Setlist Sunday: Rock Band Unplugged

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Guitar Hero had some success with their portable spin-offs On Tour and On Tour: Decades, so it’s only natural that Rock Band would want to get in on the fun. Rather than go on the Nintendo DS and have similar gameplay with something like the Guitar Grip, Rock Band Unplugged was released on the PSP with full band gameplay similar to previous Harmonix titles Frequency and Amplitude.

In order to capture the full band experience, players would have all four instrument tracks running simultaneously with the goal being to switch between the tracks and successfully play notes on all of them to temporarily clear the highway for the instrument. Not playing well can cause all the highways to fill up with notes requiring more attention to make sure you don’t fail out.

The game was also received somewhat better than the On Tour series, likely having to do with the lack of a hand-cramping peripheral to deal with, as Unplugged just used the PSP’s buttons like a conventional game. The lack of multiplayer was a big detriment for most fans, however, as a hallmark of the Rock Band franchise was its party-friendly multiplayer gameplay.

Much like how the two On Tour games could be considered spin-offs of various Guitar Hero games, Rock Band Unplugged shared a lot with Rock Band 2. Many of the venues and aesthetics are directly taken from RB2, as well as multiple songs. 22 of the 41 songs in the game are shared with the console title, and the rest are made up of DLC songs. Four of the songs in the game, however, made their Rock Band series debut through Unplugged, although they would later be released as DLC. They are as follows:

  • 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite
  • AFI – Miss Murder
  • Audioslave – Gasoline
  • The Jackson 5 – ABC

Of the total 41 song setlist, a whopping 24 are currently playable in Rocksmith, for a total of 58%. This beats out Rock Revolution’s impressive 51% as the highest we’ve seen so far on Setlist Sunday!

ArtistSongDate in Rocksmith
3 Doors DownKryptonite03/06/2012
AFIMiss Murder04/01/2014
Alice in ChainsWould?11/12/2013
All-American RejectsMove Along09/08/2015
AudioslaveGasolineN/A
Billy IdolWhite Wedding (Part 1)04/30/2013
Black TideShow Me the WayN/A
blink-182What's My Age Again?02/21/2012
Bon JoviLivin' on a Prayer12/02/2014
BostonMore Than a Feeling11/15/2011
Dead KennedysHoliday in CambodiaN/A
Foo FightersEverlong10/22/2013
FreezepopLess Talk More RokkN/A
The Jackson 5ABCN/A
Jethro TullAqualung01/30/2018
Jimmy Eat WorldThe Middle11/27/2018
Judas PriestPainkiller04/17/2012
KansasCarry on Wayward Son02/18/2013
The KillersMr. Brightside10/28/2014
Lacuna CoilOur TruthN/A
Lamb of GodLaid to Rest06/29/2014
LitMy Own Worst Enemy04/21/2015
LushDe-LuxeN/A
The Mighty Mighty BosstonesWhere'd You Go? *N/A
Modest MouseFloat On04/16/2013
MotörheadAce of Spades '08 *01/20/2015 *
Nine Inch NailsThe Perfect DrugN/A
NirvanaDrain YouN/A
The OffspringCome Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)05/16/2012
Pearl JamAlive01/15/2013
The PoliceMessage in a Bottle05/01/2012
Queens of the Stone Age3's & 7's06/02/2015
RushThe Trees (Vault Edition)N/A
Siouxsie and the BansheesThe Killing JarN/A
The Smashing PumpkinsToday10/29/2013
Social DistortionI Was WrongN/A
SoundgardenSpoonman01/13/2015
System of a DownChop Suey!N/A
Tenacious DRock Your SocksN/A
WeezerBuddy Holly01/21/2014
The WhoPinball Wizard12/03/2013

* Denotes a re-recorded version of the track

In addition to the main game, there was also a decent sized selection of DLC. The 57 songs released for the game were all selections of popular Rock Band console DLC, although owners of the tracks on PS3 wouldn’t be entitled to download them on the PSP. Of the 57 songs put out as DLC, 26 are available for a grand total of 45%.

ArtistSongDate in Rocksmith
30 Seconds to MarsThe Kill01/12/2016
Alien Ant FarmSmooth CriminalN/A
Avenged SevenfoldAfterlife10/30/2012
BellyFeed the TreeN/A
blink-182The Rock Show01/17/2017
Bullet for My ValentineWaking the DemonN/A
Coheed and CambriaA Favor House AtlanticN/A
Dead KennedysCalifornia Über AllesN/A
DisturbedInside the Fire04/12/2016
Dixie ChicksSin WagonN/A
Dream TheaterConstant MotionN/A
Dropkick MurphysI'm Shipping Up to Boston03/17/2015
EvanescenceBring Me to Life04/03/2012
Foo FightersLonely as YouN/A
Foo FightersMonkey Wrench11/18/2014
ForeignerHeadknockerN/A
Franz FerdinandLucid DreamsN/A
The FratellisFlatheadN/A
GLaDOSStill AliveN/A
GodsmackI Stand Alone06/17/2014
Grateful DeadCasey Jones05/16/2017
Green DayKnow Your Enemy01/16/2018
Guns N' RosesRiad N' the BedouinsN/A
Iron MaidenThe Number of the Beast (Original Version)10/05/2013
Iron MaidenThe Trooper10/22/2013
James GangFunk #4906/10/2014
Jane's AddictionHad a DadN/A
Killswitch EngageMy Curse11/04/2014
Lynyrd SkynyrdGimme Three Steps07/14/2015
MegadethWake Up DeadN/A
Mötley CrüeDr. Feelgood12/15/2015
MuseHysteria12/17/2013
MutemathTypicalN/A
No DoubtExcuse Me Mr.N/A
No DoubtJust a GirlN/A
OasisWonderwall01/14/2014
The OffspringAll I Want02/02/2016
ParamoreCrushcrushcrush01/09/2018
Pat BenatarHeartbreaker11/26/2019
Pearl JamJeremy02/07/2012
The PixiesHere Comes Your Man04/30/2013
R.E.M.Losing My Religion10/22/2013
RadioheadMy Iron Lung11/22/2013
Red Hot Chili PeppersUnder the BridgeN/A
RushRed Barchetta11/13/2012
Sleater-KinneyYou're No Rock N' Roll FunN/A
Sonic YouthKool ThingN/A
Spinal TapBack from the DeadN/A
Steely DanMy Old SchoolN/A
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double TroublePride and Joy11/15/2016
The Stone RosesLove Spreads08/25/2015
Stone Temple PilotsSex Type Thing12/22/2015
StyxRenegade *01/20/2015
System of a DownToxicity01/28/2014
Thin LizzyThe Boys Are Back in Town (Live)04/14/2015 **
White ZombieBlack Sunshine10/25/2016
The ZombiesShe's Not There10/29/2019

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

Given the sizable portion of songs in common with Rocksmith and the comparatively limited number of DLC songs, we’ve decided to feature both the main setlist and the DLC in our picks for songs we would like to see on Rocksmith eventually.

The Jackson 5 – ABC

Sure, it’s probably not the most complex song in the world; and some might call it a children’s song; but there’s definitely something valuable in it’s varied melodic bassline and just plain joyful catchiness. Since Michael Jackson’s solo songs have proven quite hard for rhythm games to acquire, the fact that a few have songs from his Jackson 5 days would at least give us some hope for either to appear in Rocksmith.

Audioslave – Gasoline

This dark-tinged funk-rock/grunge-rock track from one of the most notable supergroups in modern music would make for a great addition to the Rocksmith library. I’ve also felt that Tim Commerford’s bass work has been quite underrated, and this song shows a well-varied, groovy bassline.

Megadeth – Wake Up Dead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoe7nAnJYH4

Sure, we may have had a Megadeth 5-pack somewhat recently, but when isn’t there a time to headbang along to some challenging thrash metal guitar and bass charts?

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge

No explanation needed.

Steely Dan – My Old School

As well as being a typically well-polished track we’ve come to expect from the likes of Steely Dan, My Old School has quite a challenging bassline that really picks up partway through the song. Walter Becker’s multiple guitar solos would make for a fun ride for more advanced guitarists.

Spinal Tap – Back From The Dead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6CdIEmjJYQ

Even fictional bands deserve some love! In spite of this song’s heavily tongue-in-cheek lyrics, it features some fairly intricate acoustic guitar arpeggios and a tapping solo.

Foo Fighters – Lonely as You

One of the instrumentally and lyrically heavier tracks in the Foo Fighters catalog (though you wouldn’t think it by the opening alone). Its dissonant melodies may turn some off, but dig a little deeper and you may find a welcoming addition for anyone looking for a heavy, more chord-filled song that isn’t too challenging to play.

Nirvana – Drain You

Sharp, dissonant, grating, cathartic, exhausting to listen to; everything that makes grunge what it is: Kurt’s use of heavily unusual chord progressions would provide a chance to learn about harmonic variety beyond simple scales, even if he probably didn’t know what that was when composing this song (it’s grunge, it’s not supposed to be jazz).

Nine Inch Nails – The Perfect Drug

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSLqeZzTU8I

Speaking of intentionally grating and dissonant rock music; we’ve been waiting quite a while to hopefully see some Nine Inch Nails show up in Rocksmith. If nothing else, Trent Reznor’s absolutely mad tones would scratch Ubisoft’s creative tone-designing itch and give session mode users another fascinating tone to experiment with. By the way, is it just me, or does Trent Reznor look just like Sirius Black from Harry Potter in that music video?

Dream Theater – Constant Motion

Pretentious? Maybe. Challenging to play on both guitar and bass? Absolutely! Boy we are ending this Setlist Sunday on a dark note with four depressingly dark songs in a row. Perhaps we should revisit ABC from earlier in the list to lighten the mood:


 

So those are our picks, which songs would you like to see on Rocksmith 2014 from Rock Band: Unplugged? Let us know in the comments!

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tonirali
tonirali
December 10, 2019 8:28 pm

You can update it, Heartbreaker and She’s Not There have been added.

LF
LF
June 27, 2016 6:44 pm

I would love to get AAF’s cover of Smooth Criminal in Rocksmith!

TheDarkBoco
TheDarkBoco
June 26, 2016 2:57 pm

Just throwing this out there but, Chop Suey isn’t in rocksmith.

Daniel
Editor
June 26, 2016 3:07 pm
Reply to  TheDarkBoco

Sorry about that; thanks for pointing it out.

TheDarkBoco
TheDarkBoco
June 26, 2016 3:18 pm
Reply to  Daniel

No problem, it was an honest mistake.