25.5 - Singles by Suede and Bruce Speingsteen!
Suede - Outsiders
Suede first appeared in 1989, but by 2003, they were ready to call it quits. Like many bands, though, Suede just couldn't stay broken up, and by 2010 the band was together again. At first the reunion was only to play a few concerts, but a few became a few more, and then Suede found themselves back in the studio, recording new music. Six years later they were still going strong and still coming up with new tunes, with 2016's Night Thoughts garnering some of the band's highest critical accolades. "Outsiders" was that album's lead single.
Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
Springsteen had been "The Boss" for nearly 30 years when he released The Rising in 2002. With his finger still firmly on the pulse of blue-collar America, Springsteen wrote and sang about the subjects that weighed heavily on every American's mind that year, specifically the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, how it changed America's place in the world, and how Americans themselves should respond. These thoughts and verses resonated well with Springsteen's listeners and critics, and the title track in particular was deemed one of Springsteen's best in recent years.
5.17 - "Rylan" by the National on release day!
As you may know, The National - one of the biggest bands in Indie Rock - are releasing their new album, "I Am Easy to Find", today. And I'm very happy to bring you a track from this album, as a full band custom, on the day of release.
Just to be clear: this song was not available as a single (or in any other way) beforehand.
It is not a live version, or any of the previously available versions. It is the studio version, released today, and this version was not released on any platform before today.
So here we go!
"Rylan" was only officially released today, but National fans would have known it for a while. It was premiered 7 years ago, and played live fairly often - even as part of an official KEXP set - but never made it to the records, until now.
It's a big anthem, that's both joyous and sad at the same time, as per usual for the National. The story of a quiet, shy, introvert child, who wants to be special ("Rylan you should try to get some sun, you remind me of everyone"), some suicidal thoughts ("Rylan you could take the quick way out"), classic National lines ("If you want to be alone, come with me"), before exploding into an emotional climax.
It's already shaping up to be a career highlight, and makes a great band song. You can listen to it here:
So hopefully that keeps you occupied for a while until leg 3! This is not only a special opportunity to play this song on release day, but also a teaser to a full National pack - who'll be released as a part of leg 3! So if you like the band - there's a lot more to look forward to
More from the National, and many, many other great artists, is waiting for you in Leg 3 - which beings in Friday, May 24th. So stay tuned!
5.14 - Paul McCartney 5-Pack!
Thanks farottone for sending me some of his old stuff to complete - hope I did a good job!
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.
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?”.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the original thread to enjoy the full Primavera experience:
Once again, many thanks to everyone who was involved!
For your convenience, I've collected all the full band songs I was involved in, to one simple list with direct download links:
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels). Collab with egead
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out). Collab with MrBurpler
Arcade Fire - No Cars Go. Collab with Kamtoch
Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). Collab with MrBurpler
Arcade Fire - Wake Up. Collab with Kamtoch
Bruce Springsteen – Badlands. Collab with Spindoctor and MrBurpler.
Bruce Springsteen – The River. Collab with bsbloom.
Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road - collab with ejthedj.
David Bowie - Blackstar. collab with CUTstudi0s.
David Bowie - "Heroes". collab with ejthedj.
David Bowie – Sound and Vision. Collab with Grubextrapolate and Jimi369
David Bowie - Soul Love (custom by MrPrezident, I did drums)
Neil Young - Winterlong. Collab with Mr Prezident
The Dismemberment Plan - 10
Arcade Fire, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - 9
David Bowie - 8
Bruce Springsteen - 7
The Cure, Neil Young - 6
The Replacements, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Suede - 5
PJ Harvey, Wilco, Pulp - 4
Manic Street Preachers - 3
Pavement, Tom Waits, John Grant, The National - 2
Plus singles from 29 different artists.
Overall: 127 songs, and counting!
If you're interested in full write-ups, visualizers and the rest, it's all in here:
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.
Also, two more classic singles from me:
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.
And now, for the songs:
“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!
This Year’s Girl
Video Preview: https://www.youtube....h?v=8UG_sWNHmkQ
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?”
Pure perfection, this one is.
(I Don’t Want To) Go to Chelsea
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!
( *** note that the drum animations have been fixed from the preview )
26.1 - Nick Cave 6-Pack!
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!
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:
Hope you love it!
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)
- Flashbulb Eyes
- No Cars Go
- Put Your Money On Me
- My Body is a Cage
- Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
- The Suburbs
- We Exist
- Rebellion (Lies)
- Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
- In the Backseat
- Wake Up
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.
PJ Harvey and Friends 5-pack:
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.
Now, time for the duets:
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.
And another kickass single:
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.
21.9 - David Bowie's original "Heroes" with ejthedj!
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.
2.8 - Neil Young 4-pack!
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!
19.7 - Singles from Tom Waits, Simon & Garfunkel and Magazine!
Three new singles today!
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!).
Legendary post-punk band Magazine with their most famous, and one of their best, songs.
Legendary guitar riff, great solo, and lot of fun on all instruments. One hell of a rocking number - check out the video!
Thanks Nolan for the video preview!
I'm sure this one needs no introducing.
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”.
And a huge thanks to Nolan for the preview videos!
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!
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!
"Kiss Me on the Bus" is a brilliant, catchy, jangle pop/rock track. An all time classic and really a fun song!
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.
12.6 - Two more!
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!
Thanks doa for the preview videos!
11.6 - Singles by Suede, Big Star and Chris Bell!
I've promised more soon and here we are!
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.
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.
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.
4.2 - David Bowie 3 Pack now fully updated!
Many thanks to atruejedi for helping out on those tricky harmonies!
Many many thanks to:
grubextrapolate for charting guitar and bass
Jimi369 for charting vocals and harmonies.
Many thanks to:
Spindoctor - who charted guitar and bass
MrBurpler - who charted pro keys and keys.
Many thanks to the great bsbloom, who did guitar, vocals, pro keys and keys!
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.
Drum only songs:
Bruce Springsteen Deep Cuts Pack
Big Star 3-Pack
Pavement 'Crooked Rain Crooked Rain' 3-Pack
Bruce Springsteen Classics 02
Springsteen's Darkness at the Edge of Town pack
Bruce Springsteen Classics Pack 01
Neil Young Rock Classics Pack
David Bowie’s ‘Low’ Pack
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more!