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    Jonathan Coulton

    Person » credited in 8 games

    Creator of the popular end credits theme "Still Alive" from the game Portal, Jonathan Coulton tends to write music about science-fiction, technology, programming, and mathematical concepts.

    Short summary describing this person.

    Jonathan Coulton last edited by franzlska on 02/26/21 10:48PM View full history


    Jonathan Coulton (also known as JoCo, for short) is a singer/songwriter/guitarist, monkey lover, and self-proclaimed geek, born on December 1st, 1970. He first came into prominence due to his "Thing A Week" weekly song podcast, as well as his involvement in various Valve Software titles, such as his original compositions for Portal, Portal 2, and the Portal-themed expansion of Lego Dimensions, as well as his song "Re: Your Brains" appearing as an Easter egg in Left 4 Dead 2. Before becoming a musician, Coulton worked as a programmer, having graduated from Yale University.

    All of Coulton's music can be purchased on his website, or from most online music vendors. Coulton also encourages donations, as an option for those who have downloaded his songs "by other means", but wish to support his work.


    • Smoking Monkey (2003)
    • Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow (2004)
    • Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Cybernetic Arms (2005)
    • Thing A Week One (2006)
    • Thing A Week Two (2006)
    • Thing A Week Three (2006)
    • Thing A Week Four (2006)
    • The Aftermath (2008)
    • JoCo Looks Back (2008)
    • Artificial Heart (2011)
    • JoCo Live (2014)
    • Solid State (2017)
    • Some Guys (2019)

    Video Game Appearances


    From December 19th to 25th, 2008, four of Coulton's songs were temporarily added to Audiosurf as part of the game's cycling "Audiosurf Radio" lineup. The songs included were "Chiron Beta Prime", "Christmas Is Interesting", "Podsafe Christmas Song", and "IKEA". In 2011, as part of the Portal 2 "Potato Sack" ARG, Coulton's "Still Alive" was added to the game as a playable track, both in its original version and a remixed version sung by Jonathan Coulton himself, alongside a special Portal-themed game mode, initiated when playing either version of the track.

    Valve Software

    After being asked by two employees to compose songs for Valve Software, Coulton settled upon the then-unreleased Portal, and composed the game's end theme, "Still Alive", to be about GLaDOS, and to be performed by GLaDOS' voice actor, Ellen McLain. Coulton would later return to compose "Want You Gone", the end theme to Portal 2, as well as helping to compose an alternative, unused end theme, "GLaDOS' Song", both performed by McLain.

    In 2015, Coulton would compose "You Wouldn't Know", a third song written and sung from the perspective of GLaDOS, for the Portal 2 Level Pack of Lego Dimensions.

    Due to Coulton's previous work with Valve on Portal, his song "Still Alive" was added to jukeboxes in 2009's Left 4 Dead 2 as an Easter egg, alongside "Re: Your Brains", due to the shared zombie theming of the game and the song.

    Rock Band

    Following his success from "Still Alive", a number of Coulton's songs have appeared as DLC for the Rock Band series. The first of these was "Still Alive", a free download released on April 1, 2008, followed by "Skullcrusher Mountain" and "Re: Your Brains", in the "PAX 2008" and "PAX 2009" bundles respectively. In later years, a number of his songs would see individual releases, including "Creepy Doll", "Ikea", "The Future Soon", "Code Monkey", "Shop Vac", "Mandelbrot Set", "Chiron Beta Prime", "Betty and Me", "Big Bad World One", "Nemeses", and a cover of "Still Alive".


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