Original Game Soundtrack

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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Part of the pleasure of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games is that they create their own world filled with clever, imaginative details, and one of the most obvious and satisfying of those details is the radio stations they create for their GTA games. It's not just that there's a variety of stations covering different genres, it's that the song selection is sharp and endlessly listenable -- which is a big bonus if you're going to spend hours listening to these stations as you complete game missions. San Andreas, their 2004 installment of the series, it the most ambitious yet, recreating the Southern California of the early '90s, starting in a re-creation of Los Angeles and then expanding to variations on Las Vegas and San Francisco. The music to the game is similarly sprawling, not just covering the omnipresent gangsta rap and grunge of 1991/1992, but also classic soul, reggae, classic rock, new jack swing, classic hip-hop, and country. There are many hits here, but what brings these stations to life is that each has some idiosyncratic selections, choosing songs that aren't widely heard on the radio. Those songs don't make the double-disc set of highlights that functions as the official soundtrack to the game. Not surprisingly, this 23-disc set focuses on well-known songs from all the stations, ranging from James Brown's "The Payback" and Eddie Money's "Two Tickets to Paradise" to Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man," Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" and Eric B. & Rakim's "I Know You Got Soul." The effect is like flipping through the stations in the game as you play it, sampling a bunch of good music from a lot of different styles. That will likely be enough for most fans of the game, but those who want to re-create the experience of listening to the individual stations should choose the eight-disc box set of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas instead. However, that set does not contain two tracks exclusive to this set: Michael Hunter's "Theme From San Andreas" and AFI's cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole," which also doesn't appear in the game itself.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick