E3 '07: Metallica, album downloads to rock Rock Band

Upcoming rhythm game to offer full-length albums, starting with The Who's <i>Who's Next?</i>; Song count now at 16 with Rush, Bon Jovi, and Stone Temple Pilots jumping on bandwagon; "Enter Sandman" also to be featured in the game.

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SANTA MONICA, Calif.--The Battle of the Bands is officially on. Yesterday, the Neversoft-developed Guitar Hero III revealed the python-enthused former Guns N' Roses fretter Slash would rock on a variety of unlockable guitars. Today, original Guitar Hero developer Harmonix fired back with the announcement that it will offer not just hit singles for gamers to play, but entire full-length albums from multiple labels.

The first band to receive the digital conversion will be classic British rockers The Who. Gamers will be able to form a virtual cover band playing guitar, hitting the drums, and singing along to the band's widely acclaimed 1971 album Who's Next. The album should hit soon after the game's release this fall, with new content planned on a weekly basis. For those a bit rusty on their classic rock, the full track list for the album follows:

The Who's Who's Next:

"Baba O' Riley"
"Bargain"
"Love Ain't for Keepin'"
"My Wife (Entwistle)"
"The Song Is Over"
"Getting in Tune"
"Going Movile"
"Behind Blue Eyes"
"Won't Get Fooled Again"

Harmonix also announced the first 15 songs from the retail edition of Rock Band. A glance at the list reveals a wide array of rock subgenres and decades represented, from David Bowie and Black Sabbath to The Hives and The Strokes.

Piling on the announcements, Harmonix also revealed that Steven Van Zandt had signed on to chief Rock Band's music advisory board. In addition to appearing in the HBO gangster drama The Sopranos, Van Zandt is a member of Bruce Springsteen backing band E Street Band. Van Zandt also hosts the weekly syndicated radio show Little Steven's Underground Garage, which showcases up-and-coming sub-genre rock bands, and is a program director for the Sirius Satellite Radio network.

But wait, there's more. Hoping to toll the bell on its competition, Harmonix revealed the Grammy-winning "Enter Sandman" from Metallica's 1991 Black album will be included in Rock Band's initial lineup shipping with the game. Announced at the end of EA's press conference, Kathy Vrabeck also made mention that a "substantial" number of songs from Metallica's catalog are slated to appear in the game.

The first 16 songs from Rock Band are listed below, with the new songs in bold:

Artist - Song (asterisk indicates a cover version of a song):

The Who - "Won't Get Fooled Again"
Mountain - "Mississippi Queen"*
David Bowie - "Suffragette City"
Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"*
Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear the Reaper"
The Ramones - "Rockaway Beach"
Rush - "Tom Sawyer"*
Bon Jovi - "Wanted Dead or Alive"
Nirvana - "In Bloom"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Vasoline"
Weezer - "Say It Ain't So"
Foo Fighters - "Learn to Fly"
The Hives - "Main Offender"
The Strokes - "Reptilia"
Queens of the Stone Age - "Go With the Flow"
Metallica - "Enter Sandman"

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