Opinion: Why Your Favourite Band isn’t on Rocksmith

With every music game there are bands everyone wants in. Over the years the knowledge has spread about which bands are possible and which aren’t, but with Rocksmith it’s a whole new spectrum of players that are unfamiliar with the reasons why we can’t have a certain band or artist. This article will help to explain speculative reasons why these highly requested bands won’t be on your Rocksmith disc anytime soon.

Also please remember that we still don’t understand how Music Licensing works and if you think you do, you probably don’t.

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is a band everyone wants in their favourite music game. Jimmy Page has been vehemently opposed to the idea for a few reasons:  He doesn’t want to hand the master tapes over. and he generally doesn’t like music games. Of course both those things are slightly “non issues” with Rocksmith, but nonetheless despite him slightly changing his mind in 2010, there has been no evidence that Jimmy will be handing over Led Zeppelin tracks anytime soon.

Pink Floyd

While there has never been much open discussion on why exactly Pink Floyd hasn’t appeared in any video game yet, Nick Mason (drummer) wasn’t thrilled about the idea of their music being experienced through plastic guitars. Since 2009 there has been no sign of any progress being made on this. Also you’d have to imagine a pretty hefty price tag to lock in a song like Time or Comfortably Numb.


Guitar Hero: Metallica was released in 2009, since then there has been no other Metallica songs released for any other music game. Relicensed, yes, but no new content. As some people may remember in 2010 with the release of Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock all the Metallica songs were relicensed for export into GH5, Band Hero, and Warriors of Rock. This suggests that the exclusivity contract was extended and in my mind, has been confirmed by the appearance of Metallica at various Activision events and recently them being characters in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD.

The Beatles

Harmonix released The Beatles: Rock Band in 2009. No tracks from the game export, there has been no DLC released for the platform since December of 2009 (or if you are on PS3 April 2010). There will never be another music game that has their music. Fight me.

Streaming doesn’t buy you DLC

Guns N’ Roses

Axl Rose and Slash do not get along. Now that we understand that, you should know nothing angers Axl Rose more than Slash’s old band Velvet Revolver. Slither is a track on disc for Rocksmith. There will never be Guns N’ Roses on Rocksmith.

Update: Yeah, whatever you say…

Jimi Hendrix

Exclusive to Harmonix and now BandFuse. This could change in the future and knowing Janie, it’s pretty likely that we could see Hendrix come to Rocksmith in the future.


While things have changed this year, AC/DC’s only Music DLC release was through a separate disc that was exportable. These songs to this day have not appeared via the music store nor did “Let There Be Rock” export from Rock Band 2. Out of all the bands so far, AC/DC is definitely one of the more likely ones to show up in the future.

Green Day

Harmonix released Green Day: Rock Band, in 2010. The game exported completely on launch and recently one of their newest singles “Oh Love” was released for download. Following that, the entire on disc setlist was relicensed for digital download via the music store. It seems unlikely that Green Day’s music will ever appear outside of that platform.


Despite a wonderful story about meeting members of the band on a flight, Journey’s inclusion in Rocksmith seems very unlikely. Harmonix was unable to export Anyway You Want It, and since then have only had one other appearance of Journey through their music store. Don’t Stop Believing. Problems seem to stem from their original vocalist, Steve Perry being unwilling to co-operate with the other members of the band. If Journey ever does appear in Rocksmith, chances are it will be one of those two songs.

The Who

Another supposed Harmonix Exclusive band, but you never know.


Other than their inclusion in Guitar Hero World Tour and the three DLC songs that followed we haven’t seen anything from the Eagles since.


As far as we know are still under contract with Activision. Last appearance of their music being Cryin in Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock.

Van Halen

I just assume that the general reviews, response, and way Guitar Hero: Van Halen was handled soured the band on music games for the foreseeable future. Also could be still under contact with Activision.

Looks like Eddie and the boys have finally came around… To Rock Band 4!



For awhile we thought it might never happen, but now things seem to be looking a lot more hopeful.


Have never had a master track in any guitar game, only covers in Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80’s. Extremely hard to license.

Update: Rock Band 4 has licensed a 2011 re-record of “No One Like You” there’s hope for Rocksmith yet!

Bands with Weird Tunings

At this time Rocksmith only supports the following tunings: Standard, Drop D, Eb, and Open G. While this could change in the future the developers have stated that tunings like “Drop C,” for instance, don’t register too well with their software. So sorry Sunn O))) fans, we won’t see them on here anytime soon.

Rocksmith UK

The band that filed an injunction against Ubisoft for stealing their name will never end up on Rocksmith, but it seems as though they will be appearing in a different game.


While all these bands unwillingness to participate may discourage and anger you, take solace in the fact that there are many, many other bands that would love to appear on Rocksmith and will be just as enjoyable to play and learn from.

If you’d like a band to appear in Rocksmith be sure to register and fill out the form.


Leave a comment ?


  1. Call me crazy, but I’d love a pack of TV show themes like The Munsters, Batman, Barney Miller (that great bass line), Hawaii Five-O, etc. There were so many iconic songs back then. Maybe it could be a less expensive pack like the classical song pack.
    • Funny you should mention that. I was just going through my old Guitar One magazines. In the December 2006 issue they had a segment called,

      10. Simon & Simon
      9. The A-Team
      8. The Ren & Stimpy Show
      7. Three’s Company
      6 South Park
      5. Chico and the Man
      4. Batman
      3. Beverly Hills 90210
      2. Law & Order
      1. Barney Miller

      I wish they had a collection of honorable mentions. I’d place the following on that list primarily for the baselines.

      Spiderman (1960s cartoon)
      Fat Albert (1970s cartoon)
      Night Court (1980s tv show)
      …i have to hear it again, but possibly Seinfeld as well.

  2. Hey Elliott, I was curious about your thoughts on four other acts not previously included on your list above.

    What’s the deal with Chuck Berry? With Johnny B Goode, No Particular Place to Go, Guitar Boogie and some others of his remaining popular for so long, why hasn’t he been on any of these games?

    I know the Red Hot Chili Peppers had 1 song on the first Rocksmith. What’s their deal on not releasing more? (All Around the World, Hard to Concentrate, Breaking the Girl, and about 30 others)

    Also curious about Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Lastly, and I’m sure you saw this coming—- Bob Marley and the Wailers.

    • Stevie Ray Vaughan already has a wide presence on Rock Band and Guitar Hero and the license has never appeared to be very hard for Music Games to obtain, so we honestly don’t know why SRV has only appeared as a featured artist thus far.
      • Wow, I guess it’s good and bad. Good that SRV’s music is at least accessable, bad in that we’ve only see him once on RS. Hope we may get some more Holiday gifts later this year (as with last year’s great Oct-Dec run) and see SRV. (I’m still wondering if a Def Leppard pack will be on the horizon. I commented on it earlier. Last week’s pack seemed like a set up to me.)
  3. Anybody else requesting Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Dark Moor, and the like?
  4. whats up with Ozzy…. Crazy Train or any othe Randy Rhoads
    • I don’t know, why don’t you request it. http://bit.ly/rsrequest
      • Maybe he can’t request it. I’ve never been able to on either my ps3 browser or my tablet. I buy like 90% of dlc yet have no voice as far as song requests go because for some reason the only thing I can’t seem to do online is request a song. (It redirects to blank page). Granted i’m probably just not smart enough to figure it out but its still frustrating all the same. Lol.
    • Well it is getting colder in the middle east. Maybe ice is on the way. And in other parts of the world, monkeys are preparing to take flight.
  5. Do we know if Van Halen made an exclusivity deal with Harmonix, or did they just license some songs?
  6. A better write up for Van Halen would be as follows:

    Considering the obvious lack of concern for their fans, (Guitar Hero:Van Halen, Live from the Tokyo Dome (minus DVD) and the repeated and highly unnecessary dissing of former band members, it is clear the VH is a seriously broken and divided house. For each record/CD writing credits were given to all members of the band. With that in mind and the fact the current and former band members don’t get along, Van Halen will most likely never see the light of day until (God forbid) key members of the collective start dying off and the decisions on how to handle the band are in more intelligent hands.

    The Fix: Send Suge Knight to EVH’s house. Have him pull a Robert Van Winkle move on him and then we’ll get the Van Halen music and merchandise that the fans deserve.

      • Wow, what the hell? That’s how misguided these buffoons are. They failed with Guitar Here before, now they’re going back in the same direction with Rock Band. And instead of helping fans really learn the music (Rocksmith) they want you to just push some buttons and fake it? I see the motto here.

        from Ken Ober (Mtv’s Remote Control) “If at first you fail, fail again.”

        • Sorry about the typo. Guitar Hero
          • Do you play CoD, GTA or a racing game.

            Do you watch TV shows about not real stuff.

            Who cares if it is fake, it is all about fun.

            I found guitar hero and rock band more fun then rocksmith.

            • Yep, I’ve played and enjoyed those games. I even played Rock Band--got the kit. Here’s the difference. I’ve been somewhat close to situations similar to CoD. In that sense, yeah I’d rather fake it. GTA, TV shows, I’m sure most folks would chose to fake it and watch as well. When it comes to music, if given the opportunity to learn to play the song for real or push some buttons that don’t really mean anything, I’d chose learning it for real. (okay matter of preference) To me, it is more enjoyable to sit down with someone and do a little call and response or jam on a song together then to say, “Hey I can push these buttons really fast.” If you go to a music shop, the city has a power outtage, your out on the back porch watching the sunset, or your at a party or barbecue, it would be nice to know how to play something for real.

              Now before those who misread the above paragraph begin the dog-pile, I want to restate, “I enjoyed those games.” Unless there is a sales thing that I’m not seeing (admittedly, I didn’t research the numbers), it would seem like the failure of Guitar Hero Van Halen would guide the band in a new direction as far as games go—Rocksmith.

              I’m guessing Guitar Hero and Rock Band are out selling Rocksmith. (which is unfortunate). It would be nice if VH didn’t retrace old steps. Why not go in a new direction and help people learn the music for real as opposed once again just pushing buttons?

  7. Scorpion:(….almost any song would make me jizz all around

    Some randy rhoads tracks??

  8. Most of the bands listed above have another reason why they won’t be on rocksmith,, they are giant assholes and will remain that way till the end of time!!
  9. Looks like it’s time to cross another artist off the list!
  10. Hendrix is in Fantasia: Music Evolved. There’s still hope!
    • Fantasia’s a Harmonix title, though. I’m pretty sure they still have the deal with his estate. Remember, they helped in an unknown way with BandFuse.
  11. Daniel Weddell
    Now that Bandfuse is dead, there may be a chance for Rocksmith to get some Hendrix songs.
  12. If you’d like your band to appear in Rocksmith be sure to register and fill out the form:
    Server Error in ‘/rocksmith/en-US’ Application.
    The resource cannot be found.
    Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Requested URL: /rocksmith/en-US/downloads/request.aspx

    Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:4.0.30319; ASP.NET Version:4.0.30319.272

  13. How about some Michael Jackson -- beat it, could that be a loophole for getting some Van Halen?
    Also Black or White would be an awesome addition for a guitar-game :)
  14. Actually to the Jimmy Page comment. There was an interview in 2010 where he said his problem with music games was the plastic guitar. HOWEVER he began to realize that games like that led to kids picking up real guitars and learning. Please do your research. Don’t rely on old in this case EXTREMELY old information. Actually I will get a link.


    Like I said. Do your research.

  15. All we have to do is wait till the copyrights expire for these bands' songs and by then computers will be able to sort out the different tracks so no master tapes will be necessary.
  16. Rocksmith - ein neues Gitarrenspiel - Seite 16 - pingback on January 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm
  17. What about Chicago? Hendrix even said that Terry Kath is a better guitarist then him.
  18. Okay…..but lots of other great bands exist: Iron Maiden, Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Dave Mathews Band, Alice In Chains, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Moody Blues, Cream, Cheap Trick, Allman Brothers, Deep Purple, The Clash, Oasis, Santana, The Ramones, Bad Religion……! These bands are ALL more appealing than the Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age, the Killers, etc.
    • You raise a good point, other music does exist and musical opinions tend to vary!
    • Appealing? Yes. More appealing than Black Keys and QotSA? Well, everyone's entitled to their opinions I suppose!
    • :wink: EXACTLY DAN; AND SORRY yes opinions vary, but anyone who thinks queen of the stone age are better than the Grateful Dead is not educated in the field of music. Seriously, it can be argues THE GD are the greatest AMERICAN band in the history of the republic. The Black Keys, I have listened to a few songs, not gonna rip them, but c’mon please be reasonable people, the bands Dan brought up, and they run the gauntlet from Dead to Maiden in diversity, are all much more musically appealing than most of the Rocksmith songs; Christ pretty much every one he mentioned is an iconic band. And I know it will never happen, BUT HOW FREAKIN SAD IS IT THAT THE TECHNOLOGY EXISTS BUT THAT THE BEATLES WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT, AT LEAST FOR MANY YEARS. F###### SUCKS.
  19. Taken from http://www.ubi.com/UK/Games/Info.aspx?pId=11147

    "… Rocksmith has amassed an amazing library of songs from different music genres allowing players to experience those moments first hand. Whether you like classic rock bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Cure, Lynrd Skynrd or if you’re more into current chart-toppers such as The Strokes, Muse, Radiohead and The Foo Fighters, we have you covered. And with our growing tracklist from metal to indie rock available for download, you will always find a song that suits your mood.!"

    Lies! I do not see any Foo Fighters songs!

  20. Does anyone know whether or not Foo Fighters will ever appear on Rocksmith?
  21. It seems I calmed down the YouTube comments by referring to this article. So far, it's currently the highest comment on the Nickelback video (U.S. Trailer) with 7 thumbs up.
  22. In addition to licensing issues with Metallica, they often fall under the "weird tunings" category as well. In recordings, they're songs are generally tuned a quarter-step down, halfway between E standard and Eb. Live, they generally play in Eb. We've seen Eb in bass (Song 2), but never in guitar. This could also possibly explain why a lot of old hair metal bands (Motley Crue, Def Leppard, etc) haven't appeared in the game yet despite lots of requests and what seems like relatively little licensing trouble (no obvious exclusivity agreements, etc).
  23. How about more songs from Radiohead? with all arrangements?

    …that would be coooooool

  24. Ok, but how about the songs from the bands that are already on Rocksmith? We have Deep Purple. We have Blue Oyster Cult. Where are the Highway Star and Burnin' For You?
    • :lol: :idea: UMM YESSSSSSS. When we look at this video game, we have to al;so look at bands whose makeup and music fits the game, and Phish fits this game as well as any other game. Plus learning their songs is akin to learning music, as there tunes are greed very much towards the instrumental side. In fact, Phish would be a great band to base a whole Rocksmith game around, minus the idiotic promo BS that other bands are into. Phish would be cool enough to focal solely on the music, and doubt they would be expensive, as they are all about music. And please, you don’t have to deal with any of the Phish scene with the game, just the band, so please don’t factor that in. 90% of the scene is great people, but yes 10% are idiots, but that is probably better than most bands. As for green Day, so they don’t went to be an American Idioot, is that why they sing in a fake English accent?

      Actually they should make a Rocksmith technology based game called Quality tunes, and have only a few select bands for those of us who are not into the BS that other bands promote. The game would also be generation conscious for no other reason than a certain generation is going to be more open minded to video games. The game would have material from only a distinct few: Phish; Pearl Jam; Widespread Panic; Aquarium Rescue Unit; Nirvana; White Stripes; Gov.t Mule/Warren Haynes Band. As for other bands, there are plenty of other greater bands even in said generation, but from the standpoint of guitar/bass (For Example blues traveler is too linked toy the harmonica to include, as yes they have non harp tunes, but w/out their best work available, stupid to have a band included). Except maybe Nirvana, all of these big SEVEN would come fairly cheap, as Pearl Jam and Phish are not about ego, and why they are probably the two best bands of my generation folks now in their 40’s, and they are different enough to have some diversity. Finally these SEVEN all have monster guitar and bass players, and are guitar centric music, thus making them PERFECT for Rocksmith. C’mon Rocksmith if you want to really take advantage of your amazing technology, OKL Zeppelin and Beatles we all understand due to a variety of political and monetary issues, those and a few other monster bands are not evert likely to appear, but these big seven all are easily had, save Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but you all ready have those two, so the others are mellow enough not to be jerks about sharing their music. I am not anti metal, as Phish and pearl Jam have some tunes that may not quite be metal, actually a few can be argues as “metal,” but they are definitely heavy songs, but the key is they have EVERYU style of music. Until you get Phish in your game, a band even Rolling Stone calls the most influential band of the 90’s, you are cheating fans. I understand many musicians dislike Phish due to the culture of the band, but they are mainly just jealous. I forgot to add Rage against the machine, but save Tom Morello, there is not another guitarist of the generation who is as good live as Anastasio. I’d love to hear who is better in an educated way, and not a little kid flame war style like for example so and so is gay BS…. Having Trey to add to McCready and Cobain, just makes sense.

  25. You know guys, this isn't a thread to request certain DLC.
    • why not????? The DLC needs to improve, and unless we say something wherever possible those in the position won’t get it. Just look at the top 10 supposed most popular RS 2 tunes; the list is an absolute joke, and will ruin the game if they follow that direction. Yes my opinion, but it will be impossible to learn how to play guitar without the best possible musicians included in the game.
  26. I have read somewhere that Angus Young doesn't want fans to listen to just one or two AC/DC songs. He thinks the hole album should be listened to (like there all some kind of concept albums). So, unless rocksmith releases a dirty deeds pack featuring all nine songs, they wont do it.
    • That was one of the obvious reasons but as you'll see if you click that link in the AC/DC paragraph, their entire catalogue is available on iTunes, and yes, you can buy singles.
      • AC DC is an amazing band, and although considered metal by many, they are really just heavy blues. Angus is such an incredible musician, but his brother is a perfect example of how rhythm guitar can be all important in certain bands sound, and how you don’t have to be able to play running at 50mph to be a solid musician; Angus is a freak of nature, and just so so good.
  27. Any chance of rage against the machine? Maybe for Jack White projects.
    • I vote yes, how can you have a guitar game without Morello, and I almost forgot Primus for Bass, and guitar as lalonde is a sick guitarist, obviously Les may be the best bassist in rock music today
  28. Music Game Digest: December 7, 2012 – Plastic Axe - pingback on December 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm
  29. i feel optamistic about future acdc tracks coming to rocksmith.
    How about summer of 69 by bryan adam. I hear some going ehhhhhhhh.
    But classic and fun to learn.
    Any news on confirmed dlc guys
    • Nickelback next week.

      Burn It to the Ground
      How You Remind Me
      Third song will be revealed next Tuesday

    • Nickelback???????????? Is this really the type of band we want on RS 2 in a sense of first thought best thought? I am not going to get into specifics, as it’s not cool to be mean against another person’s fave music, but at the same time, sorry they just are not quite as talented and universal as too many other great bands. And that’s not being mean, that’s fact if we talk strictly talent in a technical sense, and whom other musicians and bands consider technically the best. Sorry to any Nickleback fans if i offended u which I did, so sorry for being a jerk, but it’s important we take advantage of this game as there will not be another chance. There would not be a RS without Beatles Rockband, so i won’t rag on the plastic guitars, but at the same time how sad so many great bands will never be available.
  30. We've always heard that GNR would never come to rock band (the real GNR not that chinese democracy bs). As court documents have stated in the past the GNR Partnership is shared between Axl, Duff and Slash so any approval to have GNR's music into rock band would need consent from all three members. I don't know why harmonix can't include their music in Rock Band. Chinese democracy came to the game and paradise city was licensed to burnout paradise without incident.
  31. >Lowercase "nope" >classic Elliot.
  32. Also, for Guns N' Roses, it should also be noted that Slash is "master guitar instructor" for BandFuse, so they might have Slash exclusive now.
  33. Man, Rocksmith UK's website has got to be one of the most violently terrible things my eyes have ever had the misfortune of looking at.
  34. Let's see some Clutch!!!
  35. Fingers crossed for Sepultura, Slayer and Rammstein then!!

    (Oh, and Deftones)

    (and Foo Fighters)

    (and Smashing Pumpkins)

    (and Coheed and Cambria)

    • Espectro Mascarado
      I think Rammstein would be welcome, since they have some pretty good songs in Drop D, but bands like Deftones… It's unlikely. They have been constantly downtuning since their first records. Stef even plays with an eight-string now (whose tuning almost reaches a standard bass tuning).

      I would love if they could get Mastodon (which has lots of awesome songs on Standard D -- which I think would be no harder than Drop D to be read by the software) or Opeth (Since they got lots of killer songs on Standard and Drop D) in there. I would totally buy any DLC from these bands right away.

  36. What about Rage Against the Machine?

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