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%.

ArtistSongDate in Rocksmith
.38 SpecialHold on Loosely *01/26/2016
AcceptBalls to the Wall *06/16/2015
AnthraxCaught in a Mosh *03/24/2015
AsiaHeat of the Moment *01/05/2016
Billy SquierLonely is the Night *05/08/2018
Dead KennedysPolice Truck *N/A
DioHoly Diver *10/21/2014
Eddie MoneyShakin' *N/A
ExtremePlay with Me *04/19/2016
Faster PussycatBathroom Wall *N/A
A Flock of SeagullsI Ran09/13/2016
The Go-Go'sWe Got the Beat *08/27/2019
Iron MaidenWrathchild *N/A
Judas PriestElectric Eye04/19/2016 **
KrokusBallroom Blitz *N/A
LimozeenBecause, It's MidniteN/A
Oingo BoingoOnly a Lad *N/A
PoisonAin't Nothin' But a Good Time *10/21/2014
The PoliceSynchronicity II *05/01/2012
Quiet RiotBang Your Head (Metal Health) *N/A
RATTRound and Round *10/22/2013
The RomanticsWhat I Like About You *N/A
ScandalThe WarriorN/A
ScorpionsNo One Like You *N/A
Skid Row18 and Life *03/21/2017
Twisted SisterI Wanna Rock ***02/07/2017
The VaporsTurning Japanese *N/A
White LionRadar Love *N/A
WingerSeventeen *10/21/2014
XLos Angeles *06/20/2017

* 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!

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May 4, 2018 6:42 pm

we have Golden Earing version of Radar Love. we’re confirmed to be getting Lonely is The Night by Billy Squier in Tuesdays 80s mix pack. let’s see if we get another song from this game in the 80s mix V pack

April 20, 2016 3:56 pm

Ugh !! Well there’s always next week.

April 19, 2016 12:56 am

Radar Love would be a nice addition. Dead Kennedys would NEVER pass the censors. NEVER.

April 19, 2016 1:02 am
Reply to  Prisoner416

I would kill for more 80’s and New Wave in general… how about The Sounds?!

Just Dave
Just Dave
April 18, 2016 1:23 pm

LOL…Bulletboys…GNR…Depeche Mode

Just Dave
Just Dave
April 18, 2016 1:21 pm

Electric Eye by Judas Priest is sweet…wouldn’t mind turning circles, victim of changes, or turbo lover in a pack…so many JP tracks I would love. More Cure would be cool…Hot, hot, hot maybe?

AXEgrinder McKay
AXEgrinder McKay
April 17, 2016 8:20 pm

Skid Row definetly needs a whole pack 18 and life along with another of the greatest hair metal ballads “I remember you” also Youth gone Wild, Slave to the grind, and Monkey business! Piece of me would make it a great six pack but that prolly won’t happen.

April 17, 2016 7:08 pm

I’m mostly indifferent to this setlist. Wouldn’t mind seeing Wrathchild, Only a Lad, Police Truck, Los Angeles, and Electric Eye make it to the game though.

April 17, 2016 5:01 pm

People hated GH80s but to me it has always been a favorite.

April 17, 2016 3:14 pm

My favourite setlist too! I’m super happy to finally have “Play With Me”, from the remaining titles here is what I hope to see someday :

Dead Kennedys -- Police Truck
Iron Maiden -- Wrathchild
Scorpions -- No One Like You
Skid Row -- 18 and Life
Twisted Sister -- I Wanna Rock
White Lion -- Radar Love
X -- Los Angeles

April 17, 2016 2:29 pm

The best guitar hero setlist by far and have Half the song compared to other!!

April 17, 2016 2:22 pm

Totally agree about Los Angeles, it’s one of the best songs ever.