Ok so I'm quite possibly the biggest C&C fan ever. (Although definitely not the best player). And part of what makes C&C what it is to this day is the amazing music which atmosphorises (that's not a word is it?) every single game. The Tiberian Universe would not ooze an unfathomable sci-fi awesomeness without the seeping electronica that reflects the unpredictable modern world, or the Red Alert universe would be lost without brain melting metal and upbeat techno. Most of this can be accredited to Frank Klepacki
- a wonderful composer who the video game industry is lucky to have. However, not all C&C tracks have been composed by him alone.
Anyway, because I'm so addicted to the C&C music, a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to create a C&C Greatest Hits playlist because quite frankly, it deserves it. I've only just gotten around to it however and boy it was hard. I've spent the past two days deciding which tracks to include. After choosing roughly 50 tracks out of what must be 150+ C&C tracks in total, I wanted a playlist of 25 songs. Narrowing down the first 8-15 tracks from that 50 was ok, but after hours languish on it, I felt it was impossible
to hack it down to said number. So I've finished it with 30 tracks, but my god there are about 10 or so tracks I just may cry at night for omitting.
Aaaaanyway, here it is!
1. Hell March - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert)
If there's one
song C&C is remembered for (and Kane forbid it isn't), then it will be Hell March. The infamous marching feet, plodding baseline, and deranged drill sergeant yelling Die Waffen, Legt An
at the top of his voice is precisely why C&C music is iconic, and why it makes you want to literally throw
your little men and tanks at the enemy.
2. Industrofunk - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2)Industrofunk
is quite simply so electronically funky that you bounce up and down while you double, triple, quad-billion click on those GI's to dig up one of those millisecond sandbags. Seriously, the song makes you bob your head faster than Will Smith can say "Black Suits comin'". The isolated snaky baseline that begins at 2:16 is the sex.
3. Crimson City - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris (Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars)
The C&C3 soundtrack as a whole was generally disliked, even hated by the majority of the community because it shyed away from catchy electronic and metal riffs and opted for a more film-esque instrumental composition. (I love the C&C3 soundtrack however and think it was perfectly fitting for a serious C&C game set in the Tiberian Universe.) However, this particular track builds up steam with a number of ambient effects (like most C&C3 tracks ¬_¬) until it rips into a killer, jolting guitar riff in the chorus. Short and simple - it catches your attention well when playing.
4. Industrial - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)
The name says it all. An industrial tune with a prominent drum beat and synthesized layers make this just as memorable and nostalgic as every single Tiberian Dawn track. One of those tunes that's great when you're building your base.
5. Heroism - Jarrid Mendelson (Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun)
This is my favourite Tiberian Sun track - a hypnotic effect/thing (you'll know what I mean if you've heard it) in the chorus seeps into your brain and fills you full of sci-fi wonder and pretension. Like so many TS tracks, it really characterizes the futuristic ambiance.
6. Act On Instinct - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)"We are going to have to Act, if we want to live in a different world."
Quite simply, my favourite C&C track. Ever. And also of course, the first track of the first game. When I was knee high to a Minigunner and first loaded up C&C and this track came blaring out, it didn't matter about my crappy monitor-integrated speakers that I had at the time. This track had me
. It literally epitomizes the pre-terrorist tension that Tiberian Dawn
portrays so well. It throws you straight into a conflict, wakes you up and expects you to make the best of things in the 2:53 of it's existence. C&C's Energizer or Lucozade, if you will. (Excuse the product placement). Amazing
, exactly why I love C&C to bits.
7. Drok - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge)
On a soundtrack exclusively filled with catchy electronica, this title track stands alone with an epic, continuous guitar hook and a memorable b-movie voice clip from some film that I don't know and I'm sure no-one else does. Of course, the brain bending electronic samples and hooks are still there, which is what holds the song together. But most certainly the track which best embodies the conflict of the game.
8. USA 06 - Bill Brown (Command & Conquer Generals)
Now listen here you naysayers, I will agree with you, C&C Generals
was probably the worst soundtrack in the series' history, not even going into the debate of the actual game itself. However, compared to such a stellar
back catalogue, what do you expect? I feel it was still actually an effective, listenable, and fitting soundtrack for the game, and conclusively good. However, because I feel it was still the worst out of a brilliant bunch (or should I say horde) of soundtracks, I was considering omitting Generals from the list. But due to my high pitched reviewer voice inside of my head screaming for full series representation, I decided to include at least one track. The imaginatively titled USA 06
from Bill Brown
is a fully laden guitar/orchestral/Republican Military marching band induced cacophony of noise (much like the entirety of the USA soundtrack actually) and is rousing enough for you to send many of those imbalanced Alpha Auroras straight into the enemy arse.
9. Crush - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert)
This track almost crosses the line into synthesized trance territory with the chorus, but still at it's heart remains an industrial masterpiece. Like so many Klepacki tracks, the drum beat and pounding electronic samples seals the song into C&C immemorial.
10. Grinder - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2)
A multitude of moshing madness along with those brilliant morse code effects, Grinder
is anything but a slowburn and launches straight into your headphones and forcibly makes you headbang. Wonderful.
11. I've Gotta Present For Ya - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Renegade)"C'mon!"C&C Renegade
was Frank's last C&C soundtrack, and while it was certainly not the most memorable, it did have a couple of tunez like this. The simple synchronization of a piercing guitar solo and prominent drums makes it a winner. The best part of the track however is the undeniably awesome
Tiberian Dawn Commando voice samples which, by fact of science increase it's coolness by 5000%. That's a fact kids. (By the way, Frank K himself voiced the Commando in Tiberian Dawn and considering he's a skinny white guy who doesn't do impressions or voiceovers, I find it hard to believe he could pull off the coolest muscular gun toting - chain smoking sniper with the best attitude I've ever seen. And yes I know he's only 9 pixels high).
12. Research Initiative - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris (Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars)
The C&C3 soundtrack I would accept as being pretty repetitive, but out of the many many
thought provoking, slow tempo futuristic ambient tracks, this may be my favourite.
13. C&c Thang - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)
Pop, funk, and a woman wailing at the top of her voice? A C&C track? You'd better believe it. Surprisingly one of Tiberian Dawn's most iconic songs, the almost whiny electronic hook catches you as you bop-beat here and there. Thank god it's a brief song or all those "yeah-yeahs" could easily become annoying. ¬_¬ It's one of those tracks that solidifies Tiberian Dawn's soundtrack as diverse.
14. Big Foot - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert)
One of those classic Red Alert songs that always goes well at the start of a mission. Extremely industrial - the chorus literally sounds like some machines and alarms in a factory. (Trust me, it's a good track).
15. Pharotek - Jarrid Mendelson (Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun)
The start of Pharotek
literally sounds like it's swooping you up into the post-apocalyptic clouds of Tiberian Sun, and then more electronica/industrial ensues with mysterious bells and chimes. The best part is the thumping, even marching bottom layer in the middle of the track. The track continually changes tempo and style, but leaves you wanting more.
16. Mechanical Man - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)
"I'm a Mechanical, I'm a Mechanical, I'm a Mechanical Man." Repeat about a billion times. Many fans would say that's all there is to this song, but it's actually got a speedy baseline more addictive than crack itself. The Industrial layers along with said b-line plod this song along and make it so consistently replayable. This track was also used in the very first -end of Tiberian Dawn- Tiberian Sun
trailer with the stompy mech that breaks down after one puny missile. This trailer, along with the song, created itself a cult status and left fans salivating the inevitable sequel for 4 whole years. (Known as Target
for some unfathomable reason on the Soundtrack release).
17. Just Do It Up - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)
Question - "Which is the most awesomely rocking Tiberian Dawn song?" Answer - "This". I do think the in-game version without the voice samples is better however.
18. Floating - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath)
This is the most obscure song on the entire list - ask any casual C&C music fan and they won't have heard of it before, but seemingly such is the fate of the Aftermath music. C&C Red Alert: Aftermath
bridged the gap in a way between Red Alert and Tiberian Sun, moving from wacky electronica and instrumental/industrial/orchestral (Red Alert) and into ambient thought provoking music (Tiberian Sun). The Aftermath soundtrack is a brilliant blend of exactly that, and this particular song does live up to its name. Very underrated.
19. Valves - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun)
To me, this track personified (or rather musicified :S) the huge GDI Titans and Wolverines striding into battle on their mechanical legs. If it wasn't for Heroism
then this would be my favourite TS tune.
20. Mud - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert)
This is another song that exemplifies its name. Mud
feels as if it's seeping through your headphones into your hears with a deliciously slow and even sometimes relaxing synthesized composition. It was because of tracks like these and Floating
mentioned above which gave Red Alert it's diversity which I feel Red Alert 2 lacked.
21. Destroy - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2)
But hey, who needs diversity when you've got a blisteringly awesome set of adrenaline fueled tunes like Destroy
in Red Alert 2? It builds up in classic Klepacki style with epic guitar accompanied with electronic interchanges and beats. It keeps building until you're on the edge of your seat (with those terror drones that wont sit still) at the last chorus. Plus, it has some French woman saying something in between it all. What else can you ask for?
22. Face the Enemy 1 - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert)
An epic orchestral attempt that comes in two parts, Face the Enemy 1
is a track that epitomizes the cold-war esque conflict in the original Red Alert perfectly. Stirring (synthesized of course) violin and strings.
23. Blow It Up - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2)"Gentlemen, It's a Nuclear Device."
Time is running out! Blow It Up
is one of the most memorable Red Alert 2 tracks entirely because of it's use of hammy b-movie voice samples. Me and my friends have quoted it many a time in C&C music related conversation. It even has it's own sense of humour to it, despite subject matter of course.
24. Apocalypse - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris (Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars)
My favourite C&C3 track. Rousing, uncompromising, and tense. Incredibly short, but effectively so.
25. Depth Charge - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations)
, The Covert Operations
music is largely unappreciated. Many subversive and thought provoking tracks (of course excluding Die
). It gave Tiberian Dawn's music yet more depth and substance. Depth Charge
is perhaps the strongest example.
26. Looks Like Trouble - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)"Er....it's not good...it doesn't look good."
Known as In Trouble
on the soundtrack release, Looks Like Trouble
is a kickass Tiberian Dawn tune with a buttload of equally kickass voice samples. The in game version without them isn't half as exciting. The track itself contains the usual iconic Dawn
synth overture with that incredible fast guitar/drums combo. Quick, uncompromising, and yes, I'll say it a third time, kickass.
27. Stomp - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Renegade)
Some of you may not know this was originally intended to be Tiberian Sun's
signature track, apparently representing the mechs stomping all over the place, but was canned in favour of a more depressing and downbeat soundtrack. It was also stol...er I mean used
by EA in the first C&C3 trailer (which may I say is what made it 300% cooler).
28. No Mercy - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)"No longer will the world be dominated, by the legacy of these fools!"
Those lines alone make this stirring, right? One of Tiberian Dawn's
most memorable tracks really brought out the frightening side of the game, exemplifying oppression, rebellion, and new world order. The last few seconds creep with a pulsating eeriness. Most definitely a Nod track.
29. Hell March 2 - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Red Alert 2)
This remix takes the riff of the original and just hyper-accelerates it by making it a million times more epic, loud, and just generally more a thousand Kirovs bombing you in the face. Many agree that this is superior to the original, but to this day I just can't make my damn mind up. If there's one track that epitomizes the Soviet second invasion, then it's this. It's elevated far higher than just a remix. It's a legend in videogame music. You can't have that intro video without Hell March 2.
30. Airstrike - Frank Klepacki (Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn)
It's the perfect credits/closer music. I'll leave it at that.
1. Hell March - Frank Klepacki
2. Industrofunk - Frank Klepacki
3. Crimson City - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris
4. Industrial - Frank Klepacki
5. Heroism - Jarrid Mendelson
6. Act on Instinct - Frank Klepacki
7. Drok - Frank Klepacki
8. USA 6 - Bill Brown
9. Crush - Frank Klepacki
10. Grinder - Frank Klepacki
11. I've Gotta Present For Ya - Frank Klepacki
12. Research Initiative - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris
13. C&C Thang - Frank Klepacki
14. Big Foot - Frank Klepacki
15. Pharotek - Jarrid Mendelson
16. Mechanical Man - Frank Klepacki
17. Just Do It Up - Frank Klepacki
18. Floating - Frank Klepacki
19. Valves - Frank Klepacki
20. Mud - Frank Klepacki
21. Destroy - Frank Klepacki
22. Face the Enemy 1 - Frank Klepacki
23. Blow It Up - Frank Klepacki
24. Apocalypse - Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Morris
25. Depth Charge - Frank Klepacki
26. Looks Like Trouble - Frank Klepacki
27. Stomp - Frank Klepacki
28. No Mercy - Frank Klepacki
29. Hell March 2 - Frank Klepacki
30. Airstrike - Frank Klepacki
There you go! If you've read until the end I applaud and thank you. If any of you are curious about the C&C music and want to listen or to perhaps get the tracks you don't already have, give me a PM and I'll tell you where you can find them. The C&C music is not something to miss out on.
So fellow geeks, agree wholeheartedly with me or did I miss out on your favourite tunez? Digress below.Frank KlepackiJarrid MendelsonSteve Jablonsky & Trevor MorrisBill Brown