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

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, horn riffs and 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, although most 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 composer Giorgio 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 its theme song, appropriate to the mid-'80s setting as it was, was nowhere near as badass.

Nov 30, 2010

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  • CancerMan - December 1, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    Loved this. I can remember not starting the game for minutes at a time just listing to the theme on the XMB
  • philipshaw - December 1, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Thanks for posting this Mikel. I feel that the music in the handheld GTA games is unappreciated, this game and Chinatown wars have some of the best music in any GTA game
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - December 1, 2010 4:02 p.m.

    I'm still interested in finishing this, and with no new GTA on the horizon for a year or more, I will. Also, Danger Mouse is the truth ya heard.
  • elpurplemonkey - December 1, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    For some reason I thought this was about Chinatown Wars. Still good music though.
  • Icehearted - December 1, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    When I first got my PSP (a fat, no less), this was one for the first three titles I snapped right up for it, and I remember resetting the game just to check out the intro again. A friend of mine seemed unimpressed, so I'm glad to see I'm not the only one now that thought it was slick.
  • spideralex90 - December 1, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    Danger Mouse is the bomb. Everything he touches is gold.
  • toastile - December 1, 2010 4:42 a.m.

    For some reason I think this sounds a little like the Black Books theme.
  • cardinaL - December 1, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    Danger Mouse is the shit. Huge DangerDoom fan.
  • TheRedRabbit - December 1, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    Never played it, unfortunately, but a very cool intro music indeed! Might I add that Giorgio Moroder also has a very cool song in the Scarface game called "Success" if I am not mistaken, it was supposed to be in the movie but it was cut out, it's pretty cool if you are looking for new ideas for gmotd! =)
  • G0D - December 1, 2010 12:44 a.m.

    Bueno Señor Reparaz
  • batmanboy11 - December 1, 2010 12:42 a.m.

  • JohnDagger - December 1, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    Love that song, I would stay at the pre-title screen screens to listen to that song over and over again.
  • CH3BURASHKA - December 1, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    I would debate as to which game has the better theme song, but this is indeed pretty cool. Has a touch of the Eastern European.
  • AltairFoggz - November 30, 2010 11:54 p.m.

    Love that Danger Mouse song

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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