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If you've played Grand Theft Auto then you know that a good soundtrack is essential to the game.
While you might not pay a huge amount of attention to what was coming through the speakers of your recently stolen car, it can provide some light entertainment when you have to drive from point A to point B to pick something up during a mission.
Everyone had their favourite radio station, whether it was Wildstyle, Flash FM, K-Chat, Fever 105, V-Rock, Vice City Public Radio, Radio Espantoso, Emotion 98.3 or Wave 103. Some featured endless talkback from racist or outrageous hosts and slightly deranged callers, while others specialised in churning out banger after banger.
But 15 years since its release, it still stands as one of the best soundtracks to a Grand Theft Auto game.
To be fair, the game was set in Miami in the 1980s, so the creators had a decent collection of music to choose from. Executive Producer Sam Houser told Edge Online: "The first time I played the game with the music, when I was over at [Rockstar] North, I was like, 'woah'.
"I had a weird reaction. It felt like crossing a line between the reality and the fiction and all this sort of stuff, and I was like, 'I don't quite know how this is going to work out'.
Mr Houser should have had much more confidence in the tracks the team chose because they were simply sublime; they made the gameplay so much better.
Like when you embark on a rampage with Slayer's 'Raining Blood' blasting through your TV, or when you're cruising from Ocean Beach to Little Havana on a fresh AF motorbike while 'Juicy Fruit' by Mtume comes on. You could be walking around at night listening to 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life', 'Billie Jean' or 'Run To You', and it would get you into the groove of that song.
Much to the dismay of my parents' musical education, there's a high probability that I would have never been exposed to these songs had it not been for GTA: Vice City. For a full list of all the more than 100 tracks featured in the game, click here.
Executive Producer Sam Houser has a particular memory that sticks out for him: "It would have to be sitting on a PCJ600, driving down the main strip listening to 'Out Of Touch' by Hall and Oates. I always liked Hall and Oates but that was the track that I wasn't familiar with.
"A lot of the music we put in that game was stuff that we kind of re-researched and rediscovered, so it was either kind of newish to us or it felt very fresh.
"So, going over the issues I had initially with the real-life music, by the time the actual game was finished I was so connected with it that I thought it was just stunning."
We feel the same way Sam.
When GTA: Vice City was released in 2002, It won a ton of awards, but critics came in thick and fast because, naturally, it was violent, explicit and played on negative racial stereotypes. Despite this it became the fastest selling video game of all time, with a whopping 1.4 million copies sold in just 48 hours.
I'd like to think that the soundtrack played a role in that.
Sources: Edge Online
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar North
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