Setlist Sunday: Guitar Hero World Tour


After the absolutely smashing success of both Rock Band 1 and 2, Activision knew it had to severely step its game up from just guitar in order to compete with its own former developer, especially after the somewhat tepid critical reaction to their recent DS and Aerosmith titles. Enter Guitar Hero’s answer to Rock Band in the form of World Tour: Adding drums and a microphone to their already successful guitar and bass formula, as well as full career modes for all four instruments and the full band, Activision hoped to reignite their former enthusiasm with the gaming public with what many have considered simply following in the wake of Harmonix’s success.

It absolutely worked: While World Tour may not have been critically received quite as well as Rock Band 2, sales for World Tour nearly doubled that of Rock Band 2, making it the clear consumer favorite by a landslide. Part of this likely had to do with the sturdier-quality instruments, as many consumers complained about the mushy quality of the strum bar on Rock Band’s guitars and the fragile kick pedal on the drums, which had an unfortunate tendency to break when played too hard.

In addition to the aforementioned career modes, World Tour also includes an in-depth Music Studio feature, which allows users to create their own songs and share them online; customizing everything from the lead, rhythm, and bass guitar tracks, a drum track, and a “hum-along” vocal track by either playing it with the instruments in real time, slowed down, or manually one note at a time with a number of different sound effects and distortion pedals to add.

Setlist wise, for the first time in the Guitar Hero series following Rock Band 2’s precedent, all 84 songs in World Tour are complete master recordings: No covers to speak of, allowing anyone to enjoy each song as their artists originally intended. The variety was also a welcome addition; featuring songs from 1967 all the way to 2008 with the likes of huge acts such as Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Ted Nugent, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Bon Jovi, and numerous smaller acts such as Hush Puppies, Modest Mouse, Filter, and Beatsteaks.

Out of those 84 songs not counting guitar duels, 32 are currently playable in Rocksmith for a total of around 38%, barely edging out Rock Band 2’s 34%.

ArtistSongDate in Rocksmith
30 Seconds to MarsThe Kill01/12/2016
311Beautiful Disaster05/06/2014
AirbourneToo Much, Too Young, Too Fast08/22/2017
The Allman Brothers BandRamblin' ManN/A
AnoukGood GodN/A
The AnswerNever Too LateN/A
At the Drive-InOne Armed ScissorN/A
Beastie BoysNo Sleep till Brooklyn02/21/2017
BeatsteaksHail to the FreaksN/A
Billy IdolRebel YellN/A
Black Label SocietyStillborn04/05/2016
Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubWeapon of ChoiceN/A
BlondieOne Way or AnotherN/A
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet BandHollywood NightsN/A
Bon JoviLivin' on a Prayer12/02/2014
Bullet for My ValentineScream Aim Fire11/25/2014
Creedence Clearwater RevivalUp Around the BendN/A
The CultLove Removal MachineN/A
Dinosaur Jr.Feel the Pain04/21/2015
The DoorsLove Me Two Times07/19/2016
Dream TheaterPull Me Under09/27/2016
The EaglesHotel CaliforniaN/A
The EnemyAggroN/A
FilterHey Man, Nice Shot05/31/2016
Fleetwood MacGo Your Own Way08/18/2015
Foo FightersEverlong10/22/2013
The Guess WhoAmerican Woman01/29/2013
HushPuppiesYou're Gonna Say Yeah!N/A
InterpolObstacle 105/15/2018
Jane's AddictionMountain Song02/17/2015
Jimi HendrixThe Wind Cries Mary12/16/2014
The Jimi Hendrix ExperiencePurple Haze (Live)12/16/2014 *
Jimmy Eat WorldThe Middle11/27/2018
Joe SatrianiSatch Boogie10/22/2013
KoRnFreak on a LeashN/A
Lacuna CoilOur TruthN/A
Lenny KravitzAre You Gonna Go My Way10/18/2011
Linkin ParkWhat I've Done01/06/2015
The Living EndPrisoner of SocietyN/A
Los LobosLa BambaN/A
LostprophetsRooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)N/A
Lynyrd SkynyrdSweet Home Alabama (Live)10/18/2011 *
The Mars VoltaL'Via L'ViaquezN/A
MC5's Wayne KramerKick Out the Jams **N/A
MetallicaTrapped Under IceN/A
Michael JacksonBeat ItN/A
Modest MouseFloat On10/16/2013
MotörheadOverkill **N/A
NegramaroNuvole e lenzuolaN/A
NirvanaAbout a Girl (Unplugged)N/A
No DoubtSpiderwebs08/12/2014
NOFXSoul DoubtN/A
OasisSome Might Say01/14/2014
Ozzy OsbourneCrazy TrainN/A
Ozzy OsbourneMr. CrowleyN/A
ParamoreMisery Business01/15/2019
Pat BenatarHeartbreaker11/26/2019
R.E.M.The One I Love02/04/2014
Radio FuturaEscuela de CalorN/A
Rise AgainstRe-Education (Through Labor)05/03/2016
The Sex PistolsPretty Vacant **N/A
Silversun PickupsLazy EyeN/A
The Smashing PumpkinsToday10/29/2013
Steely DanDo It AgainN/A
Steve Miller BandThe Joker12/05/2017
StingDemolition Man (Live)N/A
The Stone RosesLove Spreads08/25/2015
Stuck in the SoundToy BoyN/A
SurvivorEye of the Tiger04/30/2013
System of a DownB.Y.O.B.01/28/2014
Ted NugentStranglehold09/09/2014
Tokio HotelMonsoonN/A
Van HalenHot for TeacherN/A
Willie NelsonOn the Road Again (Live)06/30/2015 *
WingsBand on the RunN/A

* Indicates the studio version of the track in Rocksmith.
** Indicates a re-recorded version of the track.

With the massive setlist available, it was pretty difficult nailing down 10, but I think I’ve got a list most would agree with:

Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band

Featuring dual harmonized lead guitars and an absolutely kickin’ bassline, Ramblin’ Man would certainly be a welcome addition, especially since it’s been a fair while since we’ve seen anything from the Allman Brothers on Rocksmith.

Kick out the Jams – MC5

A psychedelic rock classic, frequently covered and constantly revered, featuring an absolutely hypnotic bassline and melodic guitar solo, this would surely be a favorite among blues and jam band fans if this ever winds up in Rocksmith.

The Police – Demolition Man

To be fair, World Tour includes a live version from Sting’s solo career, but the original version by the Police would be even more welcome: Andy Summers is one uniquely underrated guitarist, and his subtle use of soloing throughout the song and his jazzy chords would provide a welcome challenge for any guitarist. Sting’s bass playing also shines in this song, with a tasty bass-driven riff.

Michael Jackson – Beat It

Can we lament at how this is the only Micheal Jackson song to show up in any guitar-based rhythm game ever? Not only did no Michael Jackson DLC show up afterward, this song isn’t even exportable into future Guitar Hero games. It could be that Activision just had the gigantic money stacks at the time to afford his licensing, it could be that his licensing costs have skyrocketed after his unfortunate death half a year after the release of World Tour, it could be a combination of a number of other complicated factors too numerous to go into now. Considering his presence in that one slightly embarrassing Kinect dancing game, let’s hope he shows up in Rocksmith sooner rather than later, as many of his songs contain some absolutely delectable guitar and bass tracks.

Paul McCartney and Wings – Band on the Run

As opposed to Michael Jackson, here’s an example of a super-popular artist on World Tour that not only had DLC that followed, his track even exported: since we likely won’t see any Beatles DLC any time soon, McCartney’s skillful basslines and great band instrumentation will certainly be a welcome addition to Rocksmith.

Do It Again – Steely Dan

I’ve gone on about the lack of Jazz in Rocksmith in Oscar’s Rock Band 2 article (I wrote the section about Steely Dan and Bodhisattva), so I won’t go too into detail here. I consider myself a reasonably enthusiastic fan of Jazz music in general (I like me some good jazz, don’t judge), and Steely Dan is one of my favorite music artists of all time; anything from Can’t Buy a Thrill, The Royal Scam, Aja, Gaucho, Katy Lied, or any of their other fantastically well-produced and jazzy albums would be great for any guitarist looking to expand their harmonic sensibilities and chord vocabulary.

About a Girl (Unplugged) – Nirvana

Other than the Rolling Stones and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana is definitely one of the most popular on-disc Rocksmith artists that has yet to receive any DLC whatsoever. Either the live or the album version of About a Girl would be great for any beginning guitarist or even just to have a simple song to zone out to every once in a while.

Assassin – Muse

Moar Muse plz.

Too Much Too Young Too Fast – Airbourne

Hard to believe this song is from 2007, right? The vocals, guitars, and overall feel of the song have the late-1970’s/early-1980’s written all over it. As well as being the closest to AC/DC Rocksmith could ever reasonably get, the absolutely infectious riff and challenging solo would be extremely popular among the Rocksmith fanbase.

Overkill – Motörhead

Another classic speed metal tune from one of the gods of heavy metal himself; may Lemmy rest in peace.


There’s our picks, what songs would you like to see from Guitar Hero World Tour end up in Rocksmith 2014? Let us know!

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June 6, 2016 4:33 pm

Leave it to Guitar Hero to get Eagles, Van Halen, Metallica, Tool, and Ozzy Osbourne in the same game.
This is a difficult one to narrow down because I’m trying to ignore those impossible ones. My most wanted has to be Soul Doubt because Nofx is one of my favorite bands of all time. Next is Antisocial for reasons similar to Slade, I like the original better, and I rank Anthrax as a solid 3 (sometimes 2)out of the big four. Thirdly, let’s get Prisoner of Society and because I’m on a roll with Punk, add the Sex Pistols to the game, (although I’m not how licensing works with them) and only out of respect for Lemmy and Phil, and the fact that we don’t even have a full 3-pack of motörhead, let’s get Overkill. And to close off Love Me Two Times because you can never have to many Doors.

June 13, 2016 9:08 am

Big four ranking;

1. Megadeth
2. Metallica
3. Anthrax


June 5, 2016 8:29 pm

I played the hell out of this game. Some of my choices, in no particular order would be:

1. Pat Benatar -- Heartbreaker
2. The Mars Volta -- L’via L’viaquez
3. The Living End -- Prisoner of Society(I’ve requested a ton of The Living End songs, they are super awesome)
4. Dream Theater -- Pull Me Under
5. Silversun Pickups -- Lazy Eye
6. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- Weapon of Choice
7. At the Drive-in -- One Armed Scissor
Both Ozzy songs and all 3 Tool songs.

I really, really hate Wings, The Allman Brothers and Steely Dan, so even if those were licensed, I would never buy them.

Ruben Gonzalez
Ruben Gonzalez
June 5, 2016 5:07 pm

All the three by Tool and L’via L’viaquez by The mars volta would be my dreams come true. Also i was dissapointed with rocksmith using la bamba by Ritchie Valens and not Los Lobos, version which i like a looot more.

Fake Steven Tyler
Fake Steven Tyler
June 5, 2016 4:22 pm

You forgot the best part about World Tour: playable Sting, Ozzy, Billy Corgan, Ted Nugent, Zakk Wylde, Hayley Williams, Travis Barker, and almost-Jimi Hendrix and making all of them do the awesome mocap dancing for Beat It.

1) Beat It
2) Ramblin’ Man, which honestly should’ve gotten in over Southbound
3) That specific live version of Demolition Man, which kicks the crap out of the studio version
4) Mr. Crowley
5) No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn
6) The Los Lobos version of La Bamba
7) Hotel California
8) Love Me Two Times, to see if those trills really are the shittiest things ever
9) Up Around the Bend
10) Hot For Teacher