With some folk in a state of consternation about the use of a Christian hymn in the trailer for Bioshock Infinite, we take a look at some of the most unexpected musical contributions to the world of gaming...
Covered ad infinitum by everybody from Johnny Cash and family
to Joan Baez and The Muppets
, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
is considered to be one of the most popular, and therefore sacrosanct, Christian hymns ever written. Which is why some folks are up in arms about its use (and subsequent deletion of the word 'Lord'
) in the upcoming, ultra violence- fuelled Bioshock Infinite
. We personally think it's strangely lovely (check it out for yourself right here
), so it got us to thinking about some of the other more, shall we say, unlikely meldings of music and videogames. Here are some noise-makers we never expected to see anywhere near a console...Trent Reznor
Now well known for providing the soundtracks David Fincher's most recent flicks, The Social Network
and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
, the Nine Inch Nails frontman and all-round aural genius took his first stab at creating a score with the legendary first-person shooter Quake. Reznor recorded various sound effects and background audio on the game, as well as numerous instrumental tracks including the gloriously industrial-gothic main theme (which wouldn't have sounded out of place in Fincher's Se7en) - eagle-eyed gamers may even have spotted the NIN logo on random ammo boxes. Reznor later went on to create soundscapes for Doom 3
(although he had to abandon the project due to, and these are his own words here, "time, money and bad management") and an alternate reality game created to accompany the Nine Inch Nails concept studio album Year Zero.Stewart Copeland
The drummer from The Police composed the soundtracks for the first four Spyro The Dragon games - bet you didn't know that right?
Clearly not happy with just being the 'fifth greatest drummer of all time' (according to Rolling Stone magazine) and perhaps hoping to capitalize on creating the score for Highlander II: The Quickening
, Copeland threw himself into the Spyro project with impressive gusto. Not only did he create the main theme but he also immersed himself in sounds for every world and every level. Subsequent instalments saw him drawing on some decidedly unlikely influences - our favourite being a song by New Age composer Medwyn Goodall
which was used in a Summer Forest level. It may not top his greatest contribution to music - The Equalizer theme tune
, of course - but for sheer dedication to a purple, pixelated, mythical creature, you've got to doff your cap to Copeland.Mark Mothersbaugh
Nobody could ever accuse post-punk, new-wave art-rockers Devo of taking themselves too seriously, but even we were surprised when we discovered that lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh created the music for Crash Bandicoot
. After further investigation (thank you Wikipedia), we discovered that Mothersbaugh, he of the crazeee eyewear and even crazeeeeier wardrobe, has a lucrative sideline in making music for films and TV with his company Mutato Muzika. And, befitting of a man who loves twiddling electronic knobs, he's been creating soundtracks for games since Crash Bandicoot in 1996. He later went on to make music for all the Crash sequels, three Jak And Daxters games and The Sims II
amongst others. Lovers of children's TV might also like to thank him for the themes from Rugrats
and Pee-Wee's Playhouse
One-time Nine Inch Nails member and erstwhile Marilyn Manson drummer and keyboardist Chris Vrenna is a man who clearly likes to walk on the dark side. So it, perhaps, isn't surprising considering he penned the music for American McGee's pretty darned twisted Alice
An altogether more violent take on Lewis Carroll's story about a curious child and her possibly LSD-fuelled trip to a very strange land, McGee's is a rather macabre story and it clearly required the musical stylings of a man who was once associated with a band called Stabbing Westward. In between working with more big names than you can shake a metronome at (he once turned down a chance to join Guns 'N' Roses), Vrenna spends his time creating soundscapes for the likes of Enter The Matrix
, Quake 4
, Need For Speed: Most Wanted
and Sonic The Hedgehog
Perhaps better known for battling substance abuse problems than post-apocalyptic mutants, Mark Lanegan is not the first person you'd associate with videogames. However, the gruffest man in rock has indeed demonstrated an affinity for console shooters after creating an original track for the popular FPS, Rage. The Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age and Gutter Twins collaborator wrote and performed the cinematically styled and really rather great Burning Jacob's Ladder
. Featured on the game trailer and end credits, it's a typically dark and gravelly-voiced turn from one of the most prolific music-makers out there, but then the plot for Rage (asteroid hits the Earth, most human life is wiped out, what remains fights for survival...) does seem right up Lanegan's alley.Want more?
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