The other night I was in the middle of a grand fight in Arathi Basin. Playing in the background was just a random mix on iTunes, a mix I usually use to get my creative juices flowing, actually. In fact, it is on behind me right now.
In the middle of this fight, though, the opening notes of “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam came on. It was then that I took to the fight with more vigor and kicked some Alliance fanny.
For those who don’t know, which is most of you out there, in my mind, there are three types of music: jazz, blues, and Pearl Jam. The remaining music I listent to is just extra. But, listening to the Mighty Ones, that is Pearl Jam in the vernacular, got me wondering about music and World of Warcraft.
Let’s face it, music just makes things better. For many years, I played in and around the Denver area, hiting blues clubs, open stage jams, and the like. For awhile there, I had a name for myself in the music scene. Such a name, that I contemplated bagging the teaching gig and going pro with music.
Often on my playlist is some blues. There is nothing better than Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Koochie Man” to get me going. That riff, which gave us blues players a new vocabulary, can inspire me to do anything needed. In WoW, beware when Muddy is pulsating through my blood.
So, here goes, ten songs for listening when engaged in a great battle:
1. “Severed Hand” opens and closes strong. The last time I saw Pearl Jam in concert they opened up with this song, usually, they open with a bit mellower tune, but when they opened with this, I knew right away that it was going to be a show for the gods to hear and enjoy- and it was. It has the same impact on me in a battle ground. When I hear the notes build up, then that first A major chord, my pulse quickens and I find some Alliance and do what I can to insure that he is sent directly to a grave yard.
2. “Take a Break Guys (An Adaptation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”) is one that should be on everyone’s playlist. I will wait for you to find it, download it, and then listen to it. Listen to the language here: Brian Setzer is the coolest guitarist alive. Note that I did not say the best. But this take on a traditional Christmas song is as close to “in your face” as it can get. When the horns start, I automatically feel like I am in the middle of a James Bond movie. But that guitar solo! The note he bends as he leads into it sends chills up my spine. The volume must be turned up for this.
3. “Funny the Way It Is” is on Dave Matthews’ most recent album. I like to listen to this one because it talks about the dualities that exist in our world. Similar to battle ground, I get to live, and that poor Alliance kid, well, funny the way it is, you know. I often think I need to revamp my list and say that there are actually four types of music: blues, jazz, Pearl Jam, and Dave Matthews. There is nothing Mr. Matthews can do wrong, expect for maybe dump sewage from his tour bus into a river. But, musically, nada. This is most definitely one of those songs that gets me going where few songs do. It energizes both mind and body.
4. “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters, while not their strongest song, is one that pushes me along. It is another which engages both mind and body to do what needs doing. If you have not seen these guys in concert, you should. When they kicked into this song, I swear, I thought that the roof of the Pepsi Center was going to collapse. Dave Grohl is a master at getting a crowd to rock and sing with him. It works well, too, in any combat situation.
5. “Devil’s Foot” by Kid Ramos takes us back to the blues/swing vibe. This is just one of those tunes, that if you’re not moving with the rising beat and introduction of one instrument after another, you need to check your pulse. My goodness, does this song have a beat that just stirs the waking soul. While not the greatest for fighting in a battle ground, it certainly is nice when you’re in one of those moments when the victory is near and there is nothing that the Alliance can do about it.
6. “Brain of J” takes us back to The Mighty Ones, again. Sadly, in the many times I have been in the presence of this band, I have not seen this song live, though it is the ring tone on my phone. Regardless, it is the opening song on Yield and sends the album into orbit, similar to what it can do with a player engaged in a grand fight. It inspires a player to achieve that which needs achieving.
7. “Dani California” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers holds a special place in my heart for reasons I won’t go into here. Regardless, the Peppers are a mainstay on any playlist. But, when it comes to WoW, that opening drum beat serves as a reminder that you are alive. In typical Pepper fashion, the song is a blend of rap, rock, funk, and a unique sound that makes them what they are: a band that serves to blend various genres of music. There have been many imitators, but none have reached the level of funkiness that they have.
8. “Wait Until Tomorrow” appeared on John Mayer’s live album he did with a trio. It is this album that let’s us know that Mayer is truly a good guitarist. It is also an album unlike anything he has done before. It is loud. It is full of delightful guitar solos. It is what I wish he could be rather than a pop star. But, that is me. A Jimi Hendrix cover, Mayer just goes all out on the guitar solo and channels his inner-Hendrix. What makes Hendrix great is his ability to play in and out of the time of the song without getting lost. Mayer does just that on this solo. You need something to pump you up, listen to this one. It does the trick.
9. “La Grange” is another one of those tunes, that if you’re not nodding your head in time with the song, well, you are neither American, nor are you alive. No list of mine is complete without at least one appearance from that “little ‘ol band from Texas,” ZZ Top. It was Billy Gibbons that opened the door to the blues for me. While he may have an array of rock riffs, his heart, like mine, is in the blues. He showed me the door, I opened it up, and have not come out since. As music for a battle ground, let’s face it, there are down times, I am a fan of defending a flag but, like the song, there are moments when that defense gets exciting. If you’re not ready for the attack, then you lost your flag. The song follows that same rhythm well.
10. “And the Cradle Will Rock” opens up Van Halen’s “Women and Children First,” my favorite album of Halen. Let’s face it, when it comes to modern guitarists, Eddie Van Halen, along with Jimi Hendrix, have had the largest impact on how the instrument is approached. This song is another one that pushes a player to hit hard. It helps to quicken both mind and reflex in a fight. Both of which are needed to succeed.
What about you? What songs are on your WoW play list? Let’s see them in the comments.
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