About a year ago we reveled in the dorky glory of gaming’s cheesiest music, a thorough collection of hopelessly goofy game songs that will inspire facepalms for years to come. This time we’re focusing on actual bands or contracted jingle-slingers who crafted tunes based on games that never needed a lyrical companion in the first place.
The results are highly literal, bullet-pointed compositions that are wholly terrible, yet undeniably fascinating by their mere existence. Someone sat down, furrowed their brow and committed many frustrating nights to the creation of a song about space aliens or immortal vampires.
If you only hear 10 shitty songs this week, they’d better all be in this article. Truly head shaking stuff here, folks. Let’s listen!
Standout lyric: “You slid to the left, you slid to the right / You’re the Space Invaders king tonight.”
Very likely the first instance of a real-world musician gaining fame by writing a song about a popular videogame. It’s loaded with pew-pew-pew noises taken straight from the game (did anyone ask Taito?!?) and lyrics that paint a stirring picture of a dude zoning out in front of a Space Invaders arcade cabinet, all sung with the gravelly gravitas of Sgt. Slaughter.
Gotta hand it to Uncle Vic though – it’s damn catchy. If his expert handling of Invaders’ sweeping storyline impresses you enough to seek more Vic masterpieces, check his streaming myspace page. Fair warning: he’s also a radio DJ so get ready for JOKES.
Standout lyric: “If you can get them before they get you / They go back to the top and start on rack two!”
Everyone knows the Pac-Man Fever album – it was a shared mass hallucination the entire US suffered in 1982, strong enough to convince millions of radio listeners that a song about goddamn Pac-Man should peak at #8 on the Billboard charts. Far worse than the title track, however, was this misguidedly earnest tale about Centipede.
The tone is caught somewhere between frivolity and genuine sincerity, with a sound reminiscent of The Killers making fun of Dire Straits. Buckner & Garcia pull it off so straight-faced and emotional that we’d wager “Centipede” could be played over the tractor showdown in Footloose and the scene would lose absolutely none of its tension.
Standout lyric: “With my magic book I’ll shower / Those clumsy lizards with my power”
Wow. Just wow. An upbeat song about the Mushroom Kingdom, performed by Bowser with such gusto it could be an aborted Broadway musical. For a throwaway song on a forgotten CD (called White Knuckle Scorin’), it’s not half bad in a “wait, this really happened?” kind of way.
It’s sprinkled with enough banjo for a “Bowser Went Down to Georgia” feel, and the spirited chorus ties it all together into a truly indescribable musical gem. Want more weird? The band responsible, Jellyfish, has quite a history, including a member who went on to write for Puffy AmiYumi. Oh, one more thing…
Above: Album cover from Wikipedia
Above: Zooming in… is that a Wii spitting out GameCube discs… in 1991?
Next page – Mario raps like it’s 1993, Dracula gets funky and Mortal Kombat throws a rave