Dude, man … this is totally tripping me out, bro.
USA Today is reporting that 18 Grateful Dead songs will be playable in Rock Band. All of the songs will be original master recordings, and will include songs like “Truckin'” and the Dead’s 80s MTV jam, “Touch of Grey.” Rhino Entertainments’ Mark Pincus is “confident that Rock Band will be instrumental in introducing kids to the magical music of Grateful Dead.” And hallucinogens, of course.
While the USA Today article makes it sound as if the 18 songs will ship on the disc (you know, that’s what the word “included” means), CNN clears things up a bit.
The iconic group is making 18 master recordings from its diverse catalog available as digitally distributed game levels following Rock Band’s release this holiday season.
Phew. With only 40 songs shipping on the Rock Band retail disc, I don’t know if I’d be able to control my angry outburst if I were to find out that 18 of them were Grateful Dead songs. Regardless of what I think about the Grateful Dead’s music, it’s clear that Harmonix (along with Electronic Arts and MTV) are dedicated to bringing a vast and diverse library of music to the game. And can you really argue with that?
[Update: We just received the press release, which I’ve added after the jump!]
New York, NY – September 5, 2007– Harmonix, the leading developer of music-based games, MTV Games, a division of MTV Networks within Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), and Rhino Entertainment, a division of Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG), announced a deal that will bring the legendary band Grateful Dead to the highly anticipated music videogame Rock Band. The iconic group is making 18 master recordings from its diverse catalog available as digitally distributed game levels following Rock Band’s release this holiday season. Among the songs available will be the classic Dead tracks “Truckin’,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Touch of Grey,” “Sugar Magnolia,” and “Casey Jones.”
“Grateful Dead’s unique fusion of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, and jazz challenged traditional musical boundaries and pushed the limits of creativity to produce a signature sound that is undeniably their own,” stated Paul DeGooyer, MTV’s Senior Vice President of Audio, Home Video and Electronic Games. “With an enormous legion of fans all over the world, Rock Band will give players a chance to interact with the music of these beloved rock pioneers and experience what Grateful Dead did best – jam from the depths of their souls.”
Distributed by Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), Rock Band is an all-new platform for music fans and gamers to interact with music like never before. The game challenges players to put together a band and tour for fame and fortune – all while learning to master lead/bass guitar, drums and vocals. Built on an unprecedented partnership with artists, record labels and music publishers, the music featured in Rock Band will span the full range of rock music and include original master recordings from the greatest songs and artists of all time.
“Grateful Dead, with their 30 year career and their timeless music, are the perfect addition to Rock Band,” says Mark Pinkus, Rhino’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Custom Product & Sync Licensing. “It’s going to be a blast playing along to songs ranging from the Dead’s earliest hit ‘Truckin’’ to their final hit ‘Touch of Grey.’ I’m confident that Rock Band will be instrumental in introducing kids to the magical music of Grateful Dead.”
Grateful Dead’s journey ignited in San Francisco’s Haight and Ashbury district during the psychedelic ‘60s. The band, well known for constantly touring, continued to spread their message of peace and love for another three decades with a devoted community of fans known as Dead Heads, many of whom traveled the country with them. Earlier this year, the Recording Academy awarded Grateful Dead a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for its contribution to the evolution of rock music.
Grateful Dead is the latest artist to join the vast musical downloadable multi-track master offerings of Rock Band, joining the list of epic artists such as Metallica and The Who’s iconic Who’s Next album, the first full album scheduled for downloadable content, in addition to the dozens of on-disc tracks spanning every genre of rock from alternative to classic to heavy metal.