A few months ago I looked back on the original Guitar Hero songs. Only seven tracks were totally MIA.
But what about Guitar Hero II? This was a huge sequel, with so many improvements over the legendary original:
- Far better competitive two player modes. It’s easy to forget, but multiplayer in Guitar Hero was a tacked-on affair, offering only the oddball “you play a section, then I play a section” tug-of-war multiplayer mode.
- Cooperative two player mode with bass/guitar and lead/rhythm tracks depending on the song.
- A significantly larger on-disc tracklist, going from 30 core songs to 40 (48 on Xbox).
- A few of the songs were original masters, predicting the wholesale switch to all masters later.
- After a few months, finally available for the first time on a next-gen console as well as the original Playstation 2.
As far as I’m concerned, the “II” in the title stood for the best two player guitar game ever!
The Guitar Hero II soundtrack was killer, too. But it also predates reusable DLC song libraries by two years. So short of booting up the original game on a Playstation 2 or Xbox 360 — how can we experience these 48 classic tracks in a modern rhythm game? Let’s see:
|Song||Available in …|
|Surrender – Cheap Trick||Rock Band DLC|
|Possum Kingdom – The Toadies||none|
|Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero Smash Hits*|
|Salvation – Rancid||none|
|Strutter – Kiss||Rock Band DLC|
|Shout at the Devil – Mötley Crüe||Guitar Hero Smash Hits*|
|Mother – Danzig||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Life Wasted – Pearl Jam||none|
|Cherry Pie – Warrant||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Woman – Wolfmother||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|You Really Got Me – Van Halen||Guitar Hero: Van Halen|
|Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight – Spinal Tap||Rock Band DLC|
|Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas||Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Search and Destroy – Iggy Pop and the Stooges||none|
|Message in a Bottle – The Police||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper||Rock Band DLC|
|Them Bones – Alice in Chains||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|War Pigs – Black Sabbath||Rock Band DLC|
|Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|Hush – Deep Purple||none|
|Girlfriend – Matthew Sweet||none|
|Who Was in My Room Last Night? – Butthole Surfers||none|
|Can’t You Hear Me Knockin – Rolling Stones||none|
|Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses||none|
|Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo – Rick Derringer||none|
|Tattooed Love Boys – The Pretenders||none|
|John the Fisherman – Primus||none|
|Jessica – The Allman Brothers Band||none|
|Bad Reputation – Thin Lizzy||none|
|Last Child – Aerosmith||none|
|Crazy on You – Heart||none|
|Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart – Stone Temple Pilots||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Dead! – My Chemical Romance||none|
|Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Freya – The Sword||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|Stop! – Jane’s Addiction||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Madhouse – Anthrax||Rock Band DLC|
|The Trooper – Iron Maiden||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|Rock This Town – Stray Cats||none|
|Laid to Rest – Lamb of God||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Psychobilly Freakout – Reverend Horton Heat||Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|YYZ – Rush||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
|Beast and the Harlot – Avenged Sevenfold||Rock Band 3, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits|
|Carry Me Home – The Living End||none|
|Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies||none|
|Misirlou – Dick Dale||none|
|Hangar 18 – Megadeth||Rock Band DLC, Guitar Hero DLC|
|Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd||Rock Band 3, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits*|
(* indicates the song is exportable to be used as DLC in current Guitar Hero games. All Rock Band songs are exportable with very rare exceptions.)
By my count, out of the original 48 songs in Guitar Hero II, that’s …
|21||songs only playable by booting up Guitar Hero II|
|18||songs playable in Rock Band 3|
|20||songs playable in a Guitar Hero game|
For reference, the complete library of songs are officially listed for each game here:
Unfortunately, the tale of the tape in this case is rather woeful — 43% of the Guitar Hero II tracklist is only playable in the original game. Here’s hoping we get a few more of these classic tracks as DLC in the future!