The year is winding down, and it’s a time for reflection. In that spirit, here are some Rock Band and RockBand.com highlights from 2009:
The Beatles: Rock Band was released on 9/9/09. An immersive music experience, the game offers players an unprecedented, experiential progression through the music and artistry of The Beatles. Three full-album downloads were released for gameplay in the following three months – Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Rubber Soul. In December, The Beatles: Rock Band won the 2009 Spike Video Game Award for Best Music Game. For more on The Beatles: Rock Band, click here.
LEGO Rock Band was released, featuring family-friendly music, in-game customizable LEGO minifigs, and LEGO-ized versions of Queen, Blur, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop. LEGO Rock Band merges two of the most popular videogame franchises to deliver a unique family-friendly music experience that will take tweens, teens, families and gamers of all ages on a wild journey to rock stardom in order to “Build a Band and Rock the Universe.” For more on LEGO Rock Band, click here.
We announced Green Day: Rock Band at the Spike VGA show, a fully-exportable Green Day game featuring their likenesses, plus select venues and art specific to the band’s history. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong says, “We want people to fire this up, choose their favorite Green Day tracks, and play along with us as Rock Band avatars so they can feel what it's like to perform on stage as Green Day.” For more on Green Day: Rock Band, click here.
The Rock Band Network was announced, allowing anyone to get their music into Rock Band using tools provided by Harmonix. These professional authoring tools give any band the power to create a Rock Band game track and sell it in the Rock Band Network Music Store. These tools will be available to bands, studios, and record labels in order to build a diverse and growing library of music that's sure to satisfy the tastes of hardcore gamers and casual fans alike. For more information on the Rock Band Network, click here.
We started the Official Harmonix Rock Band podcast, the official Rock Band Twitter account, and started posting DLC announcements on the official Rock Band Facebook page. Now you can get your Rock Band news any way you want it!
We interviewed tons of Rock Band artists this year, some of whom played their own tracks in Rock Band for us! In case you missed it, here are some of the exciting interviews from 2009:
- Jimmy Eat World visits Harmonix
- Oxytocin, a collection of non-Rock Band Harmonix artists, released a CD and played a live show.
- An epic three part interview with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three
- We sit down for a chat with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready in this video interview.
- Double interview for double DLC – Styx & REO Speedwagon talk to us about touring, their DLC, and more…all at midnight!
- The Donnas’ drummer Torry Castellano talks to us about touring and how not to pick up a member of The Donnas.
- A very special interview with Ministry’s Al Jourgensen that left our interviewer speechless.
- We chat with with Coheed & Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez in this video interview.
- Big Dipper plays Big Dipper in Rock Band, and then plays Cannibal Corpse…
We wrapped up the 52 Weeks to Rock article series that we started in ’08, teaching you how to develop real rock star skills. You can read through the whole series by clicking here, but here are some highlights to get you started:
- Giving Props to Props
- Getting Signed: How to Get Your Demo Past the Intern
- Nancy is a Punk Rocker: The Hellion’s Tour Diaries, Part 1
- I Got a Free Bird For Ya, Buddy: Dealing With Hecklers
- Rock the World, Pass the Twizzlers: A Crash Course in Tour Bus Survival
- How to Win Fans and Influence People: Projecting “Rockability” Onstage
- First Gigs, Nightmare or Otherwise
- Dealing with Band Member Turnover
- Be My Stevie and I’ll Be Your Lindsey: To Date or Not To Date Your Bandmates
- Backstages We Have Known: True Stories From the Rock and Roll Depths!
- Welcome to the Internet: How Not to Suck at Web Promotion
- HMX Bands Showcase: How To Go From Work To A Gig In Style
And for those of you looking to learn the music skills to back up your strutting and stage presence, we launched the Berkleemusic School of Rock featuring video lessons from the legendary music school. Take the next step in learning a real instrument by checking out the free lessons at RockBand.com.
The Harmonix Community team visited some awesome places and took video and wrote stories along the way. You can read about all their exploits by clicking here, but here are some highlights:
- Community Team Inside Abbey Road
- HMX Community on the Road: E3 Booth Walk-Through
- The Beatles: Rock Band Roof Top Concert at The Standard
- We Had A Ticket to Ride (Community Team at Paul McCartney’s historic Citi Field performance)
- Harmonix on the Road at QVC
- The Beatles: Rock Band at Fenway Park
- Abbey Road Tour
- From the Judges’ Table: Our Tips for Acing Your Next Rock Band Competition
- Rock Band Nights at Improv Boston
Of course, we also released weekly DLC, bringing you new tracks to add to your Rock Band collection every single week. 2009 saw us hit 1,000 songs available for Rock Band, including a ten-pack from Queen, Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking album, Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy album, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Backspacer albums, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood album, plus giant metal packs, country packs, and the introduction of family-friendly DLC for use in LEGO Rock Band or on your family’s Rock Band night.
Stay tuned in 2010 as we continue to bring you weekly DLC (starting with a three-pack of live Paul McCartney tracks), Green Day: Rock Band’s debut, exclusive interviews with Rock Band artists, behind the scenes and Rock Band on the Road stories, and more!