Announcing the first Beatle to appear on Rock Band! Yes, George Harrison brings a touch of fab to the game this week: He’s the guest acoustic guitarist and backup singer on Tom Petty’s hit “I Won‘t Back Down,” a mighty hit single from 1989. (Ringo’s sort-of represented too, since he played on the video though not on the record). Petty himself has gotten more than his share of requests, so we’re glad to release both this and “Running Down a Dream” - two of the first collaborations between Petty and Jeff Lynne, the ELO leader who’d reconnect with Petty many times over the years. The camaraderie was so high that Petty, Lynne and Harrison wound up calling their pals Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison to form the Traveling Wilburys - so yes, all five Wilburys are now represented in Rock Band. And we hear on good authority that the rest of The Beatles will be arriving in, oh, about two weeks.
The rest of this week’s DLC is dedicated to those of you who write us with questions like, “Hey, Rock Band! How come you have THIS hit by my favorite band, but not THAT hit? How come you chose Song X to be in the game, when everybody knows that Song Y was the timeless classic?” So maybe you love Fleetwood Mac but “Go Your Own Way” wasn’t the hit you were after, you wanted “Don’t Stop” instead. Well, now you got it, along with the lesser-known Mac gem “World Turning.” Though it also features the Rumours-era lineup with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, it harks back to Mac’s origins as a British blues band and sports a gritty vocal from Christine McVie, who wrote the song with Buckingham.
After playing “White Wedding” in Rock Band, all the Billy Idol fans were yelling “More, more, more!” We’re glad to follow up with two more of the spiky-haired guy’s biggies: “Rebel Yell” and his slicked-up version of the Tommy James & the Shondells classic “Mony Mony.” Idol had recently left the punk band Generation X, moved to NYC and linked up with guitar hero Steve Stevens; these were the songs that made him one of the kings of MTV. We can’t promise higher scores if you sneer just like Billy Idol, but it surely won’t hurt.
This week’s final release is more of a future hit: “She’s a Genius” is a brand-new track by the Australian combo Jet, from their new album Shaka Rock that hits the streets this week. It’s everything a Jet song should be - primitive, sexy and fun - so if you loved swaggering to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” you should love this as well.