Opinion: Gender Representation in Rocksmith

Hello Rocksmith fans.

Controversial subject today as we wait for the next DLC of February, 2016 to be revealed. Awhile back @pcgamingisted and I were talking about the lack of women artists in Rocksmith and decided to do a bit of exploring through the available songs to see just how much of the content varied from all dudes. We conducted the poring over data back in May, 2015. Fun fact, the lead vocal or duet data didn’t have a new addition until September because of Breaking Benjamin’s remix of Blow Me Away and then December with Skillet and Band of Merrymakers…

Forgot about The Subways, thanks George Carlinlives – ed

 


Bands that feature a woman in Rocksmith 1:

  1. Best Coast (Bethany Cosentino) “When I’m With You”
  2. Jenny O (Jennifer Anne Ogniben) “Well OK Honey”
  3. Pixies (Kim Deal) “Where Is My Mind?”
  4. Silversun Pickups (Nikki Monninger) “Panic Switch”
  5. Yellow Moon Band (Jo Bartlett) “Chimney”
  6. The xx (Romy Madley Croft) “Islands”
  7. The Dead Weather (Alison Mosshart) “I Can’t Hear You”
  8. The White Stripes “Icky Thump”

Bands that feature a woman in Rocksmith 1 DLC:

  1. Heart “Barracuda”
  2. Evanescence “Bring Me To Life”
  3. Pat Benetar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  4. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals “Paris (Ooh La La)”
  5. Chic “Good Times”
  6. Pixies “Here Comes Your Man”
  7. Blondie “Call Me”

Bands that feature a woman in Rocksmith 2014:

  1. Earlyrise “Wasteland”
  2. Gold Motel “Brand New Kind of Blue”
  3. La Sera “Love That’s Gone”
  4. Magic Wands “Black Magic”
  5. Paramore “Now”
  6. Screaming Females “Rotten Apple”
  7. The Smashing Pumpkins “The Chimera” (Nicole Fiorentino)
  8. White Zombie “Thunder Kiss ’65” (Sean Yseult)
  9. Crimson “Don’t Stop”
  10. PAWS “Sore Tummy” (Alice Costelloe)
  11. Jack White “Sixteen Saltines” (Carla Azar and Brooke Waggoner)

Bands that feature a woman in Rocksmith 2014 DLC:

  1. The Lumineers “Ho Hey” (Neyla Pekarek)
  2. The Smashing Pumpkins [5 Song Pack]
  3. REM “Shiny Happy People” (Kate Pierson)
  4. Flyleaf “All Around Me”
  5. Heart “Crazy On You”
  6. Halestorm “Love Bites (So Do I)”
  7. A Day To Remember “If it Means A Lot To You” (Sierra Kay)
  8. Garbage [3 Song Pack]
  9. No Doubt [3 Song Pack]
  10. The White Stripes [5 Song Pack] (Meg White)
  11. Seether feat. Amy Lee “Broken”
  12. The Cranberries “Zombie”
  13. All That Remains [3 Song Pack] (Jeanne Sagan)
  14. The Subways
  15. Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie)
  16. Skillet [3 Song Pack]
  17. Band of Merrymakers [2 Songs]
  18. Breaking Benjamin [Blow Me Away]

Bands in Rocksmith that feature Lead vocals by a Woman:

  1. Best Coast (Bethany Cosentino) “When I’m With You”
  2. Jenny O (Jennifer Anne Ogniben) “Well OK Honey”
  3. Yellow Moon Band (Jo Bartlett) “Chimney”
  4. The xx (Romy Madley Croft) “Islands”
  5. The Dead Weather (Alison Mosshart) “I Can’t Hear You”
  6. Heart “Barracuda”
  7. Evanescence “Bring Me To Life”
  8. Pat Benetar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  9. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals “Paris (Ooh La La)”
  10. Pixies “Here Comes Your Man”
  11. Blondie “Call Me”
  12. Earlyrise “Wasteland”
  13. Gold Motel “Brand New Kind of Blue”
  14. La Sera “Love That’s Gone”
  15. Magic Wands “Black Magic”
  16. Paramore “Now”
  17. PAWS “Sore Tummy”
  18. Screaming Females “Rotten Apple”
  19. Crimson “Don’t Stop”
  20. Flyleaf “All Around Me”
  21. Heart “Crazy On You”
  22. Halestorm “Love Bites (So Do I)”
  23. A Day To Remember “If it Means A Lot To You” (Sierra Kay)
  24. Garbage [3 Song Pack]
  25. No Doubt [3 Song Pack]
  26. Seether feat. Amy Lee “Broken”
  27. The Cranberries “Zombie”
  28. The Subways “Rock and Roll Queen”
  29. Skillet [3 Song Pack]
  30. Band of Merrymakers [2 Songs]
  31. Breaking Benjamin [Blow Me Away]

This leads us to the following conclusions

  • Less than 8% of Rocksmith’s library (772 songs) contains bands that have members that are Women.
  • under 5% of Rocksmith’s library contain songs that feature lead vocals or a duet featuring a Woman, that’s 39 songs.

Rock music has always been a pre-dominantly male dominated space but there are many women artists that can be a welcome addition to the Rocksmith library! Let’s explore a few choices.

St. Vincent

You’ve probably heard a few songs from Annie Clark in passing, maybe you’ve heard her stuff because of her inclusion on Rock Band 4. I’m gonna tell you straight up, Annie Clark isn’t a good guitarist for a girl. She’s a good guitarist period, she rips.

Check out this interview for more regarding her rich musical background.

The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde’s distinct raw vocals compliment the catchy guitar riffs and bass lines of The Pretenders extremely well, and I mean they had a song on BandFuse so why not?

Sleater-Kinney

Hey look it’s the girl from Portlandia, oh wait she’s an accomplished musician in addition to being hilarious. Sleater Kinney has about four songs across Rock Band DLC and Rock Band Network, so definitely not impossible to get them on Rocksmith.

Sheryl Crow 

I really just want this song, but I will also take Marissa’s cover of it.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

This song is coming eventually right? It has to be… How can it not?

Alanis Morissette

Canadian and from the 1990’s. Jagged Little Pill sold a lot of copies for a reason, and once again her songs have appeared on other music games, most recently this one.

Against Me!

Laura-Jane Grace is a complete bad ass, coming out as trans in 2012 and then releasing an album (Transgender Dysphoria Blues) to let others know that they are not alone in their journey, and it’s raw as hell anarcho-punk as well.

Featured on the newest Guitar Hero Live as well.

Roxette

Chances are if you don’t think you’ve ever heard Roxette, you are wrong…

Janis Joplin

Besides having an incredibly distinctive voice Janice Joplin also had an extremely talented band behind her. Tons of hits to choose from as well.

Arch Enemy

I miss Angela… Although, Alissa isn’t bad, and she’s Canadian also so I guess I have to support that!

Alabama Shakes √

So good, and they are only getting better.

Joni Mitchell

Whatever you do, don’t call her music “folk:” Joni Mitchell is perhaps one of the most critically revered singer-songwriters in all of contemporary American music. With her signature use of unconventional custom open tunings, of which she has used as many as 50 through her career, she has made a massive name for herself in spite of her polio reducing the mobility of her fretting hand early in her life.


 

Are you surprised at the lack of gender representation in the Rocksmith library? Or do such things not concern you? What women artists would you like to see show up this year? Let us know!

As always, don’t forget to request!

😉