - it was only played live. The 1981 performance from New Jersey was chosen to close the live triple-album, “Live 1975-85”, is the only version Springsteen ever officially released, and is the one charted here (complete with crowd cheering for every mention of New Jersey).
The song is an absolutely beautiful romantic ballad. Springsteen’s version has added additional verses, where the love interest is revealed to be an hard-working single mother, which ties in to his usual interest in the working class. The E-Street Band performs it beautifully, and with 2 guitars and 2 key players, charts are varied and fun to play. And of course, enjoy singing this classic tune!
So that’s it! 21 beautiful, sweet and romantic love songs were performed. But I kept thinking… what about all the singles here? What about the ones who currently can’t relate to this sickeningly-sweet celebration of love? And besides, I promised one song of disappointment, didn’t I? So step forward…
TL;DR - Nick Cave’s noisier, garage side project deliver an amusing and yet relatable song of sexual frustration and rejection, with the most ridiculous guitar chart I’ve ever done.
Grinderman are Nick Cave dirty, experimental and noisier side-project. With heavily noise-based, mostly improvised song, this is Cave recapturing his early wild trouble-maker self. They’ve released two brilliant albums, but “No Pussy Blues” is probably the single most representative tune of what they’re all about.
A noisy song about sexual frustration (as the title implies), it tells the tale of the narrator’s attempts to convince a girl to have sex with him - which includes, but aren’t limited to doing her dishes, writing her songs, cursing her and even “petting her revolting little chihuahua” - only to be told, time after time, that she “simply didn’t want to”. It’s a song full of humor, but also probably quite relatable to many. Musically, it’s lead by a bass and drums groove, before exploding into huge, noisy instrumental sections, with extreme guitar noise, here charted as a solo - which makes it quite a ridiculous, and extremely difficult, guitar chart. It’s probably the weirdest and most out-there custom I’ve done - and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
26.1 - Nick Cave 6-Pack!
So what do Arctic Monkeys, Metallica, Harry Potter and the rest from that hint have in common? That’s right, Nick Cave. The Australian legend, “the prince of darkness”, a master songwriter and performer, is already 61, but he’s at the heights of his power. His latest album, “Skeleton Tree”, influenced by the tragedy of losing his son, his regarded one of his best. He finished a big arena tour, played huge spots in festivals all over the world, to great response, and is currently at the middle of a “Conversations” tour – intimate solo shows where he answers questions from the audience.
This pack will follow him at three key albums through his career, chronologically, presenting two classics from each. Here we go:
Since we’ll do it chronologically, as an introduction of his early stuff, here’s the 1990 love anthem “The Ship Song”, which I’ve charted a long time ago.
ALBUM ONE: Let Love In (1994)
This is my 5th favorite album of all time . It’s just a complete masterpiece. Those songs I’ve chosen here aren’t even the best in the album – neither would make my top 3 – but they were chosen because of the best fit to RB, and most well known. But honestly, just listen to that record, it’s special.
We’ll start with possibly the deepest cut in this pack. “Loverman” is Cave at his heaviest and darkest – but with a wry twist of black humor, as always. It was heavy enough to inspire Metallica to cover it – a nice gesture, even though their version is IMO nowhere near the original. Kicking from a classic opening declaration from Cave: “There’s a devil waiting outside your door”, the song unfolds the story of the “Loverman”, who is some kind of sexual predator, stalker, possibly a rapist: “I’ve got a masterplan, to take off your dress and be your man”… It’s simulantly a story of a terrible human being, and a cry for help: “Help me baby, I’ve got no choice… I am what I am”.
Musically, the Bad Seeds create a typically masterful atmosphere, before completely exploding in the chorus. Which then continues into a memorable recreation of the title’s letters: “V is for VIRTUE, I ain’t gonna hurt you – E is for EVEN if you want me to”. Instrument wise, the drum will definitely have a blast in this one, and the entire band switch between careful creepy atmosphere to rocking the fuck out (in a similarly creepy atmosphere). It’s a good one.
Speaking of masterful atmospheres, there’s a reason why “Red Right Hand” is featured in loads of movies and TV shows, including all 3 first "Scream" movies, and it’s also the title track of “Peaky Blinders”. The Bad Seeds really outdone themselves this time – based on a brilliant and sexy bass line, some brushed drums, and a huge bell – creating an unforgettable soundscape, as Cave unfolds his tale on the mystical tall figure.
One of Cave’s most well known tunes, it’s a highlight of his live shows, and been covered by countless artists: Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey, Jarvis Cocker and Iggy Pop, Laura Marling and more. A true classic, long overdue at RB.
ALBUM TWO: Murder Ballads (1996)
Nick Cave wasn’t kidding with the title to this one. The album tells 9 murder ballads, with an overall body count of 76 deaths (that’s not including ambiguous lines like “he’s done many many more”), before concluding with an all-star cover of Bob Dylan’s “Death Is Not the End”. It’s also one of Cave’s funniest albums, and includes two high-profile duets with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue (which, of course, both end in murder). Cave’s certainly an interesting guy.
The PJ Harvey duet, “Henry Lee”, was already released in her pack back in September. It’s time for two more:
A note of caution: this song, and this description, includes a lot of curse words and a few, hmm, not-very-subtle sexual and violent descriptions. So if this kind of thing offends you, feel free to skip to the next song.
I just had to include that one, didn’t I? I mean, I think Nick Cave has written some absolute, heartfelt, touching and deep masterpieces. So sometimes I get a bit annoyed when people focus on what is essentially a meme song – even though it’s a fucking excellent one.
But on the other hand: this song has inspired a whole community of Stagger Lee and Billy Dilly memes (like the one above), it made shirts that simply say “good pussy” legit Nick Cave merchandise, was the climax of countless shows, with Cave crowd surfing and shouting “SUCK MY DICK!” into the eyes of some terrified audience member, and recently lots of stage invasions too. It’s just a legendary tune, and it has to be here.
Technically, a cover of a popular 1895 folk song – even though personally, I’ve never heard any variation that sounded even remotely like Cave’s version, lyrically or musically – so I’m pretty sure it’s in practice an original tune. This is Cave’s take on gangster rap, taking the classic story of mass murdered Stagger Lee, with yet another badass bassline, and giving it a classic Cave twist - this is Nick at his absolute most badass.
Cave drops classic, profanity filled one liners (“She sees the barkeeper, says ‘Oh god he can’t be dead!’. Stag says, ‘well, just count the holes in the motherfucker’s head”) – too many more to mention, really – before the song takes a surprising homosexual twist, as Stagger Lee rejects a hooker in favor of her boyfriend (or in Cave’s colorful language, “I’ll crawl over 50 good pussies just to get to one fat boy’s asshole” – hence the “good pussy” shirts). Oh and, let’s not forget the classic rhyming – “I’m gonna sit right here till time comes to pass, and furthermore I’ll fuck Billy Dilly in his motherfucking ass”.
This song becomes an even huger monster live, often spanning 10 minutes with the Devil himself being introduced – and shot by Stagger Lee, of course. On a personal note, here's one of those performances, where I was lucky enough to be on stage with Nick as a part of the stage invasion - so see if you can spot me And it's quite a brilliant performance anyway!
I could go on forever – but really, this song has to be heard to be believed. And now you can not only hear it, but play it, and try to sing those lyrics yourself. Just make sure there’s no kids around before you do.
It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely pair than Cave and Kylie Minogue. Both are Australians, but they don’t really share much else in common – he’s an alternative rocker whose made a name of dark and disturbing tunes, she’s a mainstream pop artist who writes catchy, light tunes. The story of how this song came to life, is almost as disturbing as the song itself, as Cave himself recalls: “I had a quiet obsession with Kylie for about six years. I wrote several songs for her, none of which I felt was appropriate to give her.” Until he wrote this one, which was finally appropriate – a romantic duet which ends, of course, with Cave murdering Kylie. We’re still on “Murder Ballads”, after all.
Cave sent her the tape, and – against the advice of pretty much all her advisors – Kylie decided to do it. The result was a huge success – even gaining them a nomination for MTV awards (which Cave refused – “music is not an horse race”, according to him). It’s a gentle, beautiful song, with a great strings arrangement. There’s also this great, recent live performance of this song – with Cave and Kylie dancing together, smiling and looking almost in love, and this lovely song of murder. And now you can recreate this murder duet with your loved one. And if your girlfriend gets annoyed that you gets to kill her – don’t worry, you can follow it with “Henry Lee”, where the girl character kills the boy…
ALBUM THREE: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)
So we’re taking quite a leap forward in time, and Cave now is almost unrecognizable. From the dark depths of “Let Love In”, and murder tales of “Murder Ballads”, Cave has since recorded two beautiful, personal album of mostly piano-based love songs (“The Boatman’s Call” and “No More Shall We Part”) – and also “Nocturama”, but it’s best to ignore that one, so I won't even bold it – before being back with this huge, bloated, full band double album, that was the one thing we’ve almost never seen from Cave before: the music was, well, almost happy!
“Abattoir Blues” is a proper rock album, full of hooks, rhythms, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable and upbeat to listen to, while “Orpheus” is a ballads album, but also lighter than his earlier stuff. Oh, and the entire thing includes a full church choir! This album proved that even without the darkness and devastation, Cave is just a brilliant songwriter who can do anything. So you’ll get the first and the last song of this collection.
There’s only one word to describe this “Abattoir” opener – rocking. Cave just takes his band, and simply rocks, like he never did before, and yes, with a choir, and it’s fucking awesome. Full of merciless guitars (usually about 3 at a time, so I had to make some charting decisions…), rousing drums, epic choir harmonies (“Get ready! Get ready!”) as Cave leads the band: “Calling every boy and girl, calling all around the world… get ready for love!”. This is Nick Cave doing rock and roll, and he’s great at it.
About 70 minutes later, the last song of this double collection, is the angelic ballad “O Children”. A slow, remorseful ballad with a huge climax, this song was relatively unknown, until it found some unexpected mainstream success when in 2010, six years after the song’s release, it was used in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1”. In fact, it’s the only piece of music used in the entire Harry Potter series, that wasn’t written specifically for it.
The filmmakers were looking for a song that will fit the magical atmosphere, one that was never used in any other movie/TV show ever, and Cave’s otherworldly persona was a perfect fit (and he does look a bit like a vampire, doesn’t he?). The song choice, used in a Harry/Hermione dance scene, was well received and was happily adopted within the Harry Potter fanbase (I’ve even heard some weird theories about how the lyrics are actually about Harry Potter, and “Frank and Jim” actually refer to Neville’s and Harry’s fathers… not sure about that part, personally).
Regardless of Harry Potter, this is just a beautiful song in it’s own right. Lead by acoustic guitar and a distinct drum beat, it has some beautiful piano, as several verses leads to an unforgettable, bitter-sweet, call-and-response climax with the choir: “Hey, little train, wait for me, I once was blind but now I see, I’m hanging in there, don’t you see, at this process of elimination… We’re happy, ma, we’re having fun – it’s beyond my wildest expectations”… It’s an absolute gem.
So that’s all for now! You now have 9 Nick Cave classics available to play with, which is still nothing for his huge discography, but hey, can’t do them all… and if this isn’t enough for you, there might just be another Cave related tune coming sometime soon. But that’s for some other time.
See you next time!
20.1 - Four new tunes! 90's Alternative Rock pack!
A track from the iconic 90s britpop band Blur - known for having a bit of a feud with a certain other britpop heavyweight - and whose frontman later went on to start Gorillaz. This track, the lead single from their 1997 self-titled album, was released as a cover version during the early days of Rock Band DLC (and was a bonus track on the European version of the game). Now you can finally play the original studio version of the song!
Mark Kozelek is a strange dude. An indie cult figure, and now well known as the frontman of Sun Kil Moon, his 2014 album Benjieven got some mainstream success (even though IMO, it’s very far from his best album). And he generally quite lost it, including being involved in a one-sided public row with indie band The War on Drugs, which included him releasing a special song with the delicate title “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock."
But before all that, he was the frontman of one of the best, and most underappreciated bands of the 90’s – Red House Painters. Their music was usually slow, extremely emotional, personal and hard-hitting, and they had a golden run of records in the 90’s, including my favorite one, a self-titled album usually referred to as Rollercoaster because of the album cover. I’m very happy and excited to bring this band to Rock Band for the first time.
“Grace Cathedral Park” is the opening to this album, and it provides a great introduction to the album and this band. It’s fairly upbeat – by their standards, anyway - and includes interesting parts for all instruments, so it’s fun to play. And it’s also an extremely beautiful song, that’s widely regarded as one of the band’s classics, and just an amazing song.
The Beta Band are also quite a strange breed. Their style is described in Wikipedia as "'folktronica,' a blend of folk, Scottish, electronic, rock, trip hop, and experimental jamming” – and yes, this is as weird as it sounds. Through their career they’ve made several strange and wonderful records and songs, all extremely curious and creative. But really, one tune stands above them all.
“Dry the Rain” is one of those once-in-a-lifetime tunes. For me it’s a strong contender for the “best song of the 90’s." It starts of as a chilly, beautiful, folky tune with acoustic and slide guitars, than slowly evolves into a true epic. The song truly takes it up a gear around the 3:18 mark, where my favorite bassline in music history kicks in – and I’m not just saying that, I spent a solid 10 minutes looking for a bassline I liked better, and couldn’t find any. The bassline leads the song into an amazing climax, with horns, harmony vocals, and overall it’s just a beautiful thing.
The song gained a bit more attention after featuring in the 2000 movie High Fidelity – where John Cusack’s character announces “I will now sell five copies of The Three EPs by The Beta Band, before playing the climax of the song in his record store. The filmmakers knew why they chose that song – it’s a brilliant gem that’s still fairly unknown, and an absolutely brilliant piece of music.
When looking for a fit opening band for Radiohead, really I couldn’t come up with a better fit than Grandaddy. IMO, they’re the real “American Radiohead” – an alternative rock band with an experimental edge, falsetto vocals, and lyrics about technology and the anxiety of modern life. In that case, The Sophtware Slump would be their answer to OK Computer, or some sort of the sequel Radiohead never made – as Pitchfork wrote, “If Radiohead captured a feeling of pre-millenial tension, The Sophtware Slumpcaptured the feeling of disappointment that came afterward."
Despite the similarities, The Sophtware Slump is a brilliant album on its own account – described upon release as “a work of rare and precious qualities, a collection of emotional, richly melodic songs” (from the Daily Telegraph review). “The Crystal Lake” is the lead single, and it’s one of the catchiest songs on the band’s repertoire. Kicking off with a catchy guitar line, it’s beautiful to sing along to, fun to play, and builds into the anxious chorus statement: “I’ve got to get out of here." It’s a great rock song and a great introduction to this fantastic band.
28.11 - "Emergency & I" by the Dismemberment Plan, and a Suede single!
The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I, full album release
With Nolan, GreenPanda and Meta123
I know for the big majority of you, your first reaction to this post was: "Who??". But really, trust me, I know everyone says this about their customs, but really, you absolutely want to check those guys out. And here's three reasons why:
-It's a masterpiece. That's not just me saying, that's pretty much the consensus. Here's just a few major opinions:
Pitchfork have given this album their ultra-rare perfect 10.0 rating (I'm pretty sure only 3 albums received this grade rating since 2000). Their review simply read: "If you consider yourself a fan of groundbreaking pop, go out and buy this album right now. Now. Get up. Go" (yep, that's the entire review). Rolling Stone magazine called it a "a game-changer for indie rock fans", Glide called it a "landmark masterstroke". PopMatters gave it a perfect 10, saying they "just can't get enough of it" and proposing to revise the rating system to give it a new rating: 11/10. Allmusic called it a 'firecracker' and gave it 4.5/5. Consequence of Sound gave it 5/5 and called it "music that first opened our eyes to worlds unseen".
I could go on and on, but you get the point: I'm yet to hear of somebody who heard this record and wasn't left astonished.
-There's nothing else like it. Usually, when describing smaller artists, you do it by comparing them to bigger bands. But here, I honestly have no idea. This record is unique, it seemed to exist in it's own vacuum. I have no idea what it was influenced by. It doesn't seem to belong to any genre or movement. I suppose it's alternative rock - well, it's rock because they use electric guitars and drums, and it's alternative because it's so damn weird, but it doesn't really sound like what you associate with 'alternative rock'. We have a lot of customs on this DB, but I'll easily bet this record is among the most unusual customs in the entire DB. It's fascinating.
-It's perfect for Rock Band. This is still a game after all, and not every masterpiece fits it - but this one does. Guitars are soaring and brilliant, bass is melodic and groovy, and drums - oh my god, those drums. If you're a drummer, prepare to discover your new favorite customs. I can't quite describe the absolutely unbelievable drumming on this record. They're extremely challenging, but not in the usual "let's abuse the double bass pedal" way, or Keith Moon's 'extremely fast messy fills' way. It's challenging because it's honestly original, unusual and super cool work. And if you want an example, just check out "Girl O'Clock" - the first 30 seconds will give you enough of an impression.
So yeah, just check it out. It's thanksgiving, it's weekend, you have some free time. Just download it, choose an instrument (I recommend drums, but they're all great) and give it a go. It starts off normally enough - opener "A Life of Possibilities" is probably the most orthodox song on the record - but it will reveal itself, it will surprise you and it will take you for a ride. Especially the second side - from the pure weirdness of "I Love a Magician", the disco groove of "The City", the complete, bat-shit insanity of "Girl O'Clock", the groovy apocalyptic vision of "8.5 Minutes", the emotional rock/rap fusion of "Back and Forth" - there's nothing like it.
So here you go:
And finally, here's a playlist I made of all the charts of the album, so you can conveniently preview it and get an impression:
Normally my charting choices are pretty methodical: choose a pack/artist and work with that. But once in a while there comes a song so special, that I like so much, I just decide to quit everything else and push it to the top of the queue. The release of “Life is Golden” was never planned. It was not on the schedule two weeks ago. I’ll do a Suede pack at some point, but I didn’t even want to wait for that. I just found myself so addicted and excited about this song, I charted it so quickly when I should have been studying, and added it to the nearest date I could find. So on the song itself: Suede are mostly known as a great 90’s brit-pop band, with hits such as “The Beautiful Ones”, “Animal Nitrate”, “Trash” and many more (shameless self promotion – I charted “Trash” and “The Drowners” before, look them up in the DB!), and for their absolutely amazing first two albums (seriously “Dog Man Star” is a top 20 album for me). Since their comeback in 2012, they’ve released three albums that are more ambitious, experimental and instrumentally varied than their old work.
Those are all great albums, but this tune – “Life is Golden” from 2018’s “The Blue Hour”, released just two months ago – is special. There’s just something about it – forgive the pun, but Suede have truly hit gold with that one. It’s been insanely well received (Clash Magazine has called it “arguably their best song in twenty-two years”), it’s only been out for a few months and it’s already used as the climatic closing songs to their concerts, chosen over their wide range of hits. It’s a huge, emotional, catchy anthem, and is already a huge favorite and among the band’s best songs. Rock Band wise, it’s not extremely challenging, but it’s fun on all instruments. Guitars and bass are melodic and ever changing through, with a variety of parts to play and a soaring guitar solo at the end. Drums are basic but fun, keys have some nice strings parts, and vocals, as always, rule them all – belting out this chorus is an absolute joy, and there’s some nice falsetto too! This song will probably never be as popular as it deserves too, but I’ve been fairly obsessed with it recently, and I’m very happy to bring it to you. Hope you give it a try.
Thanks, see you next time!
22.10 - Primavera Sound Festival
So I've done this Primavera Sound tour date, it's been quite a ride. A lot of effort, coordination, and writing went into that project.
Now it's time to add to here all the 12 customs I've released during that weekend. Here they are:
This has been great and really fun to do. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have!
12.10 - Arcade Fire 9-Pack!
So, after all those magnificent Canadian opening acts opened up our evening, it’s time to clear the stage for one of Canada’s biggest and best rock bands: the Grammy-winning, critically acclaimed and brilliant:
The Canadian hmm, sextet (well they currently have 6 members) broke into our lives in 2004 with the masterful “Funeral”, widely considered a masterpiece, and one of the best albums of the decade, and have since released 4 more albums (which will all be represented in RB after this release), headlined just about every festival imaginable, and have left a huge mark on rock music. They already have a few songs on our DB - I’ll mention them below - but now they’re getting a major, career-spanning 9-pack, which means we’ll have cover for most of their classic tracks and anthems. We’ll do this in chronological order, by albums… So, here we go!
Out of nowhere, back in 2004, a married couple and a bunch of weird Canadian dudes broke into our lives with this impeccable and astounding masterpiece. “Funeral” was a defining moment in indie rock, not only according to critics (best album of the decade according to LAS Magazine and Under the Rader, #2 at Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound, #3 at Paste and Popmatters, and many more) but mostly according to fans who keep coming back to it, and the countless bands it influenced.
Before today we only had one track from this great album - Ollie’s version of the great ‘Rebellion (Lies)’ - which was definitely not enough. So, today we bring you 5 (!) further tracks from this masterpiece.
Custom by agaed
Vocals by yaniv297
They say you should start strongly, but I honestly can’t think of a band who started their debut album as strongly as Arcade Fire. I’ll use a lot of superlatives in this post, but here’s a definite one - in this narrator’s humble opinion, this is Arcade Fire’s best song. Not only that, but one of the best songs of the decade and pretty much my whole life. There’s just something about it - I don’t know, man. It’s something else.
Introduced by some piano, into an iconic guitar riff, “Neighbourhood #1” (or as it’s known among fans, “Tunnels”), kicks off with ‘And’ - as if to symbolizes we’re in the middle of a story - and than takes you into a journey into childhood, filled with infectious guitar riffs, groovy beats, and a brilliant, emotional delivery by singer Win Butler, before finishing in some climatic “oh oh oh”s. It translates perfectly into an RB, with all instruments being fun and varied, and overall it’s just a damn great custom and song.
Custom by yaniv297
How do you follow one of the best album openers in history? Well, Arcade Fire did perfectly. The second in the Neighbourhood series, “Laika” is “Tunnels” quirky, weird little brother. Not quite as anthemic or stadium-ready (even though it’s damn great live), it’s an addictive, fun and peculiar song about a brother leaving the family going out on an adventure, which involves some weird stuff like being bitten by a vampire. Kicks off with a great drum beat, it has ultra tight rhythm section, accordion and strings charted to keys, and it’s fun all around - especially to sing (or rather, scream) along - “Alexander! Our oldest brother!”. It’s just addictive, trust me.
Custom by MrBurpler
Vocals by yaniv297
In episode three of our Neighbourhood series (#4 is on the album too, but wouldn’t be a great RB fit so isn’t charted here), this time we tell the story of an unfortunate power shortage in our town. “Power Out” is an epic, powerful and relentless track - and an absolute showstopper live. It kicks up firing on all cylinders, with a driving disco beat (drummers, prepare to work on that one!) and firing guitars, while later bass takes the lead in a fuzzy riff. Vocalist Win Butler absolutely spits out the stressful lyrics - “What’s the plan??” he screams as he describes as he goes out to “pick a fight with anyone”, before screaming in an iconic moment “Nothing’s hid from us kids!”.
Somehow, the song reaches it’s emotional climax when taking a step back to a melodic chorus, “when the power’s out in the heart of man”, before exploding into full on rock and roll madness again. A classic moment in Arcade Fire’s discography.
Custom by Kamtoch
Vocals and keys by yaniv297
When talking about Arcade Fire, the word “anthemic” is used often. Maybe it’s the U2 and Springsteen influences, but even as an unknown low budget band, Arcade Fire always aimed for a huge sound. But nothing, nothing in this album or the band’s career is as anthemic as the show-stopping, unique “Wake Up”. This is the show closer, the climax. Everything - from the opening guitar chords, to the bass-snare beat, to those huge soaring “oh oh oh”s - just screams big stadiums. Lyrics are sparse, each word counts, as Butler pleads: “Children, wake up”, before the song takes a surprising key change and ends on a double-pace, playful outro. The song made a big impact - it was used by U2 as a concert opener as early as 2005, and the band played the song with none other than David Bowie the same year. It also makes a rather brilliant custom - I’m sure you’ll have fun playing and singing along to this amazing tune.
Custom by yaniv297
So how do you finish an album where pretty much every single song packs a huge emotional sucker punch? well, by the biggest emotional sucker punch of them all. “In the Backseat” sees Win Butler’s wife and bandmate, Régine Chassagne, takes the lead vocals, as she tells the breaking tale of her mother dying in a car crash and the impact it had on her life. This song starts as a tender piano ballad, but in typical Arcade Fire fashion includes a big chorus, and ultimately finishes on a beautiful, amazingly powerful instrumental outro, with Régine delivering some of the most powerful “oh oh”s you’ll hear in your life, over a repeated strings melody and some driving drums and bass. It’s a unique and absolutely beautiful track, and a worthy closer to such an album.
Neon Bible (2007)
Following such a perfect album is never easy, and while I won’t claim “Neon Bible” is as good as “Funeral” - it’s still a worthy follow up. And at it’s best moments, it’s as good as the monstrous album it followed. One of those best moments, emotional closer “My Body is a Cage”, was already charted by the great BornGamerRob. And two more of those best moments are released today:
Custom by yaniv297
Starts with a church organ and an acoustic guitar, “Intervention” is a dark, cathartic and beautiful ballad, that (as is tradition) grows into a big emotional climax. It’s an ambitious tale of a soldier, fighting for his country, while also being an anti-religion tune. Naturally the main focus here is on the vocals, as the song builds from acoustic to full band, but all instruments are fun and great to play along. And if you sing, make sure you give your all on the big “working for the church while your life falls apart!” line.
Custom by Kamtoch
Vocals and keys by yaniv297
Originally recorded for their debut EP, “No Cars Go” is a joyous, upbeat and great anthem, of late-night escapism from a world dominated by cars and planes. ”No Cars Go” is a huge fan favorite and brilliant live song, and for a good reason. Led by a driven drum beat and accordion line, with great energy before exploding into a soaring climax, “No Cars Go” is a musical celebration of everything that’s good about Arcade Fire. And it promises to be an absolute blast on Rock Band as well.
The Suburbs (2010)
Time for the next one, the ambitious, great concept album “The Suburbs”. Regarded by many as another masterpiece, the album was critically acclaimed upon release and it’s a huge fan favorite. The title track, “The Suburbs” is already in our DB thanks to MrBurpler, who contributes here yet another great song:
Custom by MrBurpler
Vocals and keys by yaniv297
“Sprawl II” is a key track, and possibly the best track, in “The Subrubs”. Soundwise, it’s quite an unusual departure from Arcade Fire’s usual indie rock sound, taking a strong synthpop direction, and vocally led by the great Régine Chassagne. “Sprawl II” is a hugely emotional tune, discussing suburban life, and the difficulties of growing up in it. It became an instant fan favorite, a necessity on every Arcade Fire show, and widely regarded as one of Arcade Fire’s best songs.
This ambitious, dancy double album isn’t represented in today’s pack - however, make sure you check out Hotfuzz’s three pack of “Reflektor”, “We Exist” and “Flashbulb Eyes”!
Everything Now (2017)
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, “Everything Now” probably wasn’t a great period for Arcade Fire. After a lot of hype, the album was widely seen as a disappointment and as the first major misstep in their career. And the satirical promotion campaign (which among others, including a satirical article about an “Arcade Fire: Rock Band” game - now if only…) wasn’t well received either, with many thinking it’s not as smart as it think it is. But even in their lowest moment, Arcade Fire could still deliver some absolutely great songs, and one of them is right here:
Custom by yaniv297
As soon as I knew an Arcade Fire pack was happening, I had to get this tune in there somewhere. It’s probably not as big as the others, but honestly I spent the better part of last summer with this song stuck in my head and singing it with my (even more Arcade Fire obsessed than me) brother.
“Put Your Money On Me” is widely seen as a highlight and probably the best song of “Everything Now”. A catchy disco tune, which eventually evolves into an ABBA-style, infectious chorus with a three-part harmony. It’s been released as a late single and exceeded expectations, and it’s surely one huge positive spot in this era for Arcade Fire.
So you have all those cool Arcade Fire tunes now, what do you do with them? Well, I’m here to help! This is a setlist I built, based on real life Arcade Fire setlists (mostly from the last two tours), and adjusted to the songs we have here in RB.
Kick off with the epic ‘Reflektor’ into the soaring ‘Laika’ and an early anthem in ‘No Cars Go’. Things get emotional in the middle, with ‘Intervention’ into ‘My Body is a Cage’, before treating your audience with two singalong anthems in ‘Tunnels’ and ‘The Suburbs’. Get into some disco groove with ‘We Exist’ into ‘Sprawl II’, before finishing the main set with the legendary one-two punch of ‘Rebellion (Lies) into ‘Power Out’ (It’s a shame we can’t connect the songs here like they do in real concerts…). Take a few minutes rest as the audience applauds, before breaking their hearts with ‘In the Backseat’, and finishing off with the most classic Arcade Fire show closer, the cathartic and huge anthem ‘Wake Up’.
Play this setlist for the ultimate Arcade Fire RB experience!
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
No Cars Go
Put Your Money On Me
My Body is a Cage
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
In the Backseat
And most importantly, have fun!
28.9 - PJ Harvey 5-Pack and a Camera Obscura single!
I'm very glad to present my first major contribution to a C3X tour date!
So here she is, making her long-overdue RB doubt, one of the best, most consistent, creative and brilliant artists of the last 30 years – PJ Harvey. This modest 5-pack isn’t nearly enough to showcase all her brilliant work, and many of her best moments (from the stellar punky ‘Rid of Me’ to the 2011 political masterpiece ‘Let England Shake’) aren’t represented, but it’s surely a good introduction to her dark and brilliant work, with three of her own songs, and two very high profile duets.
1995’s “Down by the Water” was PJ’s breakthrough the mainstream, and a surprise hit. The song reached number 2 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and received extensive rotation on MTV and college radio stations. Which was quite a surprise, seeing how it’s a fairly dark ballad about a mother murdering her own daughter. It’s very blues influenced, but at the same time quite modern with synthesizers and electronic instruments, and no guitars. Based on a great drums and synth-bass groove, it also includes some great call-and-response backing vocals, some great keys parts and a dramatic conclusion.
Yet another single from the same album, “C’mon Billy” never quite reached the success of “Down by the Water”, but it’s still a brilliant, fun song. Based on a classical guitar and a snare groove (no, I did not forgot the disco flip event – it’s all snare really, and accents are played on yellow), and a string arrangement (faithfully charted to keys), but the real star of the show is PJ herself – delivering a brilliant, desperate vocal performance, that by the end will have you jumping up and down octaves at will.
The 2000 album “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” is to this day, PJ’s most direct, mainstream work. It shows that when she wants, she can deliver a rock album as solid and rocking as anyone else. And “Big Exit” opens this album in this exact same spirit – simply speaking, it’s quite a banger! Kicks off with a guitar and keys riff, with bass strategically dropping in and out of the song and a relentless drum beat, it’s the most rocking song in this pack. And PJ herself, as always, is brilliant and delivers the big chorus with so much passion. Just a great song (and hopefully a great custom) all around.
According to PJ, she was always fascinated by the idea of having someone else sing on her records. “The Mess We’re In” was written by Harvey with quite a specific voice in her mind – Radiohead’s singer Thom Yorke, who she met in 1992 and kept in touch since. Yorke’s own band, Radiohead, at that time we’re quite busy neglecting guitar for their electronic, brilliant but polarizing “Kid A” (their best album IMO, but that’s a different discussion). But thankfully Yorke could still recognize a great rock song when he hears one, and he took a break from the bleeps-and-bloops to deliver a straight forward rock vocal performance, with some signature falsetto in the chorus. The result is an absolute charming, romantic breakup duet, with PJ taking the backseat on her own song and allowing Yorke to take the lead.
For a short while in 1995-1996, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey were the power couple of alternative rock. Both extremely talented songwriters of dark blues, rock and gospel, with much more sex and violence than usually found in those genres – it made too much sense. That relationship didn’t last too long (the breakup and the aftermath are all over Cave’s next album, “The Boatman’s Call”), but it did produce one musical souvenir: the deadly duet “Henry Lee”.
Taken from Cave’s “Murder Ballads” album., “Henry Lee” is the due’s take on the traditional folk ballad ‘Young Hunting’. While the cover to the single presented the due kissing passionately, the actual content of the song is a lot less romantic – it features Henry Lee (sung by Cave) rejecting Harvey’s unnamed character for another girl (who he ‘loves far better than thee’), and than Harvey murdering Lee in revenge by throwing him down the well. It’s a brilliant song musically, and an amazing duet to sing, with Cave and Harvey trading verses and harmonizing in the chorus. It’s been a fan favorite for years, and my personal favorite from this bunch.
Lead by the brilliant singer-songwriter Tracyanne Campbell, Scottish band Camera Obscura has been one of indie music lesser known secrets for years. “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” is the opening track and lead single from their highly-acclaimed 2006 album “Let’s Get Out of this Country”, and simply speaking, it’s indie-pop perfection. A reply song to Lloyd Cole’s 1984 (also brilliant) tune “Are You Ready to be Heartbroken?” (hence the unusual title), “Lloyd” kicks off with some beautiful organ, and than goes into an ultra-catchy guitar riff. The song itself is brilliantly written, touching and the chorus is huge and fun to sing along to, along with some great harmony lines. It’s not hugely well known, but if you like indie pop or rock, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Please note: all songs were updated from the original uploads on Friday, with some bugs and mistakes fixing (most notably - the first verse of 'Big Exit' is now fixed to be talkies and not pitched). So I highly recommend redownloading the songs if you already have them.
Thanks, and see you next time!
21.9 - David Bowie's original "Heroes" with ejthedj!
So it's been quite lately, but not because I haven't been working. In fact, I'm sitting now of a somewhat astonishing amount of finished customs (26 in my last count) - all saved for some really epic C3X tour dates.
So now the journey finally begins, I'm glad to present my first contribution:
Together with the great ejthedj - David Bowie's Heroes! The original, full version.
How can you begin to describe a classic like “Heroes”? For all of Bowie’s amazing works, this is the one that always stood out for me. The title track of his 1977’s album, written and recorded in Berlin, “Heroes” is an epic, emotional masterpiece about a (possibly gay) love story, with the Berlin Wall standing between the two lovers. It is groundbreaking and genius in almost every way – from Tony Visconti’s extremely creative production, Brian Eno’s synthesizers and effects, to Robert Fripp’s unique use of guitar feedback, and Bowie’s himself gave one of the best vocal performances of his lifetime.
Since his release, “Heroes” was widely regarded as Bowie’s best work, or close to it. It made countless ‘best songs ever’ lists, used in lots of movies and TV shows, covered by countless artists (from Coldplay to Depeche Mode, to King Crimson and Motorhead), it’s been adopted by Bowie’s himself as a staple of his live shows, usually as the set closer, and it’s currently Bowie’s most streamed song on Spotify – ahead of his many other hits. It’s been a staple of popular music ever since the song was released.
A pretty-weird cover version of “Heroes” (or actually, the single cut of the song) was released as early RB1 DLC, but now you finally get to play the original, full song, in all it’s 6-minutes epic glory, and join Bowie himself in delivering those classic lines. All instruments are varied and fun to play, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing this absolutely classic tune in his original and best version.
That custom is mostly the work of ejthedj - I've only done tempo map and drums, and went through the other charts.
We're aware of some vocal issues, they will be fixed soon.
Thanks, and get ready for many more to come - and earlier than you might think!
2.8 - Neil Young 4-pack!
Hello C3! And now it’s time for a tribute to my single favorite artist in the world… Neil Young!
This Neil Young deep cuts pack allows you to go a bit further than the “Heart of Gold”s and “Rocking in the Free World”s you already know. Containing 4 brilliant and very different tracks, from 4 different album (Actually one of them isn’t even in a studio album), I cherry picked some of the best least known Neil tracks and made this pack! Three of them are upgrades of existing drum customs, one is brand new. Hope you like it
There’s so much to say about “Tonight’s the Night” – the bleakest album Neil made in his life, dedicated to do friends (including his former guitar player) who died from heroin use, and recorded when Neil was regularly drinking a bottle of tequila a day. It’s also, in my opinion, the best album of his career. And Mellow My Mind is my favorite song from it.
An heartbreaking ballad with Neil’s voice constantly breaking, it’s actually a really good Rock Band track as well. None of the instruments are too difficult, but they’re all varied and fun to play. No pro keys for that one, sorry.
Many thanks to MrPrezident for charting the very drunk vocal track to this one! I recommend doing a few shots before attempting to sing this. Haven’t actually tried this, but it sounds pretty awesome.
From saddest Neil to angriest Neil. “Revolution Blues” isn’t Neil heaviest, distortion-wise, but he’s rarely been this angry. Based on the character of Charles Manson, who Neil knew before his terrible crimes and was deeply impressed by, this song was written when Neil discovered he was a terrible murderer.
Easily the best fit to RB in this pack, this song has 2 guitar solos, tricky and ever-changing drums, and bass guitar that sometimes seems to solo over the whole song. You’ll have a lot of fun playing any of those instruments.
Technically there’s also a keyboard in the song (well, at least the credits say so) but it’s barely audible most of the song so I couldn’t chart it. Also, video preview shows a slightly old version of the charts, so it’s been improved since. Thanks to MrPrezident for his assistance with charting vocals to this one!
So we’ve done angry, sad, not it’s time for one of those chilled, relaxing and achingly beautiful tunes Neil is known for. “Lotta Love”, a highlight from his 1978’s “Comes a Time” album, is one of those beautiful, honest and touching songs Neil tracks, and makes a great custom too! If pro keys players felt left out with the two previous songs, this is the one where the keys shine, and you get to play some absolutely beautiful piano. Hope you like it!
Last but not least, this is just as classic Neil as it gets. Written as early as 1969, recorded in 1974 and only released in 1977 “Decades” compilation album, Winterlong has made a name as Neil classic tune despite not appearing on any album. It was even covered by Pixies, who play the song live pretty often to this day.
It’s not difficult but it’s fun on all instruments, and includes some classic, CSN&Y style, vocal harmonies. A big fan favorite and for a very good reason!
Many thanks again to MrPrezident for charting vocals to this song!
Also, since I made a very stupid mistake (project splitting in two and stuff), the video preview shows a very old and inaccurate version of the drum chart. So if you catch some mistakes in the drum chart video (there's quite a few), rest assured they're fixed in the actual custom!
Huge thanks to Nolan for all video previews! Make sure you check our (mostly his) awesome work on the Dismemberment Plan 4-pack!
See you next time
29.7 - The Dismemberment Plan 4-pack with Nolan!
Ok, these are technically not my customs, but I've done vocals and keys to all, and they're seriously one of the coolest pack of customs I've ever seen or played, so I highly highly highly recommend you check them out!
If you're not familiar, the Dismemberment Plan are a Washington based experimental indie rock band, and their 1999 album "Emergency & I" is regarded as one of the best indie albums of the 90's. It's ultra original and fun, there's nothing like it, and it translates amazingly to RB - especially if you're a drummer!
Personally I always wanted to chart these, but thought the drums were too difficult... until one day I saw Nolan just upload the full album on drums to the DB! I immediately contacted him and we made a plan, along with Meta123, to bring the whole album to C3! This is the first pack. I charted vocals, keys and pro keys, Nolan did everything else.
They all got really awesome preview videos and they're insanely fun, so make sure you check them out! Here they are:
No words to describe this one other than complete madness. Absolutely insane devil-tiered drums that I'll never ever be able to pass, the most unique vocals chart I've ever done (seriously just listen) and just, well, madness all around. Also my favorite song on the record.
I'm so happy to give one of my favorite artists in the world, and certainly the coolest human being on this planet, Tom Waits, his rock band debut!
"Make It Rain", from his 2004 album Real Gone, is an hellish bluesy song, with an absolutely brilliant and unique vocal performance from Waits. So unique, that I had no idea how to even start charting it, so I turned to one of the pros... and he didn't disappoint! So thanks to the brilliant BornGamerRob for charting vocals on this! Please note, the video shows a live version, because there's nothing quite like watching Waits perform this song (or any song, for that matter). The custom is the studio version, which is quite similar except having a much cooler guitar solo, by legendary guitarist Marc Ribot, and not whoever the random guy in the video is. If you want to hear the exact version of the custom, it's this one.
Hope you like that one, because I plan to chart quite a few more Tom Waits tunes in the future! (if you're a fan and there's specific ones you want, let me know!).
Not only a classic, but one that fits Rock Band perfectly. Lots of little guitar lines, brilliant bass that feels like it's soloing all over the song, insanely difficult keys parts (including sax parts charted to keys), and of course those famous vocal harmonies. I knew it's a big one, and felt quite a responsibility when I decided to do it, so I was sure to give my absolute best to chart it and get it as good as I can. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out - hope you liked it too! Thanks Nolan for the video preview!
Hope you enjoyed those!
14.7 - Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" 4-Pack!
So, today it’s (finally) the time to release a pack that me and the great mrcoupdetat have been working on for a very long time. A tribute to one of the greatest albums of the 2000’s, Wilco’s masterpiece “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”.
Those four songs from the album were already available as drum-only customs, but they’ve been updated and upgraded in any way to give those songs the full experience they deserve. And they turned out to be absolutely fantastic customs, in my humble opinion
Thanks again to mrcoupdetat for his great work on those songs!
And a huge thanks to Nolan for the preview videos!
Just a note on the preview videos: after they were done, I ended up doing another round of fixes and changes on all the songs. So they’re a bit out of date – the customs you’re getting are actually better than the videos show! There are a few charting bugs in the videos – they’re all fixed in the actual custom. Especially the vocal tracks went through a major rehaul. But the videos are still great to get a general feel of how the custom is.
The epic opening song to this masterful record, this is a Wilco classic and one of their most beloved tunes. At it’s core it’s a fairly simple folk ballad, but the instrumentation and the production are masterful. Drums are original and entertaining, bass is fun and changing, keys are varied and include a few great piano melodies, and there’s even a drum solo! Before it eventually climaxes with long synth drones and a final, higher-octave verse.
Not quite what the name implies, Heavy Metal Drummer is a fun, catchy and probably the most poppy song on the record. Pretty straight forward on all instruments, it’s a great one to relax and sing along to.
If you’re looking for a challenge or some insane charts, this is the one for you! With no less than 3 guitar solos, and one of the most unique drum tracks I’ve seen (actually it’s a combination of several different percussion tracks), this song definitely delivers great entertainment on all instruments. And it’s a freakin’ great song too!
Oh and mad respect to mrcoupdetat for charting that guitar track – wonder how long this one took!
Finishing with the prettiest one, Jesus Etc is a stone-cold indie classic. A beautiful love ballad full of string instruments (here charted to a pretty busy keys track), this is in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful songs written in the last decades. A classic.
19.6 - The Replacements 4-Pack!
Probably the best punk rock band of all time, and after I already did their classic "Can't Hardly Wait", The Replacements now get their own 4 pack! The pack includes 2 updates of previously drum-only customs, and two brand new songs!
Please note - for all updates, I'm also seriously updating the drum chart (I've gotten better at those), tempo map, etc. So even if you're only a drummer, and you have the old version - I highly suggest downloading the new one! It's much better.
Kicking it up with a classic (but honestly, they all are!), "Favorite Thing" is an ultra fast, furious and brilliant punk-rock masterpiece, from the all-time classic album "Let it Be". This one will get you sweating and screaming!
My personal favorite of the pack, "Color Me Impressed" is a fast-paced and brilliant punk classic from the band. An early classic, one of their defining songs and biggest classics, this one will make you sweat and test your stamina - especially on drums! And it also has a pretty tough guitar solo.
Representing the more quiet side of the Replacements, "Swingin' Party" is a gentle rock masterpiece, with brilliant lyrics, from the classic album "Tim". It's beautiful to sing, includes an incredible melodic bass line (especially the chorus) and should be a nice way to chill after rocking out to the other tunes. It's now regarded as a classic, covered by artists like Lorde and many others.
Come vote for who you wanna see next!
I'm wondering which packs I should start working on next, so I thought, why not ask the community?
Here's a poll with a few options I'm thinking about. Vote for who you would like to see most!
A few important notes:
-There's a few packs that are already in progress. They will be the next released, and they are not a part of this poll. This poll is about which ones to start from fresh - there will be at least 3 different releases before then.
-I want to hear your opinions and I will take it into consideration. However, I do not guarantee anything, and since I do it for my own enjoyment, I reserve the right to work on whatever I choose, regardless of the poll results.
So I'll take it into consideration but I will not decide solely based on it.
-A note about Leonard Cohen: he's a bit of an odd pick since he's usually a bad fit for Rock Band (guitar only songs/electronic background).
However, the Cohen songs considered are all live versions, mostly from 'Live in London' but also other recent live records. Those are all full band arrangements, include live instruments and will be varied and interesting to play.
Waiting for your responses! Feel free of course to reply here too.
Amazing song by one of the world's best current bands, The National.
From their 2017 album "Sleep Well Beast", this song quickly became one of their biggest hits, and even appeared on the FIFA 18 soundtrack. Like pretty much every National song = it has absolutely brilliant drums. But quite rarely for a National song, it includes a brilliant guitar solo (in fact I believe it's their first guitar solo ever). A great song from a great band, and fun to play on all instruments.
Video Preview(note: it shows solo vocals and not harmonies, but the custom has harmonies. Also drums are outdated version and been changed a lot since).
The brilliant 1966 hit from the Easybeats, "Friday On My Mind" is a rock and roll classic. With a surprisingly complex chord progression, cool three-way harmonies and nice guitar lines all over, it's an absolutely brilliant song to play and sing!
Another brilliant tune by Suede. Guitar, bass and drums are absolutely brilliant on this one - guitar is just riffs all the way through, bass is ultra melodic. And singing that chorus is just huge! "You're taking me over...". And keys are, well, they're there for completion sake but I don't expect anyone to actually play them. But the rest just rocks.
Video Preview(note: it shows solo vocals and not harmonies, but the custom has harmonies).
A power pop masterpiece and one of the best songs in this genre, September Gurls is just poor fun.
Drums are full of fills and an absolute blast to play - one of my favorites. Guitar and bass are pretty and melodic. And those harmonies are gorgeous! Just a blast all around.
Video Preview(note: it shows solo vocals and not harmonies, but the custom has harmonies).
"Every night I tell myself, 'I am the cosmos,
I am the wind'.
But that don't get you back again".
Where do you even start with a song like this?
One of my favorite customs I've made and songs I've authored, "I Am the Cosmos" is a hugely emotional, devastating and purely beautiful masterpiece. Written by Big Star member Chris Bell, it's a devastating ballad of loss, one of the best songs of the 70's and one of the best I've heard, honestly.
It also works really well in Rock Band. Drums are full of fills, bass is melodic and fun, there's a nice guitar solo in the middle, and those harmonies are simply gorgeous. Also, watch out in the outro, for one of this song's hidden secret - a slight lyrics change near the end. Originally it's buried in the fade out, but here's the fade out is reversed and it's hard in it's full glory.
Thanks doa for all video previews!
10.6 - Singles from Bowie, Sufjan Stevens and Trail of Dead!
It's been a while since I posted new tracks, but I've been working on lots of customs... this is just the beginning!
An update of one of my earlier songs, another brilliant song by Bowie, from his masterful "Low" album. This one has groovy bass, guitar lines all over the place, cool drums, and, well, a really easy keys part. Have fun!
From indie hero Sufjan Stevens, this is just the second Sufjan custom in the database.
"Chicago" is one of his greatest anthems, from his masterful Illinoise album, it's ultra catchy and really beautiful. It includes really cool keys part (piano, trumpet solos, strings) and it's brilliant for vocals. Rest of the instruments are fairly standard (guitar is pretty nightmarish at times), but it's a beautiful tune and one that was really missing from Rock Band IMO.
It's OKKKK I'm a saaaaaaaintttt I forgaaaveee your mistaaaakesss
Even if just to sing this one line, I knew this song had to be in rock band!
From the brilliant Trail of Dead and their 2002 masterpiece "Source Tags & Codes", this is a brilliant rocking song. Guitar and bass are fun but not too difficult with lines all around, drums will definitely test your endurance a bit (especially the chorus), and vocals will have you screaming that huge chorus. I'm a saaaaaaaainttttt!
I've also done drums for a custom by 'Soul Love' by David Bowie, a custom by MrPrezident - get it here.
Thanks doa for all preview videos!
17.4 - Manic Street Preachers three pack!
I know I've been mostly busy with upgrading my old customs, but I felt like I needed a break to work on some brand new songs. And here they are! A three pack by the mighty Manic Street Preachers, with some songs long overdue for Rock Band. It's based on their 1994's masterpiece "The Holy Bible", featuring two tracks from this album, and also the huge single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next". Now for the first time, with preview videos too! thanks doa for the videos!
The opening track from the Manic's masterpiece, "The Holy Bible", and what an insane opening. Not a subtle opening, the song (right after an opening quote from a pimp), jumps into a tight guitar riff with alternating 7/4 and 4/4 time signatures, before kicking in with the not-so-subtle opening line "For sale? Dumb cunt, same dumb questions" and proclaiming that "All virgins are liars honey". It than explodes into a huge, and hugely NSFW chorus, before a rather calmer bridge with nice harmonies. It's a huge, rocking explosive song, that gets pretty emotional near the end ("There is no part of my body that has not been used", exploring themes of sex trade and abuse. If "The Holy Bible" has been described as a "voyage into the depths of the human psyche", this song is the album in a nutshell, and it's a must for your library. Check out the video too! It's not the final version but it's 99% close. I think I fixed one missing yellow tom in the choruses.
Another track from the brilliant "Holy Bible", "Revol" is probably the most rocking song I've done yet. The second single from the album, it's full of explosive guitar riffs, a huge chorus, tricky lyrics which uses names of Russian leaders (and others too) to establish a point about the writer's own sexual frustrations and fears, while throwing in a few Nazi Germany references in the chorus (in German too!), because hell why not. It's the catchiest song in the Holy Bible, and manages to be a big anthem while being as f***ed up as the rest of the album. Have fun. Check out the video too! It's not the final version but it's 99% close. I fixed the last word in the song - should be "revol" instead of whatever's in the video.
Our final track of the pack finds the Manics 4 years later. Guitar player and Holy Bible lyricist Richey Edwards now isn't a part of the band, after his mysterious disappearance.
This is the Manics biggest anthem, most successful single and big show-stopper. It's a lot more anthemic and accessible than the Holy Bible tunes - even though the lyrics aren't particularly lighter ("If I can shoot rabbits, than I can shoot fascists"). It's probably the song you know from the pack, and it's a brilliant fit for Rock Band 3, using full advantage of the harmonies system. It's one of the most iconic rock anthems of the 90's, and it's here now for you. Check out the video too! It's not the final version but it's really close. I think I fixed a minor mistake in the vocals in the first verse ("and cold" lyrics aren't in sync), and redone a bit of the guitar solo so it now has more strums I missed the first time around.
My most popular custom (before I went full band) get it's full band treatment. Bowie's last single, amazing song, title track of his Lazarus musical, and just brilliant all around. Not much guitar in it, but bass is brilliant, drums are great, and my favorite is pro keys, with the saxophone solo carefully charted. Have fun!
Masterpiece from David Bowie. Somehow didn't make it to the album 'Blackstar', but it's one of the best songs he's done for years and one of my favorite customs of mine. Beautiful for every instrument. Sadly no pro keys, as there aren't even chords for this song online, and any of my transcriptions wouldn't have been accurate enough. Too many diminished chords and stuff like that.
If you've wondered why Thunder Road, one of Springsteen's best songs (and my personal favorite) was suspiciously missing from 3 different Bruce packs... well here's your answer. A full band custom was in the making, collaboration with ejthedj, and now it's ready! Make sure you get it!
I would like to say a huge thank you to ejthedj, who done the majority of the work, including an absolutely insane (seriously, insane) pro keys chart. I've had a blast charting the drums (all difficulties) to this one.
The best britpop band in the world (Sorry Blur and Oasis!) with this great three pack. Two classics from the first album, both really fun on drums, and my favorite Suede song - the huge anthem "Trash". Have fun and make sure you sing along!
RE Your Expert Only:
You can use CAT reductions to at least get off the Expert only. I know there are a lot of people here who do like reductions, and at least using the automation gives them an option, even if it's not your handcrafted preference.
I'd definitely be willing to exchange some vocals for Suede for some drums. Been looking to chart more Vapors, so maybe that's up your alley. If you like Suede, it's up your alley. =-)
A three pack of great classic rockers by Neil. None too difficult, but fun to play! And Powderfinger chart keeps changing all the time (Seems like the drummer is figuring out his parts live...), which makes it quite annoying to chart but nice to play
Hey Yaniv! Thanks again for the contributions. Was just playing some of your stuff and noticed there is no drum fill sections so there's no way to initiate overdrive. I think that's because in Phase Shift, you author differently and they aren't necessary. Just thought I'd drop a note in case you hadn't realized you needed it for RB authoring.
Hey Yaniv! Thanks again for the contributions. Was just playing some of your stuff and noticed there is no drum fill sections so there's no way to initiate overdrive. I think that's because in Phase Shift, you author differently and they aren't necessary. Just thought I'd drop a note in case you hadn't realized you needed it for RB authoring.
Oh thanks man! I honestly had no idea. I played it all in Phase Shift and was able to initiate overdrive easily. I'll go through the songs and fix it, thanks
24.10 Update: It's been brought to my attention that since I didn't author drum fills, all those tunes were impossible to gold star in RB3 (I didn't know that, in Phase Shift you can activate overdrive just fine without it!). Also, because of a bug I've had, all the album artworks were wrong - there was a very bad resolution picture of Springsteen instead.
Because of that, I've updated all the songs to include drum fills and proper artwork.
If you've downloaded an old version, please replace it with the new one! And if you find any further errors, please write me. Thanks
Second Springsteen classics pack, and this time it represents several decades and not just the 70's! "The Promised Land" is another 70's classic from the Darkness album (see more below...), "No Surrender" covers the 80's, while "Land of Hope and Dreams" is an epic 7-minutes long fan favorite, debuted live in the 90's and finally released in 2012's "Wrecking Ball". All songs are a blast to play, so have fun!
Even more Springsteen! And the second of the "classic albums" packs (after David Bowie's Low), it's a 3-pack of classics from the Darkness at the Edge of Town album. "Candy's Room" will test your endurance with a series of 16th notes (and it's a great song too!), "Prove it All Night" (my favorite of the bunch) is just a blast to play, while "Darkness" is a classic, powerful power ballad. With "Badlands" and "The Promised Land", I've now charted half of the album already. Hmmm...
First customs in the database for the best punk band of all time! In my opinion of course. Anyway, each of their three classic albums is represented here. "Kiss Me On the Bus" (from "Tim") is a brilliant jangle-pop tune from, "Favorite Thing" (from "Let it Be") is full on, fast and loud punk (honestly I can't play it properly, it's too fast for me!) and my favorite Replacements song, "Can't Hardly Wait" (from "Pleased to Meet Me") is just a beautiful touching yet upbeat tune.
Also, there's another album pack coming very soon - 3/3 songs charted, 2/3 songs approved, I'm just having some difficulties with the tempo of the last one. Once I'll get it right I'll upload all three!
Hope you loved those! And as always, if anyone wants to chart more instruments - to anything - PM me!
Hey, it's time to release my first full band collaboration! If you've wondered why Thunder Road, one of Springsteen's best songs (and my personal favorite) was suspiciously missing from 3 different Bruce packs... well here's your answer. A full band custom was in the making, collaboration with ejthedj, and now it's ready!
I would like to say a huge thank you to ejthedj, who done the majority of the work, including an absolutely insane (seriously, insane) pro keys chart. I've had a blast charting the drums (all difficulties) to this one.
Also, on a minor note, I've updated 'Darkness at the Edge of Town' to include some missing tom hits from the pro-drums chart. So if you're playing pro, be sure to redownload it here.
There's much more coming, I'm quite busy at studying but there's more to look forward too!
A 3 pack of highlights from one of the best rock albums of the 90's! Play along to the brilliant Gold Soundz (Pitchfork's best song of the 90's, and for a good reason!), the opener Silence Kid (man that tempo map was annoying to make, fun to play though!) and my personal favorite, the wild rocker 'Unfair'. Brilliant music and fun charts all around!
We already have so much vintage Bowie, but how about some of the newer stuff? Lazarus is an heartbreaking tune from the amazing 'Blackstar', with great jazzy drumming. "No Plan" is an underrated outtake from Blackstar, and one of my favorite Bowie tunes ever. And to make this pack a bit less depressing - here's the ultra catchy "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" from Bowie's comeback album "The Next Day".