Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Rocksmith: The Bands I’m Waiting For (But Not Really)

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 12, 2015

RS2_1024x768Time to get away from conventions, Frayed Knights, and even RPGs and indie games for at least one post…

My at-least-a-half-hour-a-day Rocksmith 2014 habit has taken some hits recently, mainly due to preparation for the convention. At a half-hour a day, I find my skills don’t really increase much from week to week (but they don’t atrophy, either). However, if I miss a couple of days in that schedule, it impacts my playing.

Although it’s kinda cool just pulling the unplugged guitar into my lap and just going through scales or practicing some riffs. I can’t say I’m completely comfortable with the guitar or have made it an extension of myself or anything cool and musician-y or anything. But I can say I do have a comfort zone now. It’s not a big one, but I keep trying to push it.

And speed…. yeah. The dreams of my sixteen-year-old self of playing like Yngwie Malmsteen are probably not going to happen. At least not within the next couple of years, at this rate. The whole “rock star” ship sailed off a long time ago. I’m good with that. Now I just wanna have fun, play along with songs, and jam with friends. ‘Sall good.

For their part, Ubisoft has done a very good job of keeping Rocksmith 2014 alive. Seriously, while I have a few wish-list items for improvements and a couple of highly desired features (like being able to put together custom playlists!), they are really just embellishments to a very solid product. At this point, even if the DLC were to be cut off completely and the game retired, I’d probably be playing Rocksmith 2014 well into 2024 with what I’ve got.

But everybody’s got a wish list for songs or bands they like to have in the game. And in the last six months we’ve gotten some pretty awesome additions both obscure and highly desired. While we haven’t gotten any Stray Cats, we got Brian Setzer, and that’s pretty much the same thing. We’ve also gotten The Cars, Tesla, Queensrÿche, Thin Lizzy, Bill Haley and his Comets (!), The Edgar Winter Group, Faith No More, FINALLY a piece by Steve Vai, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Lee Hooker, Ritchie Valens, and even some classic country and fictional (ish) bands Dethklok and Spinal Tap.

At this point, I could probably grab a tab sheet (Neither my ear nor my hands are trained well enough to just play by ear) and at least fake my way through playing along with most songs on the guitar, but naturally I prefer them in Rocksmith. It’s what the game was built for. Sadly, some of these will probably never be licensed. Most of the rights holders have been contacted, but are uninterested or at least uninterested in participating with anything approaching a reasonable license fee.

Still, it happens. I never really expected Jimi Hendrix, but they managed to get a whole slew of his songs in for Christmas last year. In a perfect world, here are bands I’m still waiting for:

  • Dire Straits: They were rumored at one point to be on the short list (like in time for Christmas last year), but this hasn’t happened. While I want my MTV, the real song everyone wants is Sultans of Swing.
  • Chuck Berry: We were kinda surprised that Berry wasn’t included in the recently released 50’s Singles Pack, but there was an indication that people were contacted but it just ain’t happening. At least not yet.
  • Metallica: Yeah. I’m not holding my breath
  • Dragonforce: Since they’ve appeared in Guitar Hero and Rock Band, you’d think it’d be a no-brainer. But in spite of the fact that their solos are beyond human reckoning,
  • Led Zeppelin: Pretty notorious for not licensing their music. Maybe it’s because the real rights owners are often in doubt.
  • Jethro Tull: While I’d like Aqualung and especially Locomotive Breath as much as anyone else, I admit the flute gets the best solos in many of their songs. But something like the acoustic & electric Cold Wind to Valhalla (with some pretty cool bass work, too) would be awesome.
  • ZZ Top: Too many songs to list.
  • .38 Special: Yes, my 80’s fixation…
  • Guns ‘n Roses: Probably ain’t happening, particularly with Slash’s other work now appearing. But hey, at least we have Slash.
  • George Thorogood: Pretty much straight-up blues with a kick – possibly to the point of getting boring – but it’d be fun to play with for a while.
  • Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne: It could happen, right?
  • Van Halen: Ummm…. maybe?
  • Pink Floyd: Another one I won’t hold my breath over. But EVERYONE wants that Comfortably Numb solo…
  • Eagles: Mainly Hotel California, but they’ve got a ton of great music.
  • Journey: A lot of their stuff is more keyboard-driven, but it’s still awesome. My personal favorites would be Stone In Love, Don’t Stop Believing (of course!) and Separate Ways.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen: Another artist who has managed to find their way into Rock Band, but not yet Rocksmith.
  • AC/DC: Yeah. Still waiting. It’s a long way …
  • Golden Earing: Okay, I own one of their albums, but I still can’t name anything other than Radar Love and Twilight Zone. And I think both are more interesting on bass.
  • Molly Hatchet: Probably not an oft-requested group, but Fall of the Peacemakers is one of my all-time favorites. I imagine Flirting With Disaster is the more popular choice.
  • The Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides, among others. They do a pretty awesome version of Ghost Riders in the Sky.

There are some others that I’m patiently waiting for MORE of (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Rush, CCR, Styx, etc.), but those are the big ones. Some of ’em are just so I can fake it and play along as the idiot brother strumming half the chords, but it’s still fun. Still…. relatively speaking, my list is getting pretty >>small<<.  Now that they’ve released packs and groups representing many of the major styles (Surf, Blues, Rockabilly, many flavors of punk and metal, even country), as a learning tool it’s pretty complete as-is.

And yes, I’ve requested all of these through the request tool. I’m relatively certain that Ubisoft would be happy to include any and all of these if and when they get licensing issues worked out.

And if I’m totally being honest… I have more songs than I can play right now anyway. It’s not like I’ll  outgrow For the Love of God or Cliffs of Dover anytime soon. And I expect I’ll be working on that solo from Rock Around the Clock for several weeks…


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