Setlist Sunday: Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s


In what would be the first of many (many, many) spin-offs to the Guitar Hero franchise, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s was released to a middling response. Designed to fill out Harmonix’s contract before leaving the Guitar Hero series, Rocks the 80s was an 80s themed re-skin of Guitar Hero II. While the gameplay was just as solid as it was in Guitar Hero II, a lot of people on both the review and consumer sides of the spectrum weren’t jumping at the idea of paying full price for what was nothing more than an expansion pack. In addition, while Guitar Hero II was released multi-platform, Rocks the 80s would see a temporary return to the series being PS2 exclusive.

As the name would imply, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s featured an almost exclusively 80s soundtrack (the exception being Because It’s Midnite by parody band Limozeen). As would be standard with the Harmonix developed Guitar Hero games, the majority of the songs were cover versions. At 30 songs, it matches the first game in the series in terms of setlist size, although with no bonus songs to beef it up, it winds up being one of the smallest setlists in franchise history.

Of the 30 song setlist, 16 are playable in Rocksmith, and it’s also worth mentioning that the original Sweet version of Ballroom Blitz is playable in Rocksmith, and the Killswitch Engage cover of Holy Diver is also available in addition to the Dio original. That said, I’m not counting those in the total percentage, so there is a total of 46% of the setlist playable in Rocksmith, a slight increase from Guitar Hero II’s 37% and from the original Guitar Hero‘s 42%.

Artist Song Date in Rocksmith
Accept Balls to the Wall * 06/16/2015
Anthrax Caught in a Mosh * 03/24/2015
Asia Heat of the Moment * 01/05/2016
Billy Squier Lonely is the Night * N/A
Dead Kennedys Police Truck * N/A
Dio Holy Diver * 10/21/2014
Eddie Money Shakin’ * N/A
Extreme Play with Me * 04/19/2016
Faster Pussycat Bathroom Wall * N/A
A Flock of Seagulls I Ran 09/13/2016
The Go-Go’s We Got the Beat * N/A
Iron Maiden Wrathchild * N/A
Judas Priest Electric Eye 04/19/2016 **
Krokus Ballroom Blitz * N/A
Limozeen Because, It’s Midnite N/A
Oingo Boingo Only a Lad * N/A
Poison Ain’t Nothin’ But a Good Time * 10/21/2014
The Police Synchronicity II * 05/01/2012
Quiet Riot Bang Your Head (Metal Health) * N/A
RATT Round and Round * 10/22/2013
The Romantics What I Like About You * N/A
Scandal The Warrior N/A
Scorpions No One Like You * N/A
Skid Row 18 and Life * 03/21/2017
Twisted Sister I Wanna Rock *** 02/07/2017
The Vapors Turning Japanese * N/A
White Lion Radar Love * N/A
Winger Seventeen * 10/21/2014
X Los Angeles * 06/20/2017
.38 Special Hold on Loosely * 01/26/2016

* Denotes a cover version of the track.
** Denotes that the track does not contain the intro.
*** Denotes a re-recorded version of the track.

And now, here’s a bunch of songs I’d personally like to see show up in Rocksmith!

Dead Kennedys – Police Truck

You’ve been following this feature long enough to know that if there’s a hardcore punk song to feature here, I’m going to feature it here! Police Truck would be a great place to start for getting Dead Kennedys in to the game!

Oingo Boingo – Only a Lad

We had our first taste of Oingo Boingo last Halloween, but more would always be welcome! This song was notable for being deceptively difficult, and I see no reason why that wouldn’t be the same here. A lot of interesting techniques are at play here that would be a blast to learn.

The Romantics – What I Like About You

Previously, I would have thought this to be impossible what with the lawsuit filed against Harmonix and all, but it was recently announced that The Romantics are coming as Rock Band DLC this month, hope has returned that one of the greatest pop-rock songs of all time could finally come to Rocksmith!

Skid Row – 18 and Life

One of THE best hair metal ballads ever, the only reason we haven’t seen these guys show up in rhythm games again (barring Guitar Hero: On Tour, also as a cover) was because of master issues. With masters not being an issue at Rocksmith, there’s no reason we can’t see this song come to Rocksmith soon!

The Vapors – Turning Japanese

A guitar part almost as fast and tricky as the vocal line, this song would be an absolute blast to try and keep up with. Despite not sounding overtly complex, a lot happens in it and it’s sure to keep even veteran guitarists on their toes!


There’s our picks, what songs would you like to see from Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80’s end up in Rocksmith 2014? Let us know!