Ever since the release of Guitar Hero, and later Rock Band, discussing what songs we'd like to play has been a popular topic of conversation. I dedicate at least as much thought to this as to what I'd do with all the money if I won the lottery -- which is to say that I lie awake at night thinking about it.
Here are a few of my most wanted Rock Band tracks, in YouTube form. The only ground rule is that I'm restricting my choices to artists who, to my knowledge, have yet to appear in either Rock Band or Guitar Hero, just to keep it fresh. I also estimate the likelihood of my wishes ever coming true.
By the way, screw everyone who disables embedding.
Andrew W.K., "Party Hard"
Why: People either love Andrew W.K. or they hate him. I love the guy. His music, and this song in particular, is pure rock 'n' roll id. If you believe, as I do, that the point of playing Rock Band is to unleash the primal rock beast within, then no song is better suited for the task.
Likelihood: I could see this happening, particularly if he's got a new album coming out. They might follow the Killers model, wherein they release one new track alongside some old favorites. This would be a day-one download for me.
Refused, "New Noise"
Why: It's an astonishing feat of songwriting, starting off with a bang and escalating even further over the course of the song. The guitars are punishing and the vocals are off the charts. I think anybody who played this song in Rock Band would wind up smashing something by the time it was done.
Likelihood: Zero. Song licensing is the province of capitalist swine.
Dire Straits, "Money for Nothing"
Why: "Sultans of Swing" might be the better pick here, but the chunky guitar riff in "Money for Nothing" sounds like two Transformers mating. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
Likelihood: It's possible, although not the most likely Dire Straits song to make the cut. Additionally, they'd have to go with the radio edit that excludes the line about "the little faggot with the earring and the makeup."
Electric Six, "Gay Bar"
Why: Like AWK, Electric Six is a polarizing band. Once again, I know which side I fall on. A kick-ass surf-rock guitar part and hilariously blunt lyrics would make this Rock Band's guiltiest pleasure.
Likelihood: Zero. Really, I just wanted to share the video.
Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
Why: It's the most popular song by one of the most critically acclaimed bands ever, and one of my favorites. Rock Band is generally lacking in post-punk (let's be honest here: how much post-punk do you really need?). Joy Division would do nicely.
Likelihood: I think it's pretty likely, actually. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this eventually came available. I'd sell my soul for a JD track pack with this, "Transmission," and "She's Lost Control."
Sunny Day Real Estate, "Seven"
Why: Remember when "emo" wasn't a dirty word? SDRE was one of the best examples of the genre before it got all stupid, and this is one of their best songs. I chose this one because I think it'd be great fun to drum, but I'd be happy with almost anything from their catalog.
Likelihood: Eh, maybe as part of a 90s indie-rock pack. I'm not holding out much hope, though.
My Bloody Valentine, "You Made Me Realise"
Why: Oh, you know, they're only one of the most celebrated guitar-rock bands of all time, enshrouded in legend and spoken of in whispers. If Lush made it in, surely there's space for MBV. By the way, I originally was going to put "Only Shallow" in this space, but YouTube yielded only concert footage.
Likelihood: Low, because I think whoever had to draw up the note charts would jump off of something.
MC5, "Kick Out the Jams"
Why: Just a classic, awesome song. Anybody who knows the song would want to play it, and anybody who doesn't know it needs to learn.
Likelihood: I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility. Rock Band has dealt with the profanity issue before, by simply leaving out the offending words. I think anybody would be pleased as punch to belt "Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!" regardless of what the screen did or didn't say. I bet the folks at Harmonix would love to do it.