In September of 2009 the Guitar Hero series would get a major makeover. Not only did a new engine come in to take the place of the somewhat iffy World Tour one, a new logo was also brought in to reflect the series shift in focus away from purely hard rock and heavy metal.
It had only been a year between Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero 5, but there were four games released in between, and people who pre-ordered GH5 would get the upcoming Guitar Hero: Van Halen packed in for free.
Musically, Guitar Hero 5’s focus was more on indie rock and alternative. Modern music was a big focus of the setlist this time around, with the music being described as quite “fresh” due to the large portion of music from the past 5 years compared to the more classic rock oriented entries that made up previous sets.
Feature-wise, two very big ones were introduced here. The first one was the pick-up and play Party Play mode that would just cycle through all your music and you could leave it on in the background and just come in or out when you felt like it. The second was the ability to have ANY combination of four players you wanted. Three people want to drum? No problem! No one wants to play bass? That’s fine!
Critically, Guitar Hero 5 was very successful as many people felt that it was a massive improvement on the previous entries, although the setlist was more divisive with people saying that having such a varied focus meant that it was practically guaranteeing that no one would like everything.
Of the 85 songs in GH5, 21 are currently playable in Rocksmith 2014 for a total of 24%. That is the lowest main-series percentage we’ve seen so far, and it’s only higher than Guitar Hero: Aerosmith’s 10%, Guitar Hero: Metallica’s 14%, and Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits’ 15%.
|Artist||Song||Date in Rocksmith|
|3 Doors Down||Kryptonite||03/06/2012|
|Attack! Attack! UK||You and Me||N/A|
|Band of Horses||Cigarettes, Wedding Bands||N/A|
|Billy Idol||Dancing with Myself||N/A|
|Billy Squier||Lonely is the Night||N/A|
|blink-182||The Rock Show||N/A|
|Bob Dylan||All Along the Watchtower||N/A|
|Bon Jovi||You Give Love a Bad Name||12/02/2014|
|Brand New||Snowing Season (Yeah)||N/A|
|The Bronx||Six Days a Week||N/A|
|Children of Bodom||Done with Everything, Die for Nothing||N/A|
|Coldplay||In My Place||02/14/2017|
|Darker My Love||Blue Day||N/A|
|Deep Purple||Woman from Tokyo (’99 Remix)||N/A|
|The Derek Trucks Band||Younk Funk||N/A|
|Dire Straits||Sultans of Swing||N/A|
|The Duke Spirit||Send a Little Love Token||N/A|
|Duran Duran||Hungry Like the Wolf||08/19/2014|
|Eagles of Death Metal||Wannabe in L.A.||N/A|
|Elton John||Saturday Night’s Alright for Fightning||N/A|
|Face to Face||Disconnected||N/A|
|Garbage||Only Happy When It Rains||04/15/2014|
|Gorillaz||Feel Good Inc.||N/A|
|Gov’t Mule||Streamline Woman||N/A|
|Grand Funk Railroad||We’re an American Band||01/30/2018|
|Iggy Pop||Lust for Life (Live)||N/A|
|Iron Maiden||2 Minutes to Midnight||11/05/2013|
|Jeff Beck||Scatterbrain (Live)||N/A|
|Jimmy Eat World||Bleed American||N/A|
|John Mellencamp||Hurts So Good||N/A|
|Johnny Cash||Ring of Fire||12/19/2017|
|Kaiser Chiefs||Never Miss a Beat||N/A|
|The Killers||All the Pretty Faces||N/A|
|King Crimson||21st Century Schizoid Man||N/A|
|Kings of Leon||Sex on Fire||N/A|
|KISS||Shout It Out Loud **||N/A|
|Love and Rockets||Mirror People||N/A|
|Mötley Crüe||Looks That Kill||N/A|
|Muse||Plug In Baby||10/18/2011|
|My Morning Jacket||One Big Holiday||N/A|
|Nirvana||Smells Like Teen Spirit||N/A|
|A Perfect Circle||Judith||N/A|
|Peter Frampton||Do You Feel Like We Do (Live)||N/A|
|The Police||So Lonely||N/A|
|Public Enemy ft. Zakk Wylde||Bring the Noise 20XX||N/A|
|Queen and David Bowie||Under Pressure||06/14/2016|
|Queens of the Stone Age||Make It wit Chu||06/02/2015|
|The Raconteurs||Steady, As She Goes||N/A|
|The Rolling Stones||Sympathy for the Devil||N/A|
|Rose Hill Drive||Sneak Out||N/A|
|Rush||The Spirit of the Radio (Live)||10/22/2013 *|
|Santana||No One to Depend On (Live)||N/A|
|Scars on Broadway||They Say||N/A|
|Screaming Trees||Nearly Lost You||N/A|
|The Smashing Pumpkins||Bullet with Butterfly Wings||10/29/2013|
|Spacehog||In the Meantime||N/A|
|Sublime||What I Got||09/02/2014|
|Sunny Day Real Estate||Seven||N/A|
|The Sword||Maiden, Mother and Crone||N/A|
|T. Rex||20th Century Boy||11/29/2011|
|Tom Petty||Runnin’ Down a Dream||N/A|
|Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers||American Girl||11/11/2014|
|TV on the Radio||Wolf Like Me||N/A|
|The White Stripes||Blue Orchid||10/14/2014|
|Wild Cherry||Play That Funky Music||01/05/2016|
* Indicates the studio version of the track in Rocksmith.
** Indicates a re-recorded version of the track.
Choosing only 10 songs proved to be incredibly difficult and we just couldn’t narrow it down, so here is our super-sized list of songs we’d like to see in Rocksmith 2014!
Peter Frampton – Do You Feel Like We Do
One of the most obvious “well duh!” picks in doing Setlist Sunday, it’s a little perplexing how Rocksmith has gone for almost 5 years without being graced with legendary Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Peter Frampton’s distinct bluesy licks and signature use of the talkbox. At the very least, those talkbox tones would give more of an excuse to jam in session mode with some more neat tones.
Sunny Day Real Estate – Seven
Not quite your typical 90’s power chord pop-punk: Listen a little more closely and you’ll hear some surprisingly interesting arpeggios and atypical chord shapes. Not to mention, just have a listen to that bouncing, varied bassline.
Spacehog – In the Meantime
I’m not entirely sure what genre this song fits into; space-rock, reggae, pop-punk; whatever it is, if that varied, grooving bassline in the intro isn’t cause enough to request this song, the sheer goofy novelty of it might.
Nirvana – Lithium
Rocksmith needs Nirvana DLC, yadda yadda yadda, they have three on-disc songs, yadda yadda yadda; this is really one of those “should have had a five-pack a while ago” artists. We’re not sure exactly what the holdup is with their lack of DLC, but Lithium would give beginning guitarists a chance to learn the kinds of unusual chord progressions common in Nirvana’s catalog without being frustratingly difficult.
King Crimson – 21st Century Schizoid Man
Rocksmith seems to be lacking in classic Progressive Rock: King Crimson’s wild mix of Progressive Rock and Jazz horn instrumentation would satisfyingly fill that slight void and give both guitarists and bassists a nicely welcome challenge.
Elton John – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
With a musical range that extends from his signature piano ballads to power pop, jazz, country, and bluesy hard rock like this rockin’ number from 1973, Elton John’s catalog has more than enough interesting guitar and bass parts for some inclusion in Rocksmith.
Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
The Ubisoft SF team has been quite adamant about recently addressing the lack of country in Rocksmith, it’s only a matter of time until we finally get to experience the man in black himself; a trailblazer in the development of the genre and the godfather of almost all modern country.
Jeff Beck – Scatterbrain
A jazz fusion fan like myself wouldn’t leave this jazz-jam-rock masterpiece off the list; it’s a wonder why we have guitar virtuosos like Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, and Joe Satriani yet not this Yardbird alumnus who is right up with them in terms of sheer skill and notoriety. Here’s hoping for Beck’s Bolero and Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers in the near future as well.
Billy Squire – Lonely is the Night
Would it be embarrassing to admit that, for the longest time, I thought this was a Led Zeppelin song whenever it played over the radio? It would probably be the closest in style to Led Zeppelin Rocksmith could ever obtain in the near future; a bluesy, overdriven guitar combined with a varied bassline filled with John Paul Jones-style fills and flourishes.
Santana – No One To Depend On
Bluesy rock, Latin samba and salsa grooves, and slap bass make up this hit originally from the 1970s from one of the biggest pioneers and popularizers of Chicano Rock himself. Here’s hoping Rocksmith can use live tracks, as the live version is much more upbeat than the studio version, and includes that aforementioned slap bass.
Hey, this is actually one of my favourite Guitar Hero games, so I thought I’d share some of my picks…
Brand New – Sowing Season
This was actually my first personal exposure to Brand New and besides being incredibly difficult to sing in Guitar Hero, it also has a pretty satisfying guitar part that would be a great way to kick off the second Brand New pack we get, right?
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk
Hey look it’s a Vampire Weekend song, it’s not the best Vampire Weekend song but it’s one I wouldn’t mind learning on Guitar or Bass. The band seems to be on indefinite hiatus so getting licensing rolling could be tricky at this point…
A Perfect Circle – Judith
By far the most Tool-ish of all the A Perfect Circle material available for music games and hey we already have one song so why not… Did it all for YOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUU
My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday
Outside of a few songs on Rocksmith we don’t have any songs that really “jam” you know? Well I have a solution for some crunchy tunes and they are called My Morning Jacket. Give this song a listen and tell me you wouldn’t want to give it a whirl.
The Derek Trucks Band – Younk Funk
We need some more instrumentals in Rocksmith and having a legendary phenom guitarist like Derek Trucks in the library definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing
Those are our picks, what songs from Guitar Hero 5 would you like to see come to Rocksmith some day? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you next Sunday!