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Sony accidentally leaked Grand Theft Auto V’s soundtrack, and it’s phenomenal

By Matt Gerardi • August 26, 2013

Some enterprising Grand Theft Auto fans spent their weekend combing through more than 20 hours of leaked audio containing the music that will appear across Grand Theft Auto V’s many radio stations. While Rockstar, the game’s developer, has yet to confirm whether or not this leaked list of songs is accurate, Sony has apologized for the leak, admitting that the files were extracted from the digital version of the game that people were able to purchase and download to their PlayStation 3s (but not play) ahead of the game’s release. Sony has pulled the game from its European digital store, the source of the leak.

While the original investigative thread on the fan-run Grand Theft Auto message board appears to have been locked down, the sleuths’ work has been put together into playlists on both Spotify and Grooveshark, but those are missing one key component: the names and set-lists of each radio station. Some of the station lineups are still out there, like in this Reddit thread, but they’re not as complete or accurate (“Windowlicker” on the pop station?) as what was put together in that original forum thread.

For my musical tastes, this is the best lineup of songs Rockstar and their guest radio DJs have ever compiled—and the full list has yet to be uncovered. Notably missing from the playlists is the music from the station curated by Kavinsky, the French house artist best known for his song “Nightcall” which appeared in Drive and for making an album named after Sega’s Out Run. There’s the modern garage/punk rock of a Vinewood Boulevard Radio, which features music from Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, METZ, and Bass Drum Of Death. There’s an ’80s dance station playing classics like Rick James’ “Give It To Me Baby” and Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time.” Given the game’s Los Angeles-based setting, it’s no surprise that there’s a station dedicated to the biggest names of early West Coast hip-hop like N.W.A., 2Pac, and Snoop Dogg. Even the pop station has some gems, like Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You.” But most of all, I can’t wait to drive around and wreak mayhem on phony L.A. while blasting “What A Fool Believes.”

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84 Responses to “Sony accidentally leaked Grand Theft Auto V’s soundtrack, and it’s phenomenal”

  1. PPPfive says:

    That’s a whole bunch of recent pop…

    • GhaleonQ says:

      Eh.  Doing that is great and appropriate, but I don’t get their choices at all.  Going middle-of-the-road with the choices forgoes hype (for the popular stuff) and credibility (for the underground stuff).  It’s good.  Just good.

      My gold standard for licensed soundtracks is still True Crime: New York City.  That’s from 2005.  I can only imagine how good it would be now after the further democratization of music production.

  2. MintBerry_Crunch says:

    I can’t wait to listen to these while NOT laughing maniacally and running over pedestrians/spraying pesticides/having my dog pee on the homeless, etc.

    (Honest to goodness, I was going to type something about listening to these and relaxing with murder-free activities. But I’m weak. And Rockstar knows this.) 

    • Fluka says:

      You’re the vice president and he’s the vice president!  It just wouldn’t work!

      Saints Row 4 also managed to get this goddamn song in my head for the entire past week.  Point to Saints Row 4.  (Postscript: that video is frikkin hilarious and entirely suited to SR4.)

      • PaganPoet says:

        God, I love early 90s dance videos. All the strobe lights, baggy suits, flat tops, and wind machines <3

        • Fluka says:

          For me, music videos from this period are very much in the “Ironic consumption which turns into nonironic enjoyment” category…

      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        He’s so gosh darn smooth and gentle about it. We’ll make it work Keith

        The last game got I Need A Hero into my helpless mind. 

        The opening segment of Saints Row IV also had Bon Jovi! How can you not fall in love with it?

      • I’ve been singing Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (aka ‘The Armageddon Song’) at everybody I meet.

        No, I haven’t played Saints Row 4, why do you ask?

      • Matt Gerardi says:

        I had “Just A Friend” stuck in my head real hard for a few days. I even went a learned the piano part, it was so bad. 

      • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

         I will never be able to hear Everybody’s Working For The Weekend without having Saint’s Row 2 flashbacks.

  3. I may or may not have downloaded all 42 hours of this over the weekend and listened to a whole bunch of it, and the talk radio segments may or may not be hilarious. Regardless of hypotheticals, the music lineup for this game is insanely fantastic. “Party All The Time” is my jam.

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      I have a long, weird history with “Party All The Time.” As a teenager, I liked it purely ironically. But a couple of years ago, I went to post it on some Facebook thing as a joke and realized I liked it sincerely. My life has never been the same. THAT SYNTH LINE!

      But man, “Give It To Me Baby” is one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s post-disco perfected. 

      • There are at least two Toro Y Moi tracks and it looks like there’s an entire station of chillwave, which should make for some very laid-back vehicular homicide.

        But to your point, I found myself in possession of an Entertainment Weekly compilation CD of 80s-90s dance tunes in high school and what started as a tongue-in-cheek “isn’t this funny” turned into genuine admiration for Haddaway’s “What Is Love,” Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear,” and Digital Underground’s “Humpty Dance,” though those last two have never lost any street cred.

        • Matt Gerardi says:

          I’ve read that the Chillwave station is actually DJed and compiled by Twin Shadow. 

          In fact, I’d say the DJs sound pretty fucking exciting as well. Lee Scratch Perry is the host of the reggae station. Flying Lotus has his own station (which includes “Oh Sheit It’s X” by Thundercat, one of my favorite songs of the year). Bootsy Collins has a station (has to be the the ’80s dance one, right?) Soulwax is handling their own station. Oh and KENNY LOGGINS. 

          Unfortunately, the garage station is hosted by that little brat from Wavves. 

        • @mattgerardi:disqus My favorite thing about Wavves was reading Ryan Schreiber’s live tweets of Nathan’s onstage meltdown during Primavera 2009. The reports filed the next day were pretty damning, but reading each tweet as it happened felt like listening to a radio broadcast of the Hindenburg disaster, only, you know, snarky.

        • boardgameguy says:

          @mattgerardi:disqus why the hate for the guy from Wavves? King of the Beach was a pretty fun album for backyard summer barbecue

        • Matt Gerardi says:

          @boardgameguy:disqus I have nothing against the band’s music. I actually love King Of The Beach. But Nathan Williams’ antics always rubbed me the wrong way. He’s gotten a lot better since the incident Derrick was talking about though. The article I read mentioned that he wanted to add some “comedy” to his station, and considering he’s representing just about my favorite kind of music, that prospect got me a little scared. 

      • Mike P says:

        My mom loves Rick James.
        I can’t take him seriously anymore since the Chappelle Show.

        • Jackbert says:

          No one could take Dave Chappelle seriously since that sketch either. Pissed him off enough to basically retire. Sadly, I think that’s one of his worst sketches anyway.

        • Mike P says:

           You think thats the sketch that took him over the edge? Its not the worst, but they should have included Rick James more. God, he was funny.

        • Jackbert says:

          @igetcheated44:disqus : I’d say so. That and the pixie sketch. It’s not the worst, but it’s low-quality for him.

      • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

         I think you just summed up the Millenial/Generation X experience.

  4. Cloks says:

    I’m getting very tempted to follow through with my pre-order of this game.

    • MintBerry_Crunch says:

      Tempted? You’ll be tempted for this like your tempted for a gulp of air! 
      I’ll probably have a cigarette before unwrapping the box when it’s released.

      • Cloks says:

        It’s either buy this game or food for the week. Tempted means that I’m considering purchasing it a few months out from release.

        • MintBerry_Crunch says:

          Oh! So what I was suggesting was unthinkable in the first place! They’re going to get so much money. 

        • Carlton_Hungus says:

          GTAIV was the only game I ever played hooky from work to play on its release day.  A decision I do not regret to this day and plan to replicate with GTAV.

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      I pre-ordered it and Call Of Duty from Toys R Us over the weekend.

      Apparently I’m one of “Those People” that do that sort of thing now.

      • Cloks says:

        God I hate “those people” and how they purchase entertainment they enjoy. I only buy things I don’t particularly like, such as Kane and Lynch 2 and Imagine: Party Babiez.

        • Citric says:

          Those babiez want to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time…

        • Sam_Barsanti says:

          You don’t like Imagine: Party Babiez?!

          Anyway, I don’t mean there’s something wrong with buying what I bought, I mean I’m one of those people who goes to a toy store to buy very violent video games. And I’ll probably buy some toys while I’m there, because I’m an adult.

      • mizerock says:

        Do I really need to pre-order it, just so I can get that blimp? Can’t I just visit GameStop on my way home from work?

        Oh, buying it digitally makes sense, so I can have it downloaded and ready to go. I’m going to need to make space on my PS3 anyway, that could take a while.

        • Sam_Barsanti says:

          As far as bonuses go, I think the blimp is kinda boring…but I got a hot deal on COD if I pre-ordered it and GTA at the same time.

    • Dikachu says:

      I’m on the fence with this one.  I enjoyed GTA IV alright, but some of the missions were such a huge fucking pain in the ass (I haven’t played it since they put in checkpoints) and the controls are inexcusably clunky.  I never bothered finishing it.

      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        I had the added devil of playing it on PC. Games For Windows Live. Why yes, I do want to sign into a third account (Steam, Rockstar Social preceding) and lose my saves permanently because I use a Windows PC! 

        They’ve made a big deal out of the refined shooting and driving, however. 

        • Dikachu says:

          For me, the driving wasn’t really a problem.  Vehicles are supposed to feel heavy and awkward and learning to drive them well should take some time.  It’s the walking that drove me nuts… controlling the character feels like manipulating a big wet ragdoll.  It’s not terrible (the motorcycles were the terrible thing) but it was a constant irritation.

      • DarkVegas57 says:

        I agree. I’m tired of doing the same mission again and again because of no checkpoints. It’s depressing, in this grey city. But awesome game anyway even if Niko is a walking truck

        • TheInternetSaid says:

          How do you know if you have the checkpoints?  I get messages on my phone if I die during a mission, but if I restart I still have to do most of the mission, including driving to locations.

      • indy2003 says:

        Yeah, the opening hours of GTA IV were just exhilarating, but as the game proceeded and I ran into an increasing number of frustrating missions which I had to replay over and over, it became more and more of a chore. I still haven’t finished the very last mission precisely because I simply got sick and tired of running through the same sections over and over again. If GTA V has checkpoints, I’ll be all over it, but I really don’t want to pour another 40-50 hours into a game which will ultimately prove too frustrating to finish.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         That has long been the problem of the GTA series.  The open-world freedom gets all the hype, but that’s purely between-mission shenanigans; While you’re on-mission, it’s narrow objectives and only one (or two if you’re lucky) way to fulfill it.  I’ve yet to finish a GTA game; I get to a mission that I just can’t  beat and I give up.

        I don’t know if V will be the one to shake that particular curse, but I’m still excited because it reminds me of San Andreas, which was easily my favorite of the series (and the one I got furthest into before quitting).

      • Girard says:

        My GTAIV activity flowchart:
        Overlong boring driving -> Boring Shooting -> Repeat*
        *If you die, repeat the exact same boring shooting or driving. If you win the mission, engage in some more boring driving to find some new boring driving and shooting.

      • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

         I’m trying to temper my excitement of GTAV so I can wait for the release hype to die down and the true reviews to come out before I buy it.

        It helps that I have very little money.

  5. beema says:

    I dunno. Party All the Time might just overrule all the good songs on there by itself. That song is the fucking worst. Although I might have more hatred towards it than others, since it received a shitty remix that got lots of play in the clubs a couple years back, back when I was going to clubs a lot.

  6. PaganPoet says:

    Glad to see Britney’s “Gimme More” on the list. She really needs to lose it again, she just hasn’t been able to deliver a pop record as solid as Blackout since then.

  7. boardgameguy says:

    that is a pretty incredible line up. any game that features Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, and ESPECIALLY Stardust is good in my book. all it’s missing is a little Robyn or Bobby Byrd.

    • PaganPoet says:

      “With Every Heartbeat” is there. #75. I would’ve preferred something a bit edgier for their Robyn pick. Like “U Should Know Better” with Snoop.

      • Jackbert says:

        Yeah, there are a lot of artists I like, but I’m not a huge fan of the song picks. Replacing With Every Heartbeat with U Should Know Better is a perfect idea. Replace Elevators (You and Me) with Roses or Get Up Get Out. Replace the only solo Snoop song Gin and Juice with Murder Was the Case. There are more, but those are the egregious ones to me. 

      • boardgameguy says:

        Good catch. I guess I didn’t scroll *all* the way to the bottom. I’d replace “With Every Heartbeart” with “Stars 4-Ever” or “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do.”

        For Kendrick, I would’ve suggested “Backseat Freestyle” or “Cartoon & Cereal.”

        “The Dream” is the perfect pick from Thee Oh Sees though, as @Nabokov_Cocktail:disqus noted below.

    • SamPlays says:

      This is a reminder that although GTA game play may be an acquired taste, their soundtracks and radio programming have always been stellar.

    • Nabokov_Cocktail says:

      Ever since first hearing “The Dream” by Thee Oh Sees a couple years ago, I had said “Wow!  This would make the perfect soundtrack to an intense car chase!”  I’m glad Rockstar also held that opinion.

      Also : Jai Paul – “Jasmine”    

      Holy fucking fuck yeah!!!!

      • boardgameguy says:

        yeah, that was a surprise to see on there. for a two song discography (if you don’t count the weird leak/download thing that happened earlier this year), Jai Paul has me VERY excited to see what he does next.

  8. Chum Joely says:

    “What A Fool Believes”, OK.  But if we’re going Doobie Brothers, how about “It Keeps You Runnin'”? Definitely perfect for running over criminal rivals.

    • mizerock says:

      I used to drive down the PCH listening to “Sweet Freedom”. And yet, to this day, I cannot hear that song and not immediately picture Billy Crystal & Gregory Hines.

      • Girard says:

        I had a friend who used to always trick his roommate into listening to that song. It started by sending him the mp3 file, renamed as something else that he was expecting to be sent. Then surreptitiously copying renamed versions of it into the roommate’s MP3 directory on his computer. Then somehow setting it as his roommate’s ringtone. And other similar things.

        My friend is kind of a sociopath. But from the outside it was kind of funny…

        • mizerock says:

          Sociopaths frighten me, but that all sounds like good clean pranking. It’s reversable, for one. At least if you have at least a few technical skills. That would be a mean thing to do to your parents.

          Though my parents would probably be happy to have that song as their ringtone. “Thanks for making our phone cool!”.

        • Chewbacca Abercrombie says:

          I used to sneak Take On Me onto my friend’s iPod every time he’d get music off my computer because he couldn’t stand the song. Eventually he started checking for it so I started renaming it. Then I got tired of doing it. I never did get around to making it look like entire albums that he would like but replacing every song with that one. It never stopped being hilarious though.

  9. Destroy Him My Robots says:

    I don’t think they thought this through. How are people supposed to sit down and play a video game while 1 Thing is playing?

  10. Mike P says:

    This soundtrack looks unreal.
    Any news on this being on the PS4 and XBone?

    I am very fond of the Vice City soundtrack, so that is my favorite so far.
    I used to annoy the shit out of my friends, we would take turns on different missions, and I used to stalk the radio stations for Rod Stewart.

    Oh to be an annoying teenager again…

    • DarkVegas57 says:

      I grew up with Vice City (yeah I know kinda creepy when said like that) and the game really shaped my taste in music.

      • Mike P says:

        Yeah, I absolutely love 80’s music because of it.
        Hey, kids born in the mid to late 80’s got to live their formidable years do crazy things like killing hookers and zombies.

        I’ve never been arrested! (Mainly because, prison looks rough everytime I see it on any media outlet).

        I’ll play through my controller avatar thank you very much.

  11. DarkVegas57 says:

    This game, man. The hype is huge, and justified. GTA 4 may not be as polished as I wanted it to be -it’s still very, very good- but I know Rockstar put A LOT of effort in this one. It’s almost surreal, but even the whole map is entirely handcrafted. I can’t wait.  

    • Mike P says:

      Yeah, even though its an AAA game, its refreshing when you know Rockstar takes their time and energy and turns it into something like this (or what we expect it to be)

      • DarkVegas says:

        The difference between Generic AAA Game and the GTA saga is that Rockstar want to do the best game possible, and they know gamers know that and will be there to pay. Instead, Generic AAA Game (hello, boring Assassin’s Creed 3 or shallow Bioshock Infinite) is created to make money and is tailored to please as many people as possible. (and this almost never pays off)

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Rockstar and Kojima Productions are the only two game studios that I will blindly follow wherever they go. 

  12. TheInternetSaid says:

    I’m playing through GTA IV and I’ve actually sat in a driveway to listen to the public radio interviews.

  13. Knarf Black says:

    Somebody should put together an official Gameological Society crew for multiplayer.

    I started Pigs Eye Militia [PGZI], but getting endlessly stomped by high level players in OP, DLC exclusive, bomb squad suits turned me off of Max Payne 3 multiplayer right quick. (MP3 & GTAV share the ‘crew’ system.) I reached level 22, but only because last weekend was a triple XP event.

  14. Morning_Wodehouse says:

    Anybody have a favorite music station in SR4 yet? I’ve always been one to put it on the classical station just because I love the juxtaposition of causing terror with a full orchestra playing in the background. The classical station in SR4 is great. It’s all bombast and melodrama. Taking down a stronghold while Holst’s “Mars” plays in the background never gets old. Plus the segments where the head alien and Jane Valderama quote Shakespeare at each other crack me up.

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      I think the classical station is the best tonal fit. The classical music fit perfectly while soaring through the city. But I listened to Mad Decent the most. I wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to that music outside the game, but it’s pretty much perfect for Saints Row. 

  15. Robo Redneck says:

    Holy shit, as if I needed another reason to buy this game.

  16. DarkVegas says:

    Who here has an infinite trust in Rockstar? I understand some of their games might not be liked by everyone, but one cannot deny they do their absolute best to deliver massively detailed games, right? Anyway, I preordered the game the day it was announced, as usual with this company’s games.

  17. Officer Serpico says:

    Rock Star gets a pass for having the good taste to put Godley & Creme’s “Cry” on the radio in GTV IV.

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