Setlist Sunday: Rock Band 3

Much like how a lot of Guitar Hero fans might point to Guitar Hero II as being the best game in the series if not the financial/cultural peak, Rock Band fans will take a similar view to Rock Band 3. Released in October of 2010, Rock Band 3 took the already solid foundation of Rock Band 2 and expanded on it to an incredible amount.

The first addition was vocal harmonies which were functionally identical to the ones implemented in The Beatles and Green Day: Rock Band. Next, there was the keyboard, which was playable in two different setups. You had regular five button mode which charted they keys parts similar to guitar and bass parts, but then you also had Pro mode which allowed you to use the brand new keyboard peripheral to play the actual notes for the song on a two-octave keyboard. Also added was functionality for the drum cymbal expansions, allowing Pro Drums to be played where, once again, the actual drum notes would be played with differentiation for toms and cymbals.

In my opinion, however, the coolest addition was the Pro Guitar, which was a brand new peripheral that doubled as a fully functioning MIDI guitar (a more expensive controller that was an actual Squier Stratocaster was also available if you could actually find it), and was the first real foray in to using video games to teach you guitar (I said REAL, Power Gig.)

Every on-disc song in Rock Band 3 had Pro Guitar functionality, but for DLC songs the Pro upgrade was a separate, $1 purchase, which puts the price in line with the cost of a Rocksmith song. Not every DLC song had them implemented, but they usually made sure to put at least one upgrade out per week, and typically on the songs you’d want to learn like Smells Like Teen Spirit, the entire 2112 suite, or even Through the Fire and Flames!

On the subject of DLC, certain songs released before Rock Band 3 definitely featured great keyboard parts and harmonies, so in an effort to address this, RB3 versions of songs were released. These upgraded versions of the songs mostly kept the charting the same, but added in harmony vocals and keyboard parts. Reception to these releases were… mixed. A lot of criticism was thrown at the fact that they were a full-on new DLC song instead of a free upgrade for people that bought the songs already, and because of this, only Bon Jovi and Queen actually received upgrades in the end.

The addition of keys really helped to shape a lot of the main setlist, with iconic riffs like Break on Through, Centerfold, Walk of Life, and Werewolves of London all being part of the main game. That’s not to say the rest of the band was left out, of course, with songs like Roundabout, Crazy Train, and 25 or 6 to 4 providing ample fun for all instruments! Overall, 83 songs were featured making it in line with its contemporaries.

Of the 83 songs featured in Rock Band 3, 23 are currently playable in Rocksmith Remastered for a total of 27%. This is substantially lower than Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock‘s 39/36%, and on the lower end of the Rock Band spectrum in general.

ArtistSongDate in Rocksmith
Amy WinehouseRehabN/A
AnthraxCaught in a Mosh03/24/2015
At the Drive-InOne Armed ScissorN/A
Avenged SevenfoldBeast and the Harlot10/30/2012
The B-52'sRock LobsterN/A
The Beach BoysGood Vibrations (Live)N/A
Big CountryIn a Big Country11/13/2018
BlondieHeart of GlassN/A
Bob Marley and the WailersGet Up, Stand UpN/A
The BronxFalse AlarmN/A
Chicago25 or 6 to 410/22/2013
The CureJust Like Heaven03/19/2013
David BowieSpace Oddity01/17/2012
Deep PurpleSmoke on the Water11/15/2011
Def LeppardFoolin'N/A
DevoWhip It *N/A
DioRainbow in the Dark01/20/2015
Dire StraitsWalk of LifeN/A
The Doobie BrothersChina Grove07/22/2014
The DoorsBreak on Through (To the Other Side)09/15/2015
DoverKing GeorgeN/A
Echo & The BunnymenThe Killing MoonN/A
Elton JohnSaturday Night's Alright for Fighting10/24/2017
Faith No MoreMidLife Crisis07/28/2015
FilterHey Man Nice Shot05/31/2016
The Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1N/A
ForeignerCold As Ice09/30/2014
Golden EarringRadar Love01/30/2018
HIMKilling LonelinessN/A
Huey Lewis & The NewsThe Power of LoveN/A
HypernovaViva la ResistanceN/A
Ida MariaOh My GodN/A
INXSNeed You TonightN/A
The J. Geils BandCenterfoldN/A
James BrownI Got You (I Feel Good) *N/A
Jane's AddictionBeen Caught Stealing02/17/2015
The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceCrosstown TrafficN/A
Joan Jett & The BlackheartsI Love Rock 'n RollN/A
John LennonImagineN/A
JuanesMe EnamoraN/A
Lynyrd SkynyrdFree Bird11/01/2011
ManáOye Mi AmorN/A
Marilyn MansonThe Beautiful People07/25/2017
MetricCombat BabyN/A
The MuffsOuter Space *N/A
Night RangerSister Christian03/12/2019
Ozzy OsbourneCrazy TrainN/A
ParamoreMisery Business01/15/2019
The PoliceDon't Stand So Close to MeN/A
Poni HoaxAntibodiesN/A
Pretty Girls Make GravesSomething Bigger, Something BrighterN/A
PrimusJerry Was a Race Car Driver06/23/2015
QueenBohemian Rhapsody06/12/2012
Queens of the Stone AgeNo One Knows06/02/2015
RammsteinDu HastN/A
RamonesI Wanna Be SedatedN/A
The RaveonettesLast DanceN/A
Rilo KileyPortions for FoxesN/A
Riverboat GamblersDon't Bury Me… I'm Still Not DeadN/A
RoxetteThe Look04/02/2019
SlipknotBefore I ForgetN/A
Smash MouthWalkin' on the SunN/A
The SmithsStop Me If You Think You've Heard This One BeforeN/A
The SoundsLiving in AmericaN/A
SpacehogIn the Meantime06/05/2018
Steve Miller BandFly Like an Eagle12/05/2017
Stone Temple PilotsPlush12/22/2015
Swingin' UttersThis Bastard's LifeN/A
T. Rex20th Century Boy11/29/2011
Tears for FearsEverybody Wants to Rule the World02/28/2017
Tegan and SaraThe Con06/25/2019
Them Crooked VulturesDead End FriendsN/A
Tokio HotelHumanoidN/A
Tom Petty & The HeartbreakersI Need to KnowN/A
The VinesGet Free04/16/2013
WARLow RiderN/A
Warren ZevonWerewolves of London02/26/2019
The White StripesThe Hardest Button to Button10/14/2014
WhitesnakeHere I Go AgainN/A
The WhoI Can See for MilesN/A

NOTE: While Smoke on the Water is an original recording, the version used in Rocksmith uses an alternate take of the guitar solo.

* Indicates a re-recorded version of the track.

On a personal level, Rock Band 3 is one of my favourite rhythm game setlists of all time. Choosing only 10 that I want to see in Rocksmith is a neigh impossible task, but here’s what I came up with:

At the Drive-In – One Armed Scissor

While the vocals might grate on you slightly there’s a lot of interesting musical ideas from the boys that would become The Mars Volta in this song. ATDI pack when?

The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations

Somehow, only one Beach Boys song has ever appeared in a rhythm game before. That said, Good Vibrations is a fantastic pick (and my personal favourite Beach Boys track) and depending on how it’s charted, could lead to some great gameplay and tones in Rocksmith!

The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1

A beautiful acoustic guitar part waits for you in this one that would be perfect for the new microphone mode, or really any other mode Rocksmith has. The Flaming Lips are my favourite band by a mile and I’d love to see them finally show up in Rocksmith Remastered!

Golden Earring – Radar Love

An iconic riff and a relentless guitar part make this classic rock gem a perfect Rocksmith choice!

Huey Lewis & The News – The Power of Love

Rocksmith has been on a bit of a run with fantastic 80s movie songs, but they’ve only scratched the surface of what’s there. Maybe the next 80s Mix Pack can kick off with this downright iconic riff and cross another classic soundtrack song off the list. It wouldn’t be the first Back to the Future song we get, after all!

Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People

When I got my PRO Guitar, this was the first song in Rock Band 3 that I was really able to get down perfect. It’s nowhere near a complex song, but as an absolute beginner this is what really helped me wrap my head around chords and I’m sure that people picking up Rocksmith for the first time would be helped by this one too. Plus, we’re sorely lacking in industrial and this would go a ways to fix that!

Metric – Combat Baby

a fun power chord filled song with a few arpeggios, we’d love to see a Metric Song Pack!

Night Ranger – Sister Christian

One of the best 80s ballads ever.

Paramore – Misery Business

Pure high energy pop punk that never turns it down. Come on, Rocksmith! We desperately need more Paramore in the game!

Phish – Llama

If Trey’s guitar part doesn’t kill you Mike Gordon’s bass part certainly will

Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle

Just think of the fantastic tone that this would come with! Combine that with a slick and spacey guitar lead and I can’t think of too many songs that would be more fun to play in Rocksmith.

This game is a fan favourite for many reasons, not the least of which is the fantastic setlist. Plus, the PRO-Guitar/Bass implementation means that pretty much all of these songs have great guitar parts to learn! Which of these songs from Rock Band 3 do you want to see head over to Rocksmith Remastered? Let us know in the comments below.

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Casey Blandford
Casey Blandford
August 18, 2017 7:02 pm

You can cross The Beautiful People off this list now.

March 20, 2017 12:14 pm

I loved the split bar bass controller that they made for RB3. Mastering that gave me a leg up for learning to two finger a real bass with Rocksmith. I was really bummed that they didn’t bother make a pro bass controller like they did for guitar. Songs I’d like to see: Low Rider, Radar Love, Saturday nights’s alright for fighting, Combat Baby, In the Meantime, Centerfold, I need to know.

Chris S
Chris S
March 20, 2017 8:15 am

I would like to see some phish added so it will take the rest of my life to play it right. Also if you add phish you will add thousands of devoted fans that will follow the game forever

March 20, 2017 5:08 am

Definitely a lot of them (and definitely not in order):

Beach Boys -- Good Vibrations
Huey Lewis & The News – The Power of Love
Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People
Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle
Whitesnake Here I Go Again
The Who I Can See for Miles
War -- Low Rider
The White Stripes-Hardest Button To Button
The Police -- Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Maná -- Oye Mi Amor
I love Rock n roll -- Joan jett The Blackhearts
Living Colour -- Crosstown Traffic
INXS -- Need You Tonight (love this but might be a tad too repetitive)
Dover -- King George
Def Leppard -- Foolin
Dire Straits -- Walk of Life

March 19, 2017 10:08 pm

Okay a couple of these are essential. I often throw Joan Jett’s song in with Johnny B Goode as essential in any music catalog. (Rest peacefully dear Chuck). Also, at this point, ANYTHING from Huey Lewis & The News as well as Steve Miller is welcome. Can never go wrong with more Marley.(obviously) Lastly, it’s high time we get deep into James Brown’s catalog.

Bob Marley & the Wailers -- Get Up Stand Up
Dire Straits -- Walk of Life
Steve Miller Band -- Fly Like an Eagle
Huey Lewis & the News -- Power of Love
James Brown -- I Got You
Mana -- Oye Mi Amor
Ozzy Osborne -- Crazy Train (not a big Ozzy fan but this song commands respect)
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts -- I Love Rock N Roll
War -- Low Rider
The Police -- Don’t Stand So Close to Me (NOT the ’86 version)

March 19, 2017 10:08 pm
Reply to  MarleySantana

Oh wow! Just re-read that. There was no pun intended there. My bad.

March 19, 2017 6:58 pm

In no particular order:
Dire Straits -- Walk of Life
Golden Earring -- Radar Love
Elton John -- Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts -- I Love Rock n’ Roll
INXS -- Need You Tonight
Steve Miller Band -- Fly Like An Eagle
Smash Mouth -- Walkin’ on the Sun
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers -- Need to Know
WAR -- Low Rider
Big Country -- In a Big Country
Blondie -- Heart of Glass
Warren Zevon -- Werewolves of London
The Who -- I Can See For Miles
The J. Geils Band -- Centerfold

March 19, 2017 5:20 pm

Not heard Metric before -- very catchy!
Ten songs from that list I’d like to see in Rocksmith:

Rammstein -- Du Hast
Echo & The Bunnymen -- The Killing Moon
Big Country -- In a Big Country
The Police -- Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Blondie -- Heart of Glass
The Jimi Hendrix Experience -- Crosstown Traffic
Metric – Combat Baby
Elton John -- Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
The Smiths -- Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
Huey Lewis & The News -- The Power of Love

March 19, 2017 1:41 pm

We can easily create many great “various artists” packs from this setlist. Mine would look like :
-- Def Leppard F-f-f-foolin !
-- James Brown I Got You (I Feel Good)
-- Paramore Misery Business
-- The Police Don’t Stand So Close to Me
-- Huey Lewis & The News The Power of Love