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Best of RBN 1.0
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Best of RBN 1.0

Rock Band Network is among the most innovative features a video game has ever had and Harmonix actually added it to a game we had already bought a year later, free of charge.  Authoring groups, labels, and independent bands jumped at the chance to get their music into the game.  About a year later here we are with over 1,000 new songs to play from a huge variety of genres and styles and we’re now ready for Rock Band Network 2.0.

Rock Band community superstar @SebastianSB pulled together a collaborative “Best Of” list for RBN 1.0 both to honor the names that have stood out the most to us and to show people what they may have missed.  A number of Rock Band community personalities, RBN authors, and Harmonix employees  contributed their favorite songs to the list and a panel of judges voted to determine which songs would make the final list and what order they would appear in.  I’m very happy to see a great amount of variety in the final list.  You won’t agree with all of the choices, but there should be something here for everyone!

#20. Texas in July – Hook, Line, and Sinner

“Another one that’s perfect for drummers. If you like hard-as-nails metal and you love get your ass handed to you by incredibly tough drum charts, “Hook, Line and Sinner” is the song for you. It’s all over the place, a relentless four minute assault on your limbs with some of the craziest drum fills imaginable (but unlike a lot of those sorts of songs , these are actually humanly-possible!).  For other instruments, you know what you’re getting. Vocals get scream-heavy yelling, bassists get fast, consistent strumming and guitarists get the same, with some added fast HOPOs cropping up along the way.” – zigs00, TrueAchievements News Manager

#19. iwrestledabearonce – Tastes Like Kevin Bacon

“I’m not normally a fan of this sort of metal, but iwrestledabearonce is anything but your usual band.  Krysta’s vocals alternate between the expected screams and some haunting, drawn out tones while the guitar is constantly throwing triplets, chords, and some pretty absurd trills at you.  The song often feels like it’s jumping genres, and there’s even a vocal Easter Egg of sorts and a harp solo in there just to make sure you’re paying attention.  This one ain’t for the kiddies, and few are going to make it out alive.” – SebastianSB, Fish Out of Water

#18. Quartered – Africa

“Africa, not to be confused with the very famous song by Toto. The song is introduced by a two minute intro with chanting and a very fun drum solo.  That intro will either make or break you. The guitar and bass make a subtle transition between the intro and the rest of the song, and don’t think it ever gets boring. The rest of the song is a gorgeous relaxing metal track that is just fun to listen to.” – tsunamishadow, TrueAchievements Community

#17. MC Frontalot – Bizarro Genius Baby

“Oh, MC Frontalot, I do love you so very much. Just reading the lyrics on the web page gets me to LOL. “Bizarro Genius Baby” has some deceptively tricky guitar bits … hilariously funny if you are a geek, nerd, gamer, or a parent.” – HMXMisterGame, RBN Senior Producer

#16. Rodrigo y Gabriela – Buster Voodoo

“Hey, guitarists – want a challenge?  I’m not looking at the latest metal offerings from the RBN, but at “Buster Voodoo”, an acoustic instrumental rock piece with devil heads on both of the only available parts.  (Note: the “bass” part is rhythm guitar, not bass.)  At first, it doesn’t sound all that scary, but trust me, you won’t be falling asleep.  If you’re on Expert, it’ll rip your fingers off and feed them to you in a friendly, courteous kind of way, especially around the second guitar solo.  Have fun!” – HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

#15. Super Gravity – Makeup/Breakup (Original Version)

“If you’re a drummer, you NEED this song. It is without doubt the best, most enjoyable and fun song I’ve ever played behind the kit; an absolute blast from start to finish. It’s frantic, fast and all over the place, and god is it amazing!  But don’t think this is just for drummers! Oh no, this song is brilliant on every instrument: loud, powerful vocals, a really strong bass groove and awesome, chord-heavy guitar with a kickass solo. A perfect song for any four-piece band.” – zigs00, TrueAchievements News Manager

#14. Alchemilla – Bleeder

“I’m a big fan of female vocals paired with powerful rock instruments, and Alchemilla has just that. This song won’t be challenging the elite Rock Band players, but it more than makes up for it with crisp female vocals that superbly compliment catchy and memorable instrumentals.” – RockBandAide

#13. Rainbowdragoneyes – Creatures ov Deception

“I recently and randomly (okay, it was probably because of VVVVVV) got on a chiptunes kick. And I found out there’s rock bands that use chiptunes as the core of their sound. And then Rainbowdragoneyes appeared and I found out there’s metal bands that do the same thing. And I found out that it actually works. And I found out that it’s really really tough to play. So if you like those really really tough songs, here you go.” – FairwoodStudios, RBN community

#12. RX Bandits – Bled To Be Free (The Operation)

“This band is listed as being reggae, ska, progressive, and alternative, so all you know going in is that this isn’t going to sound like anything you’ve heard before.  The notes come flying at you at a frantic pace from the very beginning and the timing just keeps changing and changing as the song goes on.  The drums are absolutely insane and are bound to make sure that you don’t forget about them any time soon.” – SebastianSB, Incomprehensible Rambler

#11. Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies (Live)

“Who doesn’t love having a bit of banjo here and there?  It leads to a pretty interesting chart with tons of tricky HO/POs and strumming patterns that should take you quite a while to master.  The drums are simple but pretty fast, and there’s a nice solo waiting for you in there.  If you haven’t given Celtic punk a shot in the past this is the perfect time to do so!” – SebastianSB, Pseudoceltic

#10. Fake Problems – Soulless

“Super jangly guitars, almost like a slightly poppier Gaslight Anthem with these little doo-woppy “oooooh ooooooooohs” and Town Called Malice style ‘bapbapbaddabap’s in the backing vocals.” HMXHenry, Community Manager

#9. Me Talk Pretty – Wake Up

“From Julia Preotu’s first savage, beautiful cry – “Wake up, wake up, I’m losing control!” – it’s obvious that Me Talk Pretty is not here to mess around.  “Wake Up” is a tribute to Julia’s mother, who died of pneumonia a few years ago.  It’s haunting, hypnotic, and driven with a furious rock beat.  Though I personally loved the vocals, I’m confident no one in your band will be bored playing it.” – HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

#8. The Main Drag – How We’d Look On Paper

“Remember John Drake? He’s that guy from Harmonix that you see on Youtube all the time who looks like he’s managed to somehow replace his entire blood supply with Red Bull.  Now picture him with a pair of drum sticks.  It turns out that when he’s not dressing up like one of the Dixie Chicks he does a pretty good job at creating one of the most interesting drum charts that’s ever graced the platform.  If you want a sampler, Jagged Gorgeous Winter is available for free as a part of Rock Band Free Pack 01.  If you like that song, How We’d Look On Paper and the rest of the songs from The Main Drag’s two albums are only 80 Microsoft points each!” – SebastianSB, Nights Filled With Longer Hours

#7. Govt’ Mule – Broke Down on the Brazos

“If you’re a plastic guitar enthusiast, you’ll be sure to appreciate the fun charts here on guitar and bass. The guitar (excellently performed by none other than Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top here) has multiple solos, rivaling songs such as “Train Kept a Rollin'” and “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” for pure value. The bass part is a finger-twistingly good time, filled to the brim with HOPOs galore. If you dig down and dirty bluesy rock, you’d be remiss to not pick this one up!” – S1ckH4nds, RBN Community

#6. Reverend Horton Heat – Indigo Friends

“The rockabilly stomp by way of lounge lizard crooning combine to form the rowdy mix of psychobilly that Reverend Horton Heat have been spreading across the land for over 20 years. “Indigo Friends” packs a punch on all instruments, with guitars full of twang, tricky swing drums and thick and steady bass that makes me wish we could package the track with an upright bass peripheral.” – HMXHenry, Community Manager

#5. Scale the Summit – The Great Plains

“Every now and then, a song is released that you can see yourself loading up over and over and over again without ever getting bored of hearing or playing it. This is one of those songs.  Vocalists are sorely out of luck with this instrumental, but it’s a real winner for bassists, guitarists and drummers. Sure, it’s not the hardest of songs for any of them, but it’s a gorgeous, stunning song littered with amazing guitar work, incredible basslines and some of the most unique and distinctive drum parts I’ve ever played. With heaps of variation and transformation throughout, it doesn’t get boring for even a second.” – zigs00, TrueAchievements News Manager

#4. Jonathan Coulton – Betty and Me

“Are you disappointed that the JoCo songs in your library aren’t challenging enough on guitar? Well buckle up, buckaroos. It turns out that banjo translates really well to Rock Band, with a fast devil-tiered guitar part that’s going to make your wrist ache, a foot-stomping drum track, and hilarious lyrics.”  – HMXMister_Game, RBN Senior Producer

#3. Fang Island – Daisy

“This is easily the happiest song on this list.  It’s still going to give you a strong kick between the legs, but at least it’ll smile while it does it.  Guitarists are confronted with a somewhat standard but fast chart that begins and ends with a keyboard-on-guitar section that might give you Visions flashbacks.  Drummers slapped across the face with a chart with ever-changing styles that smells of flowers and confetti as it humbles all but the mightiest.  Just turn on No-Fail mode and sing along with the ‘a-woah-woah’s as a group.” – SebastianSB, Pretentious Fool

#2. Bang Camaro – Swallow the Razor

“With their frantic drums, kick ass guitar riffs, solid bass lines and catchy choruses you know that Bang Camaro deserves a spot on any Rock Band Network or even ‘normal’ DLC list.  They were in Guitar Hero, they were in Rock Band, and they’ve always been a blast to play.  Bang Camaro brings that cheesy 80’s rock sound back from the dead and teaches it how the big boys do things.  The hard question wasn’t whether they would make the list or not, but which song would be used.  This is simply not a song (or band) to be missed!” – SebastianSB, Shameless Fanboy

#1. Children of Nova – The Complexity of Light

“Children of Nova seem to be one of the biggest successes that the RBN has seen, so I imagine most RBN users are aware of them by now. And despite now having six songs available, their first release is still the best. Like all great DLC songs, “The Complexity of Light” is fun for everyone playing and offers a huge variety across its near seven minute length. Starting with a drum solo, finishing with two guitar solos and some insane falsetto vocal screams and a complex walking bassline near the middle, there’s nothing this song doesn’t have!” – zigs00, TrueAchievements News Manager


[MASSIVE thanks to @SebastianSB for pulling this collaborative list together nearly single-handedly!!! You are amazing, sir!]

89 Responses to “Best of RBN 1.0”

  • Kirksplosion says:

    Haven’t given some of these a full listen (I’m on PS3, so some of them may not have even made the jump), but I’ll definitely check them out. Thanks!

    NB4 the whining that ‘this’ or ‘that’ song isn’t on the list.

  • cbarrentos says:

    no love for sleater-kinney? 🙁

    • zigs00 says:

      I’m a big fan of Sleater-Kinney, but I was kinda disappointing by their tracks in Rock Band. Don’t get me wrong, The Woods is a phenomenal album, but the charts just aren’t as fun as I was hoping they would — especially when you compare them to the 20 songs listed above.

  • jojo says:

    No He sleeps in a groove? Really?

    • Whizzer says:

      This exclusion is unexpected indeed. It’s definitely one of the better metal offerings RBN has to offer.

    • Maxim says:

      Love that one on Drums.

    • Bengalcp09 says:

      I dislike the fact that I have to turn the volume down on the stereo before I play it and back up after every time. It seems 25% louder than any other song in the catalog.

  • SebastianSB says:


    Keep in mind that this is a list of 20 songs out of a total of 1000. That means for every song listed there were 98 left out. Some songs we love just didn’t make the cut. Don’t worry too much about omissions.

  • Doom-878 says:

    No love for Band of Horses? There songs are pretty easy but great

  • smacd says:

    Good list here, only recognize 3 or 4 of the bands I think, so I’ll have to give the rest a listen.

    comments in this thread are going to get real annoying though, 99% will be like 3 of the previous- “no love for XXXXX”. who cares.

  • DragoonXD says:

    I couldn’t even make a 100 song-long best-of list, because I have too many RBN songs. Good job cutting one down to 20.

  • KeenanBoots says:

    Steve Vai?
    Flight of the Conchords?

  • maimbill says:

    good to see mule there.

  • Colin says:

    Glad to see “Indigo Friends” on there. Love me some rockabilly, and the song is a blast. I’ll definitely have to check out some of the others I haven’t heard yet. RBN is such a sea of metal (which isn’t my fave) that any help in finding gems outside that genre is welcome.

  • KB says:

    No love for “Obfuscation”? One of the best guitar and bass charts.

  • Laurie says:

    CHILDREN OF NOVA. I only heard about these guys through RBN and then I saw them play in Louisiana on their last national tour SO AMAZING. Everyone should have mad love for them they are so cool. And the nicest people talked to them for a while after. So cool!

    • KrisFC says:

      Couldn’t agree more with Laurie!!! I also found out about Children of Nova through the RBN and saw them play in Brooklyn and HOLY F… I’m dying for them to tour again. Super nice guys, all very easy to talk to and they came across and guys that really love what they do – I hope they catch a break and are able to get on tour with some larger acts! They’d kill it. No doubt about it!!!

  • Schlagwerk says:

    Oh hey, I totally missed when “Bleeder” came out. Been listening to it since I got the RBN CD at PAX.

  • Uunoftw says:

    So glad to see the Reverend Horton Heat on the list that song is really amazing. And of course the first place is SO deserved.

  • j. says:

    No love for Kiev’s Crooked Strings? Aww!

  • Arcanon says:

    Oh wow, I knew Rainbowdragoneyes was popular but I didn’t think the song was THAT popular! Number 13 too, what a fitting number. Very nice list here, I think it captures RBN’s variety well.

    And those of you who love Creatures ov Deception:

    First off, thank you for buying the song. Second, you can get the digital version of the song and his new album (released early, officially out tomorrow) here: http://rainbowdragoneyes.bandcamp.com/album/the-primordial-booze. Third, one of those fresh new tracks is coming to RBN soon. Be prepared. 😉

  • Dark Reality says:

    Okay, at first this list is shocking at best and suspicious at worst. Where’s Amberian Dawn? Where’s A Day to Remember? The best of the best is nowhere to be seen here. I have 38 RBN songs (click my name to see my MyRockBandSongs.com database) and I would put any of them up against any of those 20. Well, except “You All Everybody” — as a LOST fanboy (seen it twice, every episode in order) I kinda had to. The one band in the list above that matches a band I have is The Main Drag — I picked “Don’t Let Me Down (Slowly)”. I wanted another Main Drag song, I listened to all of them, and picked the one that sounded the best. I leave that to opinion, though.

    Since RBN came out, we’ve had a pretty interesting mix of songs. Some popular acts were promised straight away, and while most of the RBN stuff is songs that never would have kept Harmonix afloat if released as weekly DLC, there were some gems in there. Mostly RBN is just that, a mixed bag, mostly just good for indie bands and their fans, not so much the rest of us.

    So when I see a list that claims to be the best of RBN, I expect to see the bands I named, plus Evanescence, Taproot, Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, KMFDM, Finger Eleven, Skindred, Third Eye Blind, and yes, even Creed.

    Oh, and hey, what about that band that committed their entire catalog to RBN? No, not the one whose drummer works for Harmonix (they’re cool too, though), but the one who was overwhelmed by fan appreciation of their few songs available and just went all in? (Granted, I think a bit of that is “well, Harmonix can’t get Nightwish, so this is the best we can get in that genre” mixed with “wow, this is actually better than anything on Nightwish’s new album”, LOL.) No love for Amberian Dawn?

    Here’s my theory, and it’s just that: Harmonix and the authoring groups aren’t impressed with RBN’s performance. Never mind what they say on Facebook and Twitter for the cameras. Everybody wants more money (this is almost a universal truth — I guess we can exclude Tibetan monks, though) and this list tells me that the sales of the popular songs by the bands I’ve mentioned isn’t enough. They know there are a lot of unknowns in the RBN catalog.

    This isn’t the 20 best RBN songs. This may be the 20 best RBN songs by bands that aren’t on the radio. I think it’s an important distinction.

    And if that’s what they’re getting at, they need to bundle up these 20 songs and make them a pack. I’ll pay 800MSP ($10) for the lot. I’ve already got the RB3 setlist, which was a mixed bag: some great songs, a few I’ve warmed up to, but mostly crap plus a crappy live version of a good song that they forgot to QA the vocals chart for. So if they want me to dive in and discover a bunch of indie stuff… let’s make a deal. At $2 a pop I’m only buying stuff I already want, as there’s far too much of that that isn’t in Rockband. (Granted, enough RBN songs are $1, but even at iTunes pricing, while I’m more willing to listen to the preview, if it doesn’t sell itself in the 15-20 seconds they give you, I don’t give it another look.)

    • SebastianSB says:

      I think you’ve misinterpreted how this list was made. Yes, there was some input from HMX members and authors, but the vast majority of the list was determined by players who have absolutely no financial gains to make here. Popularity is not the same as quality.

      If I had put something together that was simply a list of the most popular bands on Rock Band Network there would be nothing to learn here. It would be the kind of information you could get by just going to dlcquickplay.com and sorting by popularity. Creed? Evanescence? Sure, they’re popular, but when contributors were asked to list their five favorite songs on Rock Band Network these names didn’t come up a single time. At the end of the day their music just isn’t all that interesting and even less fun to play.

      Rock Band Network is largely an indie portal. Perhaps not officially, but functionally. I sincerely believe that if someone thinks the bands you listed are the best RBN has to offer then they really never gave Rock Band Network a chance in the first place.

      Amberian Dawn? I love them. I have both of their albums on my iPod. They’re simply a victim of the cutting room floor.

      • Whizzer says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. I’m glad this isn’t the obvious popularity list, for once.

        And Amberian Dawn released their third album, October last year, so you’ll want to listen to it.

    • RockBandAide says:

      So you’re saying all the people listed above who have an intimate knowledge with most (if not all) of the RBN songs who gave their time and effort to both solicit standout RBN tracks and then subsequently rank the submitted sample to arrive at a consensus of the best tracks based on their knowledge of Rock Band, the Rock Band Network, charting standards, and general music knowledge… are wrong?

      This isn’t a list of the most popular tracks of the RBN. In fact, I would put forth that most people who play Rock Band would be quick to quip that “popular music sucks!” “Lady Gaga DLC sucks!” “Nickelback DLC sucks!” “Miley Cyrus DLC sucks!” We get it… it’s not cool to like things that the general public like. So this list was an opportunity for select people in the community to generate their own list based on what are the best tracks regardless of popularity.

      So much for doing that in the future.

      • SebastianSB says:

        Not so fast. I’ll probably try this again once we hit 2000 songs =)

        • RockBandAide says:

          Deal! Next time, instead of having a Top 20, let’s just have a Top 2,000 and rank them that way so no one gets their panties in a bunch.

          Although… “WTF!?! Paul Henry Smith & The Fauxharmonic Orchestra Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 – Scherzo totally deserved to be ranked #1,246. Its #1,249th ranking is complete bullshit.”

          • Kirksplosion says:

            Sigh. It’s like people see these things as some sort of definitive list, not something based on opinions (however many people may have agreed upon it).

          • RockBandAide says:

            Bingo. My absolute favorite songs… not on this list. That is why this list is an aggregation of many people’s opinions gathered across different stakeholders in the Rock Band community. It was done this way as an attempt to REMOVE any potential bias.

          • Kirksplosion says:

            LIke I had said, though, the reaction is quite expected. Some people get mad when their favorite movie doesn’t win an Academy Award or if their favorite game doesn’t win Game of the Year on Spike Video Game Awards, etc. I don’t get it. Knowing that most people don’t like something as much as you do shouldn’t send you flying off the handle. Like what you like and that’s that.

            Honestly, I can understand being a little disappointed if your favorite band didn’t make the cut – it’s cool to see something that you enjoy get some recognition – but some people can take that a bit too far.

          • Joe Shredder says:

            Hate to say it, but the fact that a negative response was so predictable is due (in large part) to the way you presented the article. If you had framed the discussion as “Check out this collection of 20 awesome RBN songs you may not have tried yet!” instead of “Here are the 20 Best songs on RBN!” you could have avoided most of the knee-jerk responses about leaving out people’s favorite bands. I think you hinted at this, but as soon as you cast it principally as a “Best Of” list and gave it front-page publicity, you were pretty much asking for trouble. If your goal was to get people to try new RNB songs, you really needed to clearly frame it that way from the start. Otherwise, it’s just another personal opinion pile-on. Thanks for at least making the effort to highlight some good track , tho.

          • RockBandAide says:

            But this IS the Top 20 songs in RBN 1.0 as decided by members of the community. The list is a cumulative effort of many people’s opinions, and is not a reflection of any one person, but rather the greater community as a whole. No one is going to agree with everything on this list. Hell, even I only care for a few of the songs on here, and I think many good ones were overlooked, but that’s because it’s MY opinion. And that’s the thing about opinions. Convincing others that their own personal opinions are wrong is a futile and foolish effort. Which… again… is why the list is a collaborative effort among many different people to get a good representation of many different stakeholders within the Rock Band community.

            If people reading this list thought otherwise, than that’s their own fault, because it CLEARLY states in the introduction that: “A number of Rock Band community personalities, RBN authors, and Harmonix employees contributed their favorite songs to the list and a panel of judges voted to determine which songs would make the final list and what order they would appear in. I’m very happy to see a great amount of variety in the final list. You won’t agree with all of the choices, but there should be something here for everyone!”

            And if people STILL want to point out how, in their opinion, that it’s missing something, that’s fine, but calling this list out as flawed based solely on one’s own opinion is a ridiculous effort.

  • WillVanHalen says:

    No Between the Buried and Me? Any of them? D:


  • Ghenry Perez says:

    Buster Voodoo is godlike. Glad to see it made the list.

  • mrstuprigge says:

    “So when I see a list that claims to be the best of RBN, I expect to see the bands I named, plus Evanescence, Taproot, Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, KMFDM, Finger Eleven, Skindred, Third Eye Blind, and yes, even Creed.”

    so basically you think that the most well known artists have the best songs? that doesn’t make any sense.

  • Saeglopur says:

    Nice! Really a good idea that something like this was put together and I actually will download Scale The Summit because of this list! 😀

    Not much else on there that grabbed my attention though (I have the Main Drag songs already and the rest was too pop rocky or too metal for me).

  • Brad says:

    Really surprised they didn’t even rank Free Spirit, Owl and Gracious Few. By far the best bands and value from the RBN. Glad to see Gov’t Mule up there though.

  • firedoom666 says:

    Nice list I have 15 of those songs I am sad but the lack of Ayreon but there are many good songs on the list

  • rob@fairwood says:

    I don’t disagree with the list one bit.

    But because none of our songs made the list I’m obligated to disapprove. 😛

  • QuestionMark says:

    Nice list! I’m stoked to give a shot to some of these that I may have overlooked.

    LOVE Scale the Summit, btw. One of the few I would rebuy for pro drums.

    Quartered is great too, just wish I had any chance of someday passing even the intro drum solo!

  • Az says:

    To paraphrase Theodore Sturgeon, “90% of RBN is crap, but 90% of everything is crap.”

    I would disagree. I think only 85% of RBN is crap, but it all evens out cuz 95% of official DLC is crap.

  • Xitosu says:

    Time for me to go play rock band again XD. hmmm rock band or call of duty hmmmmm so hard to choose. hahaha Great job in creating this!! time to go youtube all the songs and download them on the game 😀

  • Croq says:

    I have a few of these, a couple of others that I’ve been considering…

    Thanks for the list!

    • Croq says:

      Oh, and one editorial comment. VERY glad to see some love for Flogging Molly, that song is awesome!

  • Joe Cam says:

    Hey folks, instead of bitching that this and that wasn’t on the list, make a small list of your own of songs to check out!

    My list would suggest that people check out:

    All 5 songs from HourCast
    Nom Nom Nom from Parry Gripp
    Anything from A Day to Remember
    Ghost I Own from (Damn) This Desert Air
    Lately from Day of Fire
    Bullet With a Name from Nonpoint

    Check em out!

    • QuestionMark says:

      Good idea! In the spirit of this list and it’s most less-known bands:

      Scale the Summit – Great Plains
      Sunny Day Real Estate – Seven
      Hold Seady – Sequestered in Memphis
      Jonathan Coulton – Ikea
      the Gufs – Smile (live)
      Flogging Molly – Requiem for a Dying Song
      DnA’s Evolution – the Heist
      Amberian Dawn – He Sleeps in a Grove
      Noagh Engh the Kid Fantastic – Buy You a House
      Skindred – Stand for Something
      Band of Skulls – I Know What I Am

      I play almost exclusively on the drums.

      • SebastianSB says:

        Seven, I Know What I Am, He Sleeps in a Grove, and Smile (Live) all almost made it. Smile (Live) and I Know What I Am were suggested by RockBandAide but never made it past the judges. Seven and He Sleeps in a Grove were some of those songs that were on some people’s original lists but were dropped by everyone when they were asked to consolidate down to five choices.

  • Chump says:

    I agree with Children of Nova, it’s the best band in the entire RBN.

  • Maxim says:

    Ugh, I have only 2 of those songs. Better go check out the other songs and see if they are worthy of a purchase!

    Need a playlist with all of these songs 🙁

  • PADDYO says:

    RBN rocks! It’s the place to go to hear new music and for more challenging charts. In my opinion, the guitar and drums on TAP DANCING IN A MINEFIELD takes the cake for all around fun-osity. Challenging but not too damned difficult, just fun. And yes, every song by CHILDREN OF NOVA is must have. And the band KIEV is pretty interesting, too.

  • PADDYO says:

    Also, the two songs by WIDESPREAD PANIC are fantastic on guitar

  • karaokefreak says:

    yay, two of my favorites are listeded! Bled to be free by RX bandits is a blast (wish it had harmonies), and Buster Voodoo ist so very cool… a had to buy the MP3s right away after I bought these songs on RBN.

  • toymachine says:



  • Alysson Navarro says:

    I’m laughing out loud here. It can’t it be…

    I don’t wanna bitch about it, but what was the criteria for this? BLONDIE is not on the list? I mean, BLONDIE… BLONDIE!!! “Atomic” is such a classic! It was #1 in UK in 1978. So I have to believe that iwrestledabearonce (urgh!) is better? What a joke?

    And what about Skindred? Marillion? Third Eye Blind? Drowning Pool? Finger Eleven? Band Of Horses? Iron And Wine? Gomez? All That Remains? Ween? … Rings any bell?

    So far I bought 90 songs from RBN and only 4 got into the list. Either you guys are totally crazy or I really have to review my tastes…

    • RockBandAide says:

      This isn’t a list of the most popular songs appearing on the Rock Band Network, or a list of the best selling tracks on the RBN. This list is an aggregation of the best quality RBN tracks according to the input of many people with intimate knowledge of Rock Band.

      The fact that you are discounting others’ opinions based on your opinion is ironic. If you want to pull together a similar list, you are more than welcome, but just like weekly DLC announcements, please don’t complain about others’ preferences.

    • SebastianSB says:

      The number of songs people have mentioned the omission of have now roughly doubled the capacity of the list in the first place. Perspective is fun =)

      As for your suggestions, see the above discussion about popularity. If you’ve got reasons for why those tracks are so great I’d love to hear them and I’m not saying they’re bad or anything like that, but why should popularity alone qualify as quality? Blondie was really popular in the 70’s? Nickelback, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Kidd Rock are all really popular now. Does that mean they should get automatic spots on any sort of “Best Of” list? Because they can hit #1 spots on CD sales and the radio?

      I think that if you were to sit down and really listen to these popular songs along with songs from this list and various others from Rock Band Network you would realize that they’re really not all that different. If you take the songs themselves at face value, what makes Finger Eleven’s “Paralyzer” better than Rodrigo y Gabriela’s “Buster Voodoo”? Drowning Pool’s Bodies vs Bang Camaro’s “Swallow the Razor”? Blondie’s “Atmoic” vs Children of Nova’s “The Complexity of Light”?

      I’ve been running a weekly recap on TrueAchievements ever since RBN got started, and I’ve listened to every song on the platform at least once. I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t pay attention to the music charts, and I don’t look up how popular a band is. I just listen to all the songs each week and pay attention to their note charts. Is the music good? Memorable? Catchy? Are the charts fun? Challenging? Original?

      I make my recommendations based on merit alone, and I’m very happy to see that when forced to limit their choices down to a list of five songs pretty much everyone who contributed to this list did exactly the same thing. No one asked them to omit Blondie, and no one censored Blondie from the list, yet Blondie was still never mentioned. Not a single time. Drowning Pool? Marillion? Third Eye Blind? Skindred? Finger Eleven? Band of Horses? Iron and Wine? Gomez? Ween? Not a single vote. All That Remains was mentioned once, but it never made it to this final list. Would these bands have made a list of the top 10%? 20%? I’m sure of it, but this is a list of the top 2%.

      I’m trying really hard here to inspire open-mindedness in comments of an opinion article, which is pointless, hopeless, and stupid, but that’s just what I do. Have you listened to these songs? Give them a try. Listen to each song at least three times. Give them a chance, a real chance. I think you’ll be surprised. I’m not expecting you to suddenly love a band like iwrestledabearonce when you listen to Blondie and Finger Eleven, but that’s just a victim of the sheer variety of musical genres and perspectives at work here. Anyone should be able to find a handful of tracks here that they enjoy, some more than others.

      This message was brought to you by the Pretentious Fool with too much time on his hands on a Thursday morning.

      • Alysson Navarro says:

        Hi Sebastian,

        First of all, I appreciate your response. I didn’t think my comment would drawn this kind of attention. And I’m not being ironic here.

        But when I mentioned “Atomic”, I wasn’t remotely talking about popularity. “Atomic” was a #1 hit not only because Blondie was popular, but because IT IS an amazing song, so much better than all the songs in this Top 20 – by far… there’s no question about it.
        And trust me: this comes from a very open minded guy when comes to music. I don’t care if it is popular or not either. In my record collection you’ll find Cindy Lauper and Slayer, Chuck Berry and The Decemberists. And I could name a bunch of obscure stuff as well, but what’s the point?

        I really got curious about the criteria though. Since RBN came out I listened to every single song (at least a bit of each one) and discovered amazing things. RBN introduced me to bands like RX Bandits, The Gufs and many others that now I follow. And I hope to keep finding new stuff. As I said I didn’t wanna bitch about it and I know lists are always controversial. But IN MY OPINION, I expected more after a year and more than 1,000 songs.

        • zigs00 says:

          No, “Atomic” is not better than anything on this list. Because that is an opinion, and not a fact. Music is completely subjective, and just because you like Song X doesn’t mean that it is a better song than Song Y. That’s just ridiculous.

    • David says:

      I can think of two reasons why overpriced songs that were never officially released wouldn’t come to mind.

  • RBGHfam says:

    I think its simply stated “opinions are like….”

    Here’s mine – I think the song home by fear without reason should be on there.

    Also thanks for this list, several of those I have not heard but will give them a listen.

  • Ospero says:

    Okay, let’s see:

    20: Sorry, I violently disagree with this entry. Let it be as fun on the instruments as it can, I just can’t listen to this. Metalcore is not 100 % bad, but when it’s not done exactly right, it gets REALLY abysmal.

    19: I don’t own this one, both because it’s too weird and because I’ve played it once at a friend’s place and it was simply too hard (from somebody who likes the Rodrigo y Gabriela songs. Go figure).

    18: Yep. Agreed. Might I add that the preview for this song is horribly misleading, because like any good prog song, it puts on a new face every minute or so. 😉

    17: All the MC Frontalot songs were surprisingly fun on guitar, and they’re hilarious to listen to. As a Magic: the Gathering player, Hassle: the Dorkening was a riot.

    16: Me gusta.

    15: That one is great. Of course, I’d like to get it in a cleaner version (not as in “clean lyrics”, but as in “better sounding”). Then again, the garage sound actually contributes to this.

    14: I do own this one, but it’s been a long time since I’ve played it. One more item for the to-do list…

    13: Very much fun to listen to, almost impossible to play (on guitar). That’s not a good combination (better than “not fun to listen to and impossible to play).

    12: Don’t have this one. The band’s song in GHWOR really turned me off.

    11: Agreed. More of this kind of music, pretty please?

    10 and 9: See 14.

    8: I honestly don’t remember whether I have this one. I do know that all the Main Drag songs I have are from Yours As Fast As Mine, but I’m not sure whether this one is among them.

    7: I love this kind of music, so I agree with this one.

    6: Love to listen to it, hate to play it. Rockabilly guitar doesn’t translate well into five-button play. Death Metal Guys was actually more fun than Indigo Friends.

    5: Prog is generally a good fit for RB, and this song is no exception. Agreed.

    4: It’s Coulton. With a difficult “guitar” track. What’s not to like?

    3: Listened to the preview and just couldn’t get into it. At all.

    2: I agree with this being the best Bang Camaro song on the RBN, but unfortunately, none of those RBN songs holds a candle to Pleasure (Pleasure) or Rock Rebellion in terms of guitar fun.

    1: Yup. If you manage to have the most fun prog song on the Network, you have definitely set a standard to aspire to.

    Overlooked gems, from a guitar player’s viewpoint:

    Rodrigo y Gabriela, “Hanuman”. I’d actually recommend this over “Buster Voodoo” to the less experienced player – it’s easier, but no less fun.

    Cory Wong, “Upstream”. Okay, you knew this had to be on a list written from a guitarist’s point of view, right? But I honestly recommend this one if you ever play solo guitar.

    Blackberry River Band, “Santa Fe”. Another one where the drummer is left out in the cold, but the guitar makes up for it, and this is in my top 3 from the RBN as far as listening to the songs goes (rather than playing them).

    The New Regime, “Tap Dancing in a Minefield”. One of the best guitar riffs in the game. It may sound repetitive, but it doesn’t feel that way when you play it.

    Iron & Wine, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”. Admittedly, this is rather boring to play. I list it here because the song is so beautiful (though I admit I have no idea what the heck it’s actually about).

    The Widespread Panic songs. If you’re the kind of guitarist who enjoyed the Grateful Dead packs (and honestly, there aren’t that many guitarists who didn’t), check these out. Like prog, jam band translates extremely well to this game, and I prefer this style of jam band to what, say, Phish have to offer.

    DnA’s Evolution, “The Heist”. Okay, granted, the vocals are ridiculous (that’s what, six phrases in total?), but everything else is an absolute blast, and if you’re looking for a fun drum part (with solo!) that doesn’t force all but the top 2 % of RB drummers to skip down to Hard, then call off the search – here it is.

    Everything listed as Blues or Jazz. These genres are a bit under-represented in RB, so I rejoice every time I see a song labeled as such. Plus, all of them have really fun guitar tracks – it’s Blues and Jazz, what do you expect. Be it “Two Minute Warning”, “Old Lady Trouble”, “Buy You a House” or “Damn Good Man”, all of them are fun as all get-out.

    That’s the ones I can remember right now. (Whew!) Just thought I’d add in a bit of guitar-slant since the above list seems rather drum-heavy.

  • Niveous says:


    I want to know your opinion on RBN and Authoring groups. Looking at this list, most of the songs on it were added by either RockGamer Studios and the others all came from other charting groups or HMX employees (except for the Frontalot song). With over 50% of the RBN songs coming from about 10 different charting groups, do you feel like RBN is being limited in its scope as the route for most bands to get on is by paying a charting group.

    • RockBandAide says:

      I think the most efficient way for bands to get their music in to the RBN is to use an authoring company, but by no means the only way. There are several independent authors that learned how to author for the RBN and put their music in to Rock Band nearly single handedly. Each artist has to decide if the value of using authoring groups outweighs the time and effort to do-it-yourself.

  • JK Laiho says:

    Thanks for going through the trouble of compiling this list. A true “best of” list is impossible to make, but reading this introduced me to some real gems. I hope for more lists like this in the future. Maybe change the name to “Noteworthy RBN songs” or something that doesn’t wake up the “NO THIS LIST SUCKS YOU DIDN’T INCLUDE FOOBARBAZ” crowd :-).

    I do wish there was a website that sifted through *all* RBN songs, categorizing and rating them on various counts (Technically challenging? Fun to play? etc.) for each instrument. The only way to make this work would be a community-driven approach, of course. There’s just too much stuff on RBN for anyone to realistically go through on their own. Each user could be presented with an ever-changing list of recommendations based on the genres and instruments they’ve expressed a preference for.

    Hell, if I wasn’t a lazy bastard, I’d create a website like this myself.

  • Plutarch says:

    Aw man, no love for The Touch, Flag in the Ground, or any of the Amberian Dawn stuff? That makes me a sad panda.

    • Plutarch says:

      Oh! And Dawn of A Million Souls! That one’s got some of the best vocals I’ve ever seen in this game, not to mention that epic solo.

  • tdd says:

    Ah, yes, Rock Band Network 1.0. The source of the four songs in my list that I can’t play on pro drums. Thanks, Harmonix!

  • Toad3000 says:

    Thanks for putting this together, there were a lot of songs in this list that I hadn’t gotten a chance to check out before reading this article. There are still a number here that aren’t on PS3, and several that I just can’t get into (most metalcore stuffs), but this article has earned Children of Nova a few bucks. Picked up their EP, will buy the songs already on PS3 and eagerly await the others.

    As far as stuff off of RBN that wasn’t mentioned here that is worth checking out, I’m a big fan of Seven by Sunny Day Real Estate, The One You Want by The Get Up Kids, Forever in your Hands by All That Remains, and When I Get Home You’re So Dead by Mayday Parade (What? It’s fun to voxtar.) And it hasn’t been ported to PS3 yet, but I recommend people check out Giant Magnets by Desoto Jones. Such a good song – and if I drive up sales, maybe it’ll come to PS3 eventually!

  • Jim says:

    Omg no top back…..grahhh maybe there should be a poll of somesort to top 50 songs and you can pick say…. 5 so more variety

  • Xanadu says:

    Why isn’t trippolette here?

  • Goldskarr says:

    Lack of Seven and He Sleeps In A Grove make me rage. RAAAAAAAAGE
    Just kidding. I think most of these are on Ps3 so I’ma check some of these out.
    Didn’t find Complexity Of Light that fun on vocals though. :I

  • grace.pressure says:

    Very thankful for the list, have always wanted some sort of compilation of RBN songs. Unfortunately, being the cheap-o that I am, the only song that I was seriously considering buying was Daisy because is sounds very nice, but alas, I don’t think that I’m good enough at guitar or drums to make it really worthwhile. XD Maybe later I’ll change my mind?

  • Hines says:

    Where’s Footloose and Fancy Free?!? : P

  • xX666Xx says:

    The only song I have on the list is Buster Voodoo and my God it’s FUN! 😀 Can’t see myself getting Gold Stars on it anytime soon though because of the insane second solo. I just can’t hit those triplets.

  • Yak says:

    yup, #1 is 100% right.

    so good.