The past few months have been all about themed DLC packages, and it’s been awhile since we’ve put together a bunch of singles just because they’re good songs that we like. This week we’re going back to our roots - no concept here, just five killer tunes that we had to add sooner or later.
We always wore our Boston roots proudly, but nobody’s more proud of this town than the Dropkick Murphys who created one of the all-time local anthems with “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” They play it at parades. They play it at sports events. They play it on St. Patrick’s Day. They play it on the Massachusetts Turnpike and won’t let you in the city limits until you know the words. (Okay, we made that last one up). The band borrowed the words from immortal folksinger Woody Guthrie, who never dreamed he’d wind up in a video game. Personally, we’re proud that Boston is the only city with a rock anthem about a soldier with a wooden leg.
Two songs we’re sure you grew up with are up next. Blind Melon’s “No Rain” was the Los Angeles group Blind Melon’s breakthrough in 1992, an acoustically driven song that sports a sensitive lyric and plenty of Shannon Hoon’s trademark high notes; play it and prove you’ve got depth. Then plug into Eve 6’s 1998 smash “Inside Out,” and soak up the existential angst and power chords, SoCal-style.
Wrapping up the package are two classic slices of Brit-pop. Blur’s “There’s No Other Way” was the band’s second single and first major smash in 1991. Rather than stay in that groove, Damon Albarn and company decided to shake up the formula, which kept things interesting over the next couple of decades. Check last week’s Gorillaz pack for details. The Kaiser Chiefs’ “I Predict a Riot” got the world singing along in 2005, with its spiky guitars and between the eyes chorus. Singer Ricky Wilson was working as a club DJ when he co-wrote the song; he was probably playing a lot of classic '70s punk that week.