Game music of the day: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

Game: Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Song: A Dark March

Composer: Danger Mouse


Above: A Dark March from GTA: Liberty City Stories

When Rockstar Games brought its flagship Grand Theft Auto series to PSP, it knew it had to immediately show the world that this wasn't some lame spinoff or watered-down version of the console originals. Liberty City Stories was a full-fledged entry in the series, and to prove it, Rockstar hired no less a musician than Danger Mouse to compose one of the best theme songs ever attached to the series.

A Dark March sets the tone for LCS perfectly, with martial drumbeats, hornriffsand what sounds like a dulcimer evoking images of old-world Italy and mob war - two things readily associated with the game's mobster protagonist, Toni Cipriani. And like most things, it's even better when viewed in its original context - in this case, the game's intro.

This being a GTA game, it also featured a ton of licensed music, althoughmost of it was relatively under-the-radar stuff compared to the instantly recognizable hits that filled out the playlists of Vice City and San Andreas. There were a few standouts, however, with the biggest probably being Scarface composerGiorgio Moroder, whose work made up the entirety of the Flashback FM radio playlist (just like it did in GTA III).

LCS also featured something new to the series: Radio del Mundo, a World-beat station that featured mainly Indian and Middle Eastern pop songs. These fit the business of high-speed driving and murder surprisingly well, although perhaps none did so as well as Dum Maro Dum ("Take Another Toke") by Asha Bhosle, from the apparently hippie-filled 1971 Bollywood movie Hare Ram Hare Krishna.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course - LCS featured a surprisingly big playlist for a handheld game, especially in 2005. Vice City Stories, released the following year, expanded on it even further with more recognizable hits (as well as more interesting gameplay overall), but somehow, it just wasn't as special. And itstheme song, appropriate to the mid-'80s setting as it was, was nowhere near as badass.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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