What great band and musical artists have you discovered from a game's licensed soundtrack?

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#1 Posted by FrostyRyan (2923 posts) -

I remember way back when playing Tony Hawk's Underground 2 and loving the soundtrack so much, I decided to literally write down a list of all the songs to download them. Not everything stuck of course but The Distillers is one of my favorite bands of all time now because of their song "Beat your Heart Out." Brody Dalle herself is one of my favorite human beings, honestly.

Through Rock Band and guitar hero, I also discovered Muse and Lacuna Coil, which are two of my favorite bands to this day. Have you discovered some of your current favorite music through game soundtracks?

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#2 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1442 posts) -

Recently, the Menahan Street Band courtesy of Sleeping Dogs. Part of the reason I love GTA game releases is purely to go digging for new music.

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#3 Posted by BaneFireLord (3570 posts) -

Truth be told, about 90% of my music taste has been shaped by licensed music in games and gaming-adjacent media. I was introduced to most of my favorite bands through Guitar Hero and Rock Band (Iron Maiden, of particular note) and only got into rap through Giant Bomb.

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#4 Posted by nutter (2190 posts) -

I tend to be aware of most stuff before I hear it in games. I don’t think I’ve ever been exposed to anything from a game that’s made me a fan of an artist (composers aside; see Akira Yamaoka).

Caffine by Moon (Hotline Miami), Birthday Cake by Cibo Matto (Jet Set Radio), Riot Rhythm by Sleigh Bells (Lollipop Chainsaw) all come to mind as songs I liked and discovered via games, but I don’y really listen to any of those artists on a wider level.

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#5 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4443 posts) -

I remember Kanye's Flashing Lights in GTA IV being one of the songs that popped out to me. THPS2 made me aware of Rage against the machine. Quiet Riot's Cum on feel the noize was in Vice City. Honestly, a lot of Vice City's soundtrack was stuff that i heard before but truly 'got' when they played in that game.

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#6 Edited by Oodli (246 posts) -

Let's see:

Little Big Planet 1 and 2 - Go! Team and Passion Pit

Chime Deluxe - Shlomo, Phillip Glass and Lemon Jelly

Sword and Sorcery - Jim Guthrie

Journey - Austin Wintory

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game - Anamanaguchi

The Witcher - Beltaine (which was in an inspired by the Witcher album, dunno how I got to it even)

Transistor - Darren Kob

And in kind of a roundabout way, there was a stage on Rythem Heaven Fever that was named Bossa Nova, and that led me in that entire genre.

There is probably more that I'm not remembering. Games helped open up my tastes in music.

Edit: Oh and I got into Aerosmith from the Guiter Hero Aerosmith edition.

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#9 Posted by MerxWorx01 (871 posts) -

The Wipeout XL soundtrack got me into The Chemical Brothers, Future Sounds of London and Fluke.

I'm not really into Electrogoth, but I did like the song in Vampire The Masquerade: BloodLines, Isolated by Chiasm. Sort of found it's way into my electronic music lists back in the day.

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#10 Edited by Rocketskates (241 posts) -

WET has a fun and unique licensed soundtrack that exposed me to the wonderful genre of psychobilly

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Also, I still listen to a lot of artists from the Forza Horizon and Hotline Miami soundtracks, respectively.

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#11 Posted by TheChris (535 posts) -

Etro Anime from Digital Devil Saga.


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#12 Edited by Cure_Optimism (81 posts) -
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The soundtrack to GTA: Lost & Damned introduced me to Bathory, which in turn got me into black metal.

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#13 Posted by ShaggE (9281 posts) -

Oh man, let's see... not a lot of individual artists, but plenty of genres, and sometimes just individual songs.

Blood introduced me to Type O Negative (the song's not actually IN the game, but some copies came with the Love You To Death music video), who I've loved ever since.

The Scott Pilgrim game gave me Anamanaguchi.

Does "The Residents: Freak Show" CD-ROM count for introducing me to The Residents? I mean, it *was* technically a game, but only technically.

While I knew most of the songs to varying extents already, the GTA soundtracks always make me appreciate songs I never cared much about beforehand.

I've grown to love almost every song in the Fallout games, too. I have a much better appreciation for doo wop and 50s music in general.

I'm not a Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan, but Rock Band made me fall in love with "Maps".

Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines: Colon. "Isolated" by Chiasma. Fuck, I love that song.

Some motocross PS1 game had the video for "Brackish" by Kittie. I knew the song beforehand, but never cared for it until then. For a band known as being "Korn, but teen girls", they weren't half bad in hindsight. Not amazing, but not bad. Brackish is great, though.

This one's embarrassing as a music obsessed person, but I never really dug into Bowie until MGS5, and the Midge Ure cover of Man Who Sold The World came on. Something clicked, and it wasn't long before I started listening to Bowie albums and kicking myself for missing out.

Redneck Rampage planted the seeds for my later love of Psychobilly (@rocketskates: If you have VR, check out Starblood Arena. GREAT psychobilly soundtrack, everyone from Horton Heat to Horrorpops). It still weirds me out that I like it so much, given that, other than the campy horror themes, there's no component to psychobilly that I actually like much on its own. There's definitely an intrigue to hearing a largely European scene's take on idealized 50s Americana, though. I'd love to know how Denmark of all places became such a strong hub for the genre.

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#14 Edited by fisk0 (6934 posts) -

Not quite traditional licensed music considering they got two songs exclusively written for the game, but Descent II introduced me to Skinny Puppy though Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk's songs for that game. The game also had a song by Type-O Negative, which I briefly listened to after hearing the song in the game, but fell off fairly quickly, so that probably doesn't count.

Oh, of course the old Neuromancer adventure game introduced me to Devo too, with their song "Some things never change" used on the title screen.

Other than that, Vice City certainly made me look more deeply into Kim Wilde's and Gary Numan's music, though I was already somewhat aware of them at that point.

I'd like to say WipEout also introduced me to something, but I'm not entirely sure, the music in those games were kinda everywhere at that time, especially with a lot of the same music appearing in movies like Pi, Event Horizon, Hackers and all that, so I'm not sure where I first got introduced to stuff like Autechre, Orbital, Fluke or The Future Sound of London, though it all happened around the time of those games.

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#15 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8908 posts) -

Recently, Life is Strange: BtS got me hooked on Daughter and the Broods, while Sleeping Dogs 2 had me downloading a couple Polish Ambassador and Metro Area songs.

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#16 Posted by SMTDante89 (2936 posts) -

Too many to name so I'll just stick with one. Slough Feg from the Brutal Legend soundtrack.

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#17 Posted by mezmero (3761 posts) -

Not sure if this counts for the purposes of licensed music but recently it would be hearing Chuck Ragan doing the OST for The Flame in the Flood. I was a big Hot Water Music fan back in the day so imagine my surprise to hear that the lead singer went on to doing Country music. As someone who is not really into that genre his stuff sounds great. He's got a soulful singing voice that somehow made a seamless transition from Punk to Country in an awe inspiring way.

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#18 Edited by BBAlpert (2917 posts) -

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was a hell of a game. I had never heard of Bad Religion before that, and they're still my favorite band (their most recent single isn't great, but they can't all be winners)

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(note: this video is on the official Epitaph Records YouTube account, so I don't think there's any legal issue posting it)

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#19 Posted by mikewhy (339 posts) -

Watch_Dogs 2 got me into Day Wave:

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#20 Posted by Aegon (7312 posts) -

Eternal Sonata brought my attention to Chopin. Of course I must have heard his music before, but it got me to seek it out and appreciate his work.

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#21 Posted by Ben_H (4198 posts) -

The early Tony Hawk games got me into ska. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

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#22 Posted by FrostyRyan (2923 posts) -

@shagge: Forgot about Yeah Yeah Yeahs! Through Maps, I was introduced to the rest of their music and let me tell ya, Maps doesn't even scratch the surface

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#23 Posted by BrunoTheThird (838 posts) -

The Darkness got me into Mike Patton's work in general (Fantomas, Lovage, Tomohawk, Peeping Tom, FTM, Book of Knots, Mr.Bungle, etc.,) which hugely changed my view on what music could be and how you can manipulate the voice.

Guitar Hero III got me into a few I'd not heard, but most importantly Smashing Pumpkins, which is possibly my favourite band.

Marc Ecko's Getting Up got me into Nina Simone, RJD2, and Jane's Addiction.

Mirror's Edge got me into Solar Fields, though I discovered a song I had heard before when delving into his old work.

Midnight Club got me into Derrick May (hugely influential dude).

I first heard Kasabian in Midnight Club 3 which got me into them.

Jet Set Radio Future started my Japanese music explosion single-handedly. I'd never heard any 'til then.

I assume Vice City got me into some '80s stuff, but I don't recall.

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#24 Posted by turboman (9905 posts) -

Rock Band and Guitar Hero helped me fall in love with a bunch of stuff, namely The Hives, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, New Pornographers, and many others.

Now I stay pretty current with a lot of music so games don't really introduce me to much... NBA 2k games always have a good soundtrack with some older hip hop that is new to me.

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#25 Edited by maestro17 (46 posts) -

LCD Soundsystem, for sure, in Forza...2?

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#26 Posted by gundogan (769 posts) -

Hotline Miami and part 2 and also Furi for Carpenter Brut, Pertubator and the likes.

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#27 Edited by CCPatriot (3 posts) -

Great topic, would have never thought of this.

I've got two, both surprisingly from Fifa soundtracks.

Chvrches - We Sink (Fifa '14)
Ashes - Embrace (Fifa '06)

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#28 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2639 posts) -

Run Like Hell had Breaking Benjamin in it before they were big. I sought out their first record, Saturate, for months before finding it, and I instantly fell in love. While I think the band has fallen off pretty hard in recent years, that first album is fucking awesome and still one of my top 10 of all time.

Hunter the Reckoning: Wayward for the PS2 had an unknown nu-metal band in it called No One that I ended up really liking. After doing some digging, it turned out they were a local Chicago band (which makes sense that they were in that game seeing as it was a Midway joint) that was just starting to get big. They got a couple big tours and even landed an Ozzfest spot one year. Then their label dumped them and they broke up after only releasing one album. But I listened to that album all throughout high school and loved it to death. I still jam it from time to time and it holds up leagues better than most of that kinda stuff from that era. The sad ending to the story is that, they got back together a few years ago, but their guitarist Bob and his wife were killed in a boating accident. The band decided to do a farewell benefit show, which I attended, and it had featured a bunch of Chicago metal musicians, including Shaun Glass from Soil and Dan Donegan from Disturbed, who got up on stage to play with No One for their final set. It was a powerful evening, and afterwards I had thought about how strange it was that, had it not been for that kinda shitty Hunter the Reckoning game, I would not have been lead to that moment.

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#29 Posted by danielkempster (2779 posts) -

The most memorable example for me has to be The Black Crowes. I knew nothing of them before hearing their song 'Remedy' on the classic rock station in Grand Theft Auto IV. I was hooked on it instantly, and over the summer of 2008 I dug deep into their studio discography. Ten years on, they still make the list of my top five favourite artists. The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion and Amorica are two of the finest, most underrated rock albums I've ever heard.

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#30 Posted by inevpatoria (7451 posts) -

@oodli said:

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game - Anamanaguchi

Wow. Was just thinking about this soundtrack last night. Nice to see it's on others' minds too!

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#31 Edited by Lets_Rock (1 posts) -

Alan Wake got me listening to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, for which I am eternally grateful.

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#32 Posted by hippie_genocide (2443 posts) -

Hotline Miami 2 and Furi - Carpenter Brut

Beatles Rock Band - I had heard of the Beatles obviously but playing their stuff on the different instruments, especially drums, gave me a newfound respect for the band and an insight that their catalog is much more complex than it seems at face value.

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#33 Posted by Charongreed (111 posts) -

Not sure if this counts, but I discovered UNKLE from that ancient Assassin's Creed trailer, was into them for a fun, brief minute.

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#34 Posted by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -
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#35 Posted by nutter (2190 posts) -

Wait... I did discover Deep Purple’s Highway Star (and Deep Purple, as a result) through Rock N’ Roll Racing on the SNES.

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#36 Edited by nutter (2190 posts) -

@lets_rock: Nick Cave: Yet another reason why Alan Wake is amazing.

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#37 Edited by Bucklebutt (127 posts) -

Solar fields from the game Capsized

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#38 Posted by wollywoo (281 posts) -

I got into jazz fusion a bit from listening to it in GTAIV. Good stuff.

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#39 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (421 posts) -

The end credits of Max Payne 2 introduced me to "Late Goodbye" by Poets of the Fall. Which then sent me on a quest to find the album. Unfortunately it did not come out for another 2 years.

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#40 Posted by mikewhy (339 posts) -
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#41 Posted by Toastburner_B (472 posts) -

The end credits of Max Payne 2 introduced me to "Late Goodbye" by Poets of the Fall. Which then sent me on a quest to find the album. Unfortunately it did not come out for another 2 years.

I got turned on to Poets of the Fall thanks to "War" being in Alan Wake. I wonder how many of their fans found them via Remedy games.

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#42 Edited by Christoffer (2374 posts) -

Believe it or not, I discovered Morcheeba through APB. Sometimes a bit cheesy, but I still love it. Unrelated Morcheeba song:

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#43 Posted by FacelessVixen (2636 posts) -

Honestly, the alternative rock, pop-punk and post-hardcore bands from the Burnout and Need for Speed games during the mid-2000's still hold up for me.

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#45 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4444 posts) -
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#46 Edited by clagnaught (2136 posts) -

I discovered Dream Theater and several other bands I really like through Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band. I had some familiarity with Muse at the time, but listening to Knights of Cydonia in Guitar Hero III really sold me on them, beyond the two or so tracks I knew at the time. And this is an even bigger stretch on this topic, but Hatsune Miku Project Diva f made me discover what vocaloids are and the demo intrigued me enough to go down that rabbit hole. And look at me now!

I feel like I'm forgetting a good example that doesn't involve rhythm games, but alas. Well, this seems like a good excuse to post the Knights of Cydonia music video now.

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#47 Posted by nutter (2190 posts) -

I’m coming back with another. Metal Gear introduced me to Joan Baez’s “Here’s to You.” While it hasn’t made me seek out more Joan Baez, that’s a great song.

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#48 Posted by Stubstub (45 posts) -

Offspring from Crazy Taxi. “Great” might not be the best discription of them, but they will forever be tied to the Crazy Taxi franchise for me.

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#49 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (1614 posts) -

Recently, Life is Strange: BtS got me hooked on Daughter and the Broods, while Sleeping Dogs 2 had me downloading a couple Polish Ambassador and Metro Area songs.

Please take me to the alternate universe you live in

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#50 Edited by mems1224 (2508 posts) -

pretty much everything from all the extreme sports games at the turn of the century. Also every NBA 2k game.