15 of the most iconic tracks from the Guitar Hero franchise

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15 of the most iconic tracks from the Guitar Hero franchise

Guitar hero songs
Words by Bradley Bridgens

Let’s face it: as kids, Guitar Hero had us all dreaming about being rock stars.

Back in November 2005, those dreams came true in the form of Guitar Hero: a gaming revolution that allowed punters to live our all their musical fantasies, with its iconic controller, unique gameplay and wonderful assortment of songs solidifying the title as an all-time classic.

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the original release of Guitar Hero, we’re taking a trek down memory lane and revisiting 15 of the game’s greatest tracks to re-live our rock star fantasies just one last time.

15. Sum 41 – ‘Fat Lip’

The intent of this track was strong and one that spoke to the masses, and the response was relentless, which quickly became a hit for the punk-scene. The song was “…growing up in the suburbs, going to parties and hanging out with our friends, and causing trouble.” as told by lead singer/guitarist Deryck Whimbley.

14. Blink 182 – ‘All The Small Things’

Blink 182 were synonymous with teenage-angst and telling society where to go. In ‘All The Small Things’, they talk about the little things in life that seem to matter and those that don’t, Tom Delonge mentioning “I remember thinking, ‘The label’s gonna want a song for the radio – so here’s one,’” and their fans loved them for it.

13. The Darkness – ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’

If glam-rock is your thing, than you would’ve been chuffed with The Darkness’ 2003 epic, ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’. From the soaring vocals of Justin Hawkins and more glittering guitars, this song was full of passion-filled nostalgic that could’ve potentially made bands like Queen blush (but more on Queen later).

12. Jet – ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’

Jet crashed onto the local alternative-rock scene with this breakout single, which was voted the “most Australian song of all time” by Triple M’s Ozziest 100 charts. With the band’s timeless sound, you’d be sure to keep this on your Guitar Hero playlist. After all, who wouldn’t wanna be part of a chart-topping Aussie rock band… even if just for a minute!

11. Franz Ferdinand – ‘Take Me Out’

From the early-2000s, we’ve got Franz Ferdinand’s indie classic ‘Take Me Out’. The track was punchy, funky and just made you wanna rock-out while listening to it. If you didn’t know any better, you would’ve sworn they were straight out of the classic era of rock.

10. Guns N Roses – ‘Sweet Child ‘o Mine’

There was just something about Slash’s famous lead-line that grabbed your attention from the minute the song began (even though it was originally used it as a warm-up exercise). But you know what, it stuck. And it continues to be the tune that draws a crowd, wherever it’s played.

9. Aerosmith (feat Run DMC) – ‘Walk This Way’

In 1986, Run-DMC re-interpolated this Aerosmith classic with Steven Tyler and Joy Perry on vocals and lead guitar, eventually becoming a huge breakthrough moment for hip-hop as it received radio play across both rap and rock stations. Years after the release, Run-DMC said it was “a beautiful thing” when it was used in one of the trailers for Guitar Hero.

8. Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench

Coming out of his days with Nirvana, Dave Grohl formed the three-piece band to continue on his journey of producing solid, rock music. From Taylor Hawkin’s relentless skills on the drums, to Grohl’s soul-splitting vocals and guttural guitar tones, this is a song that has gone down in history.

7. Jimmy Eat World – ‘The Middle’

If we’re gonna talk about the “anthems of a generation”, ‘The Middle’ was just that. When many young people needed a voice, Jimmy Eat World was there. This song was originally a story about a girl and a need for positive affirmation, it became the song that was played  from every home, car and party around the world. Sometimes, you just need music to do the talking for you.

6. Bon Jovi – ‘LivinOn A Prayer’

There was just something so magnetic about the way Jon Bon Jovi belted out this song, that made you want to sing along. Whether you were listening to the radio or managed to make it to one of Bon Jovi’s many gigs, the song was a beloved favourite by both the band and fans alike. This song was simply timeless.

5. The Eagles – ‘Hotel California’

1977’s ‘Hotel California’: a song that would go on inspire many poems, films and articles surrounding sociology and perceptions of life. If you’ve ever played it in Guitar Hero, I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up slouching on your couch while playing out to Don Felder & Joe Walsh’s joint guitar solo.

4. Queen – ‘Killer Queen’

One can’t deny that Queen continued to go higher and further in the charts with every single they released, and this song was no exception. No matter how many times you hear it, you just can’t help to shred with Brian May’s unforgettable lead lines throughout the song. If you’re gonna have a glam-tock song be part of the Guitar Hero setlist, this is it.

3. Survivor – ‘Eye of the Tiger’

Making its debut in 1982 on Survivor’s third album, this song was also used as the theme for Rocky 3, which gave it even more acclaim. Decades after, the song still holds true to the Rocky-fame, and continues to serve as a form of inspiration for survival and redemption. Put simply, it’s an anthem that’ll never die.

2. Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Suck My Kiss’

When you hear “Suck My Kiss”, you know what you’re in for. It was full of funk, raw rock tones and a beat that wouldn’t allow you to sit still. And who could forget Anthony Kiedis’ vocals? If you’re gonna jam with any notable band from the 1990s, it should be the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

1. Lenny Kravitz – ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’

The reason that this song made it to the #1 spot is simply because of Lenny Kravitz himself. No matter the era, he continued to be a definition of rock that couldn’t be replicated or reproduced. A man completely of his own making, Lenny did rock n’ roll the way he wanted to.

Honourable Mention: Dragonforce – ‘Through the Fire and Flames’

You can’t chat Guitar Hero without making mention of this behemoth. I’m sure all of us have sweated over this on expert mode at some stage in our youths, and I’m sure there’s still some of us out there now sweating even still. What a classic!

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