Rocksmith’s Devs Pick Its Most Underrated Songs

Okay, full confession time: There are so many songs in the Rocksmith library at this point that I sometimes forget some of them. Considering it’s my job to remember more than 700 songs, that’s bad. But then I realized: If I’m eating, sleeping, and breathing Rocksmith every day and that happens to me, maybe there are a few songs that players have forgotten about, too – or maybe there are a few that people didn’t even realize were there. I asked some of Rocksmith’s developers to name a hidden gem in the library that you might enjoy unearthing soon. Here are their personal picks – you might even be surprised to find you already own several of their suggestions!

RS2014_HarderToBreathe_Rhythm

“Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr.

Chosen by Brian McCune, Lead Notetracker

“Bright Lights” is one of those songs that you can go into really deep. Like most good blues, it’s all about the subtleties of articulation and expression. The heavy distortion coupled with the blues foundation makes for a truly unique sound within the Rocksmith library.

“We Share the Same Skies” by The Cribs

Chosen by Taylor Benson, Associate Producer

Before Rocksmith, I’d never really heard of The Cribs, but this track quickly became one of my favorites over the course of the project. I don’t hear lots of buzz about this song, which I assume is due to not many people knowing this band as well as other bands on the original Rocksmith game disc, like The Rolling Stones, The Strokes or Muse. But don’t let the lack of familiarity turn you away from The Cribs! “We Share the Same Skies” is the perfect balance of challenge and fun. (And remember, if you own both RS and RS2014, you can import the on-disc songs from the earlier game into your RS2014 DLC library for a small fee.)

“Desolate Motion” by Karawan

Chosen by Taylor Benson, Associate Producer

When Alex Timaru from the Ubisoft QA team in Bucharest sent me the first version of “Desolate Motion,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. After a few minutes of listening, however, I was blown away. It’s a catchy, challenging and VERY fun song to play, and one of my favorites on the 2014 disc (even if I still can’t 100% it!). It’s a Uplay reward, so this song has been overlooked by those who haven’t signed up for the Ubisoft Club. Hopefully the Twitch stream where Alex played this song live got a few more eyes on that great track!

“Stay In” by Jaws

Chosen by Gregory Barr, Notetracker

Jaws is a super laid-back, surf-influenced band from the UK. The main guitar part is simple, but it’ll stay with you long after the song ends. My favorite part is the bridge, which is just gorgeous. Also, chord bends!

“Anna Molly” by Incubus

Chosen by David Stevens, QA Supervisor

The song features some interesting strum patterns and riffs that are fairly unique to our library. Mike Einziger has an unorthodox approach to almost everything he writes, and this song is a good example. Oh, and it rocks.

“R U Mine” by Arctic Monkeys

Chosen by Matthew Nguyen, Game Designer

This is my go-to warmup song. The catchy riff feels very satisfying to play – you really feel the notes you’re playing. Since it’s marked as one of the first recommended songs on the Rocksmith 2014 disc, I wonder if some intermediate players skip past it!

“Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” by Spinal Tap

Chosen by Jarred McAdams, Notetracker

It’s easy to write off Spinal Tap as nothing more than a joke band playing joke versions of music that wasn’t very serious to begin with, but for those in the know, there is real musicianship and songwriting chops under all the gags. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are all knowledgeable and experienced musicians (in addition to their other pursuits), and that really is them playing both on the studio recordings and in the live performances captured in the film. The entire Spinal Tap pack is worth your attention (“Big Bottom” is another favorite), but “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” is the quintessential Spinal Tap song – puerile lyrics interspersed with hilariously competent guitar solos over a well-constructed rock rhythm foundation. It’s worth your time.

“Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5

Chosen by Dan Amrich, Community Developer

As a rhythm guitarist, I’m always looking for fun, funky strum patterns. Something about the rhythm path on this one just lights it up for me, and I think people overlook it for two reasons: One, the lead path is actually a bit easier, and two, I think some people discount Maroon 5’s musicianship due to their radio popularity. The chord voicings are always changing; once you fret the primary barre chord in the refrain, you’ll need to shift your other fingers and change shapes multiple times before moving onto to the next chord. And those reconfigurations happen quickly! I find it a really enjoyable challenge, and one I need to be warmed up to tackle.

That’s eight to get you started! What’s your favorite overlooked track in the Rocksmith library? Leave a comment below and let us – and your fellow players – know what you think deserves a second look.

For more on Rocksmith, check out these stories:

Rocksmith’s Spookiest Songs

Rocksmith 2014 Dev Team: Our Favorite Basslines

Rocksmith 2014 – 5 Things to Know about tthe PS4 and Xbox One Edition

Rocksmith

Rocksmith

Release date — September 28, 2012
Developer — Ubisoft San Francisco
Introducing the next stage in the evolution of the guitar game: Rocksmith, the first and only game where your controller is any real guitar. Nothing plastic. Nothing fake. Just the most authentic guitar experience in music gaming. By plugging into your console, you’ll develop real skills and real styles while playing absolutely real music. Featuring gameplay that automatically adjusts to your personal ability and innovative game design that makes playing music visually intuitive, Rocksmith will engage experienced musicians as well as those who have never picked up a guitar in their life. Nothing compares to playing a real guitar. Except playing Rocksmith.

ESRB Rating: TEEN with Lyrics, Mild Cartoon Violence
Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014

Release date — October 2013
Developer — Ubisoft San Francisco
The all-new Rocksmith 2014 Edition is bigger, better, and faster than ever. Rebuilt from the ground-up, you’ll experience vastly improved features, a new look, more flexible and deeper practice tools, new techniques and tunings, over 50 new hit songs, and much more. With the revolutionary Session Mode, Rocksmith 2014 Edition takes guitar-learning to the next level by allowing you to play guitar with a virtual band that follows your every lead. Select from an assortment of backing instruments or styles, and Session Mode reacts to the notes you play. Start your journey with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

ESRB Rating: TEEN with Mild Lyrics and Mild Fantasy Violence
The Author

After 15 years in the games media, Dan Amrich hopped the fence and is now the Community Developer for Rocksmith at Ubisoft San Francisco, which he hopes retroactively justifies his sizeable guitar collection. For fun, he creates puzzles and juggles fire, but not at the same time. Follow him on Twitter: @DanAmrich.