Number one with a bullet
Listening to the music in the 1980s was tough, if Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (opens in new tab) is anything to go by. There was no Spotify, no iTunes, no Pandora - instead, you had to get in your helicopter, fly out to a bunch of different outposts and encampments, and steal a cassette tape from some unsuspecting soldiers' boombox. They can be a bit tricky to find, though, but luckily you've stumbled across this guide.
One of MGS5's goofiest surprises is the inclusion of several licensed tracks, each one strewn about its two open environments. Not only can you listen to them as you're riding around on D-Horse or infiltrating enemy bases, but you can also blare them on your helicopter's speaker system. Want to ride into battle while blasting Europe's 'The Final Countdown'? Of course you do! Read on, and you'll be on your way to collecting them all.
Quick note: These cassettes are listed in the order they appear on your iDroid after you collect them. And if you have the PC version, you can use whatever song you want by dragging MP3s to the game's 'CustomSoundtrack' folder, so go nuts.
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'Gloria' - Laura Branigan
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Nova Braga Airport
There are a collection of buildings on the east side of the airport. This late disco-era hit is playing in the southern half of the two story building on the second floor.
Good for the helicopter? This dance floor filler may not exactly inspire fear in your enemies, but it's catchy as hell, and it'll definitely get you pumped for your excursions into the field.
'Kids in America' - Kim Wilde
Location: Afghanistan - Da Shago Kallai
This will probably be one of the first cassettes you find, as you'll likely come across it naturally during 'A Hero's Way'. In case you missed it, it's located on the first floor of the main building in the center of the encampment.
Good for the helicopter? Another poppy hit that'll get you singing along in no time. Good thing enemy guards can't hear you shouting 'woooah', or you'd be screwed.
'Rebel Yell - 1999 Digital Remaster' - Billy Idol
Location: Afghanistan - Mountain Relay Base
This one's another easy tape to spot, and you'll likely come across it in 'Where Do The Bees Sleep?' Just follow the main road down the Mountain Relay Base, and head under a tent right before the massive bridge, and the boombox is resting on some boxes.
Good for the helicopter? Billy Idol may not be as 'edgy' as his persona makes him out to be, but this is a hell of a song. The intro kicks off immediately, and by the time your chopper drops you off, you're already pumping your fist.
'The Final Countdown' - Europe
Location: Afghanistan - Qarya Sakhra Ee
This one's a little tricky to find, mainly because the village is so big. But you're looking for a single hut on the southernmost part of the village. It's inside on a cabinet in the corner right when you walk in. Just keep your ears open for that instantly recognizable synth melody.
Good for the helicopter? This is quite possibly one of the best helicopter songs on this list. That brassy synth intro will immediately strike fear into your foes' hearts.
'Take On Me' - A-ha
Location: Afghanistan - Yakho Oboo Outpost
The main base is separated into two halves, with a heliport in the middle. This cassette is located on the first floor of the southern half of the building, on a table next to a window overlooking the anti-air radar.
Good for the helicopter? Don't get me wrong, this is a great song, but personally, I find it a bit too poppy for the helicopter's loudspeakers.
'Maneater' - Hall & Oates
Location: Afghanistan - Lamar Khaate Palace
If you head inside the ruined palace, you'll find this tune inside a boombox located on a table on the third floor.
Good for the helicopter? Sometimes you need some Hall & Oates. And by sometimes, I mean all of the time.
'Only Time Will Tell' - Asia
Location: Afghanistan - Eastern Communications Post
Here, you're looking for a building that brushes right up against the anti-air radar. Inside, you'll find some radio equipment, as well as the boombox you're looking for.
Good for the helicopter? It's got a great synth intro too, but it's no 'Final Countdown'.
'Love Will Tear Us Apart' - Joy Division
Location: Afghanistan - Central Base Camp
My personal favorite song in the collection, you'll find this underground hit in a tent on the east side of the base camp. There are three blue, single-story buildings directly to the northeast, and a massive concrete structure with a '01' on it directly to the southwest.
Good for the helicopter? No, it's probably not the best song on the list to use for your excursions in the field, but damn if I don't love this song. This was my go-to for a while - well, until I found...
'True' - Spandau Ballet
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Kungenga Mine
If you look at your map, you'll notice that the main path into the mine goes around a bowl in the center. Follow that road all the way around to the southeasternmost part of village that overlooks the gorge in the middle, and you'll see a white building near an anti-air radar. This tune is in one of the rooms of this building.
Good for the helicopter? You wouldn't think a slow jam like 'True' would be a good fit for storming bases, but there's a certain quality to the dissonance that comes from raining hellfire down on an outpost with a gatling gun while the slow, staccato guitar intro fades in.
'Friday I'm In Love' - The Cure
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Lufwa Valley, mansion
Whoever owns this mansion must be a huge fan of The Cure, because the building is under heavy guard. Work your way into the second floor of the mansion, and you'll find the boombox on a table next to some materials. For a point of reference, there's some radio equipment in the opposite direction on the same floor.
Good for the helicopter? Again, great song, but it's sappy as hell.
'Dancing With Tears In My Eyes' - Ultravox
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Ditadi Abandoned Village
This tape is at the top of the north hill underneath a canopy, next to some radio equipment.
Good for the helicopter? I'd actually never heard this song before playing this game, so I have no real attachment to it. Song's pretty good, but I don't know if it's helicopter good.
'You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)' - Dead or Alive
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Lufwa Valley, Guard Post #08
This cassette is located on a table under a makeshift ramada in the middle of an encampment directly northwest of the huge mansion in Africa.
Good for the helicopter? This song is weird as hell - so yeah, it's perfect.
'Quiet Life' - Japan
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Mfinda Oilfield
Near the fast-travel point and the anti-air radar on the east side of the oilfield, you'll find a set of buildings. You want the southernmost building, and the boombox will be inside the only room you can enter.
Good for the helicopter? I dig the hell out of this song - it launches right out of the gate with some fantastic jangly new wave guitars. Fire it up.
'She Blinded Me With Science' - Thomas Dolby
Location: Afghanistan - Da Wialo Kallai, Guard Post #18
This 80's classic is at a guard post to the northeast of Da Wialo Kallai. Just sneak right up to the tent and snag it.
Good for the helicopter? It's certainly a signature 80's song, but it's too quirky for my tastes, especially while I'm riding into battle.
'Too Shy' - Kajagoogoo
Location: Angola-Zaire Border - Kiziba Camp
On the southernmost tip of the camp, you'll find a tent next to an anti-air radar. You'll find this catchy tune playing inside the tent.
Good for the helicopter? Everyone remembers the tongue twister of a chorus, but the intro to this song has an amazing groove to it. I used this song for a while, truth be told.
'The Man Who Sold The World' - Midge Ure
Location: You've already got this one!
Hey, look at you! Your music collection may start out small, but you're already on your way with this Midge Ure cover of the David Bowie classic.
Good for the helicopter It's certainly a strange choice, but there's a certain resonance to the dreamlike quality of the intro that makes it a perfect fit for the game.