I've said it before: I friggin' love Rock Band. I don't even want to know how much I spent on downloadable content for that game. I know I got a ton of Microsoft Points for free, which paid for about half of my library, but there was still another half that I bought with real cash-money.
It is going to be difficult to pin down five individual tracks for this list, but I'm going to give it the ol' college try. Same rules apply for this list as the others: It's my list, so it'll probably be a lot different from yours, and that's fine. If you have some other favorites, I'd love to hear 'em! Post in the comments!
Big Dipper - All Going Out Together
One of the vast reasons why I love Harmonix: Big Dipper? In MY Rock Band? Hells yeah! This is an awesome track that came in a three-pack of Big Dipper Songs, which means that this fairly-obscure band got 33% more exposure in Rock Band than Radiohead ever did. Big Dipper is a band that is native to the Boston area, which is also where Rock Band dev Harmonix calls home. I'm sure a ton of people at HMX were stoked to release this DLC, and I guarantee that you will have a blast playing it.
Rush - Subdivisions
I was going to put 2112 on this list, but I have yet to see anyone I know play through the entire song in one sitting with a full band. TWENTY GODDAMN MINUTES? Most people can't deal with that.
Rush is... Well, they're Rush. Fantastic band. Really, really hard to get into. I mean, when you're dealing with a band that has so much product out there that the average record store won't come close to stocking their complete studio discography, you've got a bit of a problem. Personally, I love Signals, which is where "Subdivisions" comes from. It's very synth-heavy, which is a far cry from their original Who-Meets-Zeppelin sort of sound from their first three albums. Signals has a lot less of Ayn Rand's philosophy behind it, too. Some of the heavy-handed objectivism-inspired lyrics of the albums Fly By Night and 2112 are hard to reccommend to people, and fortunately Rush went away from that by the time of Signals.
This was one of the tracks that launched when Rock Band 3 released, and I grabbed it almost immediately. It's a really fun track that has complex drumming and some fun vocals to wail out. It'll give your keyboard a run for its money, as well.
Mission of Burma - That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate
This track is loud, chaotic punk rock, and I love it! This is a Rock Band track that you WILL fail if you haven't listened to the song before, and I'm guessing that for a lot of people in the Rock Band community, they failed at this track HARD.
Mission of Burma is, like, *the* definition of loud music. Webster's Dictionary should just play a little sample of "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate" when you turn to the page that has the word "loud" defined on it. This track came out in the early 1980s, off of their album Vs. They initially broke up in 1992, but they've since gone on to record more albums than they ever did back when they were influencing every band ever.
Their style is basically a train wreck of post-punk and alternative rock that somehow falls into place, coupled with delay and echoing effects that can turn some tracks into great pieces of music, and others into a barely-coherent mess. Their live shows are similarly unbalanced, if rumors are to be believed.
Fun fact: the band kept going after the studio recording of this track ended due to them running out of tape. The band decided that they liked it that way, so they kept the abrupt ending that you hear on the final track. Neat.
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust
I am a sucker for 80s alternative. I don't really know why, but I cannot get enough of this stuff. If you want to channel your inner goth (people will hate me for saying that, but whatever), check this track out. It's really synth-heavy, and the lyrics, like most of Siouxsie & The Banshees' work, are dark and somewhat depressing. But that synth, though! Awesome stuff. Simple enough to play on expert without much issue, but catchy enough to stay in your head for the better part of a month. That's kind of what this genre is all about, anyway: upbeat synth-heavy music, with dark lyrics. Woo.
Living Colour - Cult of Personality
Let's get something out of the way first:
Living Colour is a band from New York City. "In Living Color" was a sketch comedy show.
Got that? Good.
Yes, this song was in Guitar Hero III (as a re-recorded version by the band because Activision couldn't find the original master recording. The one in RB is the original master track. So, uh, bite it, Activision!). This song was also in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It was also around 15 years before that, as a real song that you could hear on the radio and on The Arsenio Hall Show.
But to hell with that. CM Punk is probably the reason people know this song today. Hell, I know a couple of people who thought this song was recorded for Punk to use in WWE.
Spoilers: It wasn't. It wasn't even the first time he used the song before as a pro wrestler.
This is a Rock Band party staple, for sure. The guitar is really, really hard to get down in a fun way, not a frustrating way (a la Dream Theater's "Constant Motion". Eff that song), and the lyrics are really fun to shout out when it suddenly becomes the early hours of the morning and you clearly need sleep. Fun times.
Fun fact: You get bonus points if you start the song by kneeling, drawing a line in the sand, and checking your imaginary watch before yelling "It's Clobberin' Time!"