For many people around my age, Tony Hawk and his franchise of skateboarding video games are a large part of their childhoods. From iconic street skating locations such as ‘School’ […]
For many people around my age, Tony Hawk and his franchise of skateboarding video games are a large part of their childhoods. From iconic street skating locations such as ‘School’ and ‘Airport’ to featuring the best of the best skaters of the time – the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series was a phenomenon. For a lot of people though, the soundtrack to these games are nothing short of legendary. Featuring copious amounts of Punk, Rock and Hip Hop, THPS provided kids, teens and cool adults the soundtrack to their lives.
I started with Underground though. However, I am more than familiar with the soundtracks to each of these games and despite only playing bits and pieces of each one I feel like I am enough of an expert to create the ultimate Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater playlist. The rules! Five songs per soundtrack (plus one wildcard I can use whenever) for a total of 20 songs. At the end will be a Spotify playlist – if the song is not on Spotify I will cry but I will move on.
But what about Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5?
I don’t know what you’re talking about LET’S OLLIE!
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Ah, the original. Also the easiest one for this playlist because the soundtrack is only 11 songs long meaning half the soundtrack is going on the list, baby!
Police Truck – Dead Kennedys
When it comes to the 80s Punk scene in America there are few better than Dead Kennedys. Maybe more of a brand these days than the politically satirical hardcore punk band they were during their heyday nonetheless if there’s a Dead Kennedys song on a soundtrack it’s going to get my blood pumping.
Superman – Goldfinger
Obviously. It’s the song. One of the songs that people will think of when they think of THPS soundtracks. It’s just good ska punk. Perfect for skating to.
Cyco Vision – Suicidal Tendencies
Balls to the wall punk to blast while you mess up a McTwist special and land on your face. It’s Hardcore Punk distilled into it’s purest form – less than two minutes, loud guitars, shouty vocals and perfect to skate to.
Here and Now – The Ernies
If you want a song that perfect encapsulates the late 90s and early 00s I feel like there are worse songs than Here and Now – it’s got the DJ scratches, the rap-esque verses but it goes quite heavy. As a self-confessed Nu Metal apologist – and I don’t even know much about The Ernies to know if they are actually Nu Metal or if this was a one off as Wikipedia describes as an alt rock/ska punk band – I quite enjoy this.
Euro-Barge – The Vandals
Apologies to Primus fans out there but uhhhh I’m not one so The Vandals wins based purely on the fact that I quite like this song and I listened to a good amount of The Vandals as a teen.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
It’s the other one that’s getting the Remake treatment! I had this one on the ol’ Game Boy Advance – if I recall it was a pretty decent version of the game but alas I lost my GBA with this game still in it. Sad times. Fifteen songs this time to whittle down to just five.
Guerilla Radio – Rage Against the Machine
I will never shy away from the ‘obvious’ choices and when it comes to THPS2 there is one VERY obvious choice. But we’ll get to that later because right now I have Zach de la Rocha shouting at me to turn that s**t up and who am I to deny him? This is a perfect song to skate to. Rebellious, loud and adrenaline pumping – that’s Guerilla Radio.
You – Bad Religion
You have two minutes to do your run in a THPS level, so if there is a punk song that is around two minutes then it is a perfect addition to a Tony Hawk soundtrack. Add in the legendary Bad Religion to the mix and can you go wrong? Not this time!
When Worlds Collide – Powerman 5000
I…don’t know. This song has appeared in so many soundtracks and by all rights I’m not even sure if it’s a good song. But it’s When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000. Argument over, this song belongs on here on the basis that it is When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000 and that’s why ‘Bring the Noise’ by Anthrax and Public Enemy isn’t on this list. If it was When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000 instead it would be on this list instead.
No Cigar – Millencolin
Surely I kinda have to include the song Tony Hawk once said was his favourite one on the soundtrack? It’s a fine song, no When Worlds Collide by Powerman 5000 but a good song nonetheless. Well done, Sweden!
Evil Eye – Fu Manchu
I like Fu Manchu. The band, not the historical figure whose legacy has been immortalised by giving his name to a style of facial hair. So they make the list. Sometimes my thought process is as simple as “I LIKE SONG!” and that’s okay.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
I bought the PS1 version of this one just a few years ago at a charity shop. I really should try and find a PS2 copy of what is still one of the highest rated games of all time. Twenty songs to choose from, a few good ones are going to miss out…
96 Quite Bitter Beings – CKY
It was almost inevitable that with the inclusion of Bam Margera to the series would bring with it CKY – a band his brother plays drums in. 96 Quite Bitter Beings may not be close to the best song in the game but it is a song, through Bam, Jackass and this game, that is closely associated with skateboarding and the culture that surrounded it in the early 2000s. In short, it’s impossible to not include this.
Check – Zebrahead
Yeah this is a song I could listen to any time and just imagine someone skating to it. I was never a huge Zebrahead guy but I had to take a chance (kid) and include it here – it’s a quintessential Tony Hawk jam
Amoeba – Adolescents
I love the Adolescents and there is just something about classic 80s punk that when you pair it up with virtual skateboarding just makes magic happen. This song is probably up there with one of my favourite songs on these soundtracks so far so it was an easy choice to add it to the playlist.
Let’s Get Dirty – Redman
It was this versus If You Must by Del the Funky Homosapien for the “I should add some hip hop to this list” but while I like Del a lot, there’s something about this song that just slaps a little harder. Plus, Redman was in Def Jam Vendetta so I know for a fact he slaps harder. This is good.
Not the Same – Bodyjar
If you knew the song that this one narrowly beat out you’d probably slap me and call me names, which would hurt me in two different ways. However, I love this song. I don’t know much about Bodyjar beyond this song but this song rules at least. A perfect slice of early 00s pop-punk.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
The last of the Pro Skater era, which it has taken eighteen years to revisit (despite rumours of a fifth one out there but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes therefore it doesn’t exist). I actually do own this for the PS2, I played a decent amount of it but it’s been well over a decade since I last touched it. Maybe I should touch it again soon. Maybe I should rephrase that. 37 songs here. I need to pick 5. Oh god.
Bloodstains – Agent Orange
Classic 80s punk, less than two minutes long, unrelenting punk rock. It’s all you need.
Simple Song – Avail
The song title says it all, a simple punk song. But a damn good one. A lot of good punk songs are on this soundtrack but this is one that made me feel the best. Again, sometimes that is all it takes for me to include it.
By The Time I Get to Arizona – Public Enemy
That. Sick. Beat. I feel bad about not including ‘Bring the Noise’ before but – and I don’t know if this is a hot take or not – but this song is so much better anyway so it’s all good. It’s one of the greatest hip hop songs ever recorded so it would have been a crime to leave it off and luckily I don’t have to.
Savoir Faire – Rocket From The Crypt
Damn, Rocket From The Crypt are a band I’ve not thought about for a while. Initially this song wasn’t going to make it but then the little trumpet parts got stuck in my head. It still lodged there to this day (it’s been two minutes) and I’m not going to complain. I should re-listen to this band at some point but for now I’ll add them to the playlist! That’ll show my appreciation of them a bit.
Shimmy – System of a Down
I really am showing my preference for songs that don’t stick around to overstay their welcome here. System of a Down are one of my favourite bands, Shimmy isn’t one of my favourite songs of theirs but it is just an uncomplicated one minute fifty of greatness. There might even be better songs on the soundtrack but none of them will do as much for me as Shimmy will. Sorry, other songs.
Ace of Spades – Motorhead
I decided to give myself one extra song for those that narrowly missed out. Ace of Spades may be very overplayed at this point but there’s a reason for that – it’s Ace of Spades. It’s Motorhead. Plus it works really well as a loud as heck song to skate to.
The playlist will be below here but I am curious – I never grew up with these games until Underground so I am a little bit of an outsider. So is there any songs that I missed out on that you would put on this list? Tweet them at us @XtoAttack as well as any suggestions for other soundtracks to make a playlist of (I already have a T.H.U.G. one planned, don’t you worry).