Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” is considered to be one of the most difficult concertos to play on the piano. It’s both respected and feared by professional pianists, but that was before the introduction of XBLA Achievements. Add a Rock Band 3 Achievement for mastering the technically intimidating concerto, and we guarantee that the number of people who can play the piece will increase exponentially.
Above: We hope to earn a “Rach and Roll” Achievement for mastering Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3”
Delirious – Prince
But of course, if Rock Band 3 introduces a new keyboard instrument, the new set list will need to take us back to the 80s – and nothing screams “the 80s” like Prince complaining about a woman driving him nuts over the goofy keyboard licks in his hit single “Delirious.”
Above: 12-bar blues meets 1980’s synth in Prince’s “Delirious”
Jump – Van Halen
Long hair, torn jeans, and loud coats with tiger stripe prints: Van Halen had it all. But it was the unforgettable synth sounds and solo in Van Halen’s “Jump” that made it a perfect arena rock song. The song’s lyrics invite listeners to engage in random acts of jumping – a dangerous dare that will likely lead to our friends and loved ones spraining their ankles and eating carpet as they attempt to do David Lee Roth impressions in our living room. That’s why we can’t wait to experience the drama and pain that will surely follow a Rock Band 3 performance of “Jump.” The only thing that could make these future fails better would be if we could play them off with Keyboard Cat afterwards.
Above: Make sure your hair is perfectly tousled before you engage in the act of jumping
Above: The music video “Jump” by Van Halen
Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles
“Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles is another must-have for Rock Band 3’s set list. It’s a song about how the birth of new technology marked the death of a time we can never return to. Speaking of which, the second verse from the song could very well be about you playing bastardized versions of hits to death on your videogame console, but that’s okay. It’s still a catchy tune that’s popular enough that almost anyone will be able to do the vocals.
“They took the credit for your second symphony.
Rewritten by machine and new technology,
and now I understand the problems you can see.”
- The second verse from “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles
Above: Keyboarding is serious business. We can only hope that we’ll be able to plug-in no less than four keyboard controllers in Rock Band 3
Above: “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles
99 Luftballons – Nena
“99 Luftballons” is a song about war, peace and balloons - red balloons that guitarist Carlo Karges imagined floating over to the Soviet side of the Berlin Wall. A little helium, a lot of love, and a catchy keyboard riff helped make “99 Luftballons” the first German song to reach the top ten charts in the US since “Sailor (Your Home Is the Sea)” an Austrian pop song from 1960 that we’re sure you’ve never heard.
Above: You’ve got to love the way the keyboard riff “pops” in “99 Luftballons.” So awesome
Above: The original German version of “99 Luftballons” was more popular in the US than the English “99 Red Balloons” version because the original version is always better
Take on Me - a-ha
It was the unforgettable music video that helped make “Take on Me” one of the most memorable singles of the 1980s. But it was the song’s catchy keyboard melody that made it the quintessential synth pop song of the decade. If we had to choose just one song to play on the keyboard in Rock Band 3, this would be it.
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