GTA VICE CITY: "Welcome To The 80s"

GRAND THEFT AUTO VICE CITY -  'The affect and effect of playing video games and just as importantly: its music. First in the series of what inspired you to check out the music after being confronted with any other type of art-form (movies, games, books, etc.). Here's:  GTA: VICE CITY

*** welcome to the 80s ***

Welcome to the 80s and Welcome to Vice City, a huge Urban sprawl stretching from the beach to the swamps and the gitz to the ghetto, a town briming with delights and degradation. You know how the average U.S. politician (Mrs. Gore) always complain about violence in video games and the way it may affect kids/people? But what about its MUSIC? Let me take you back to the ancient year of 2002 and the game machine and entertainment system of Playstation 2. That's right kiddies. Not even PS3 and HD. Oh the horror, the horror. Did we actually play games without the HD? Major shock value. Released late 2002, yours truly spent Christmas, even though it's clearly not PC to type Christmas anymore?, and its following 2, 3 months of early 2003 basically non-stop infront of the tele and GTA-VC.


The game is an open world gameplay set in 1986 in fictional Vice City, based heavily on Miami, Florida, US of A. The look, clothing, colour, vehicles, smell, reflect its era and it's all very much 'Miami Vice' (the tv series), Scarface and Carlito's Way. It pays major tribute to 80s culture in music, fashion, cars, hairdos, landmarks, and characters featured in the game. Phil Collins appearing as, ehem, Phil Collins, one of many highlights. The game features tons of fun characters and the voice-talent includes Ray Liotta as 'you', Tommy Vercetti. Miami Vice star Philip Michael Thomas as Lance Vance, Gary Busey as Phil Cassidy. Blondie's Debbie Harry as taxi dispatcher and adult actress Jenna Jameson as Candy Suxxx. etc. etc.


Not to completely ignore the game's controversy - being labeled as violent. There's been two lawsuits claiming the games caused a couple of teenagers to shoot and kill people. But seriously. It doesn't matter what you put in the hands of the really disturbed person / youth. Give them a Bible and they'll kill people in the name of God. Give them the GTA series and perhaps they'll head off to the mall with a backpack full of guns? I don't know. You simply can't blame the software if your kids hardware is already f**ked up though (read: brain instead of hardware). Keep also in mind, there's a huge friggin' sticker on the front cover that clearly reads: Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over. If anything, the Bible could do with a similar warning sticker considering all its violence and blodshed. Religion - the largest and biggest killer in the history of mankind.

the power of music...

Anyhow. Back on track. What they forgot to tell you, however, is while playing GTA Vice City - you will end up feeling seriously affected by the music included on the different radio stations. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I spent driving up and down the streets of Vice City with the in-game radio blasting on full volume. Crusing down Ocean Drive is a serious night out in the game. The strip's neon hotels and bars are full of Vice City's young and beautiful. Models, actors, tourists, dealers, millionaires, and of course our hooligan a.k.a. Tommy Vercetti. V-Rock and DJ Lazlo - at first the one and only station to listen to while doing the drive by shooting in Little Havana (oh crap, there goes the ex-cuban reader) or why not street racing through the streets of Starfish Island - the home of the rich and powerful.

at the top of your lungs...

You can only play Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock, Autograph's Turn Up The Radio or Megadeth's Peace Sells, so many times before craving something new. And whatdoyaknow. The stations of 'Flash', 'Emotion 98.3' and 'Wave 103' etc. (those are the best though. See tracklisting far right) are starting to sound great. Slowly, you're starting to tap along to the melodies of New Wave/Romantic 80s Pop synth and a mere couple of weeks later, you'll find yourself shouting along at the top of your lungs to the infectious groove of A Flock of Seagulls and I Ran So far Away. The worst haircut ever? Nevermind the dodgy image since most acts of the 80s looked like s**t in a retrospective view, but sounded great? Ehem. It's actually quite scary to witness the transformation. It's like that teenage dream when you're lying in bed, merely waiting for the sexy female vampire to appear in the window and have a bite at your neck. Did I have to invite her in? Nena & 99 Luftballons. Don't mind if I do. What? Like you never had that dream? Don't judge me people. Don't you friggin' judge me! :)


I'm not saying I haven't heard any of these Pop/Rock songs prior to playing the game. They've obviously been there, somewhere in the background, but you never payed much attention. I do however blame GTA Vice City for making me go out and buy/trade the albums of Roxy Music, ABC, Spandau Ballet, Talk Talk, Go West, Tears for Fears, Blondie, Pschedelic Furs, Joe Jackson, etc. etc. This led to heavier drugs such as The Cure, The Smiths, The Jam, and any "The" band actually. To listen to Roxy Music's "More Than This" just prior to Slayer's "Raining Blood", make sense somehow. I'm the fan of great music, not styles genres or musicians for that matter. It's been 11 years since 'close to narrow-minded Metal fan gone open-minded music fan'. What's more... I believe it's getting worse by the year. I've recently gone through the 70s Music and I used to be seriously afraid of its era and the massive sideburns. I find myself actually liking the ancient song of "Johnny Guitar" with Peggy Lee. Ehem. That's from other video game, this time however on PS3 (Fallout 3). Damn you Vice City - I blame you for everything. I was the happy and sort of ignorant little metal head prior to playing the game.

Article by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, urban "at" rockunited dot com.
Pix from the official GTA Vice City website

(c) 2013 RockUnited.Com


The GTA Vice City Radiostations:

Emotion 98.3
DJ: Fernando Martinez
Style:: Power ballad

Foreigner - "Waiting for a Girl Like You"
Kate Bush - "Wow"
Squeeze - "Tempted"
REO Speedwagon - "Keep On Loving You"
Cutting Crew - "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"
Roxy Music - "More Than This"
Toto - "Africa"
Mr. Mister - "Broken Wings"
John Waite - "Missing You"
Jan Hammer - "Crockett's Theme"
Night Ranger - "Sister Christian"
Luther Vandross - "Never Too Much"

Radio Espantoso
DJ: Pepe
Style:: Latin jazz, salsa

Cachao - "A Gozar Con Mi Combo"
Alpha Banditos - "The Bull is Wrong"
Tres Apenas como eso - "Yo Te Miré"
Eumir Deodato - "Latin Flute"
Mongo Santamaría - "Mama Papa Tu"
Mongo Santamaría - "Me and You Baby (Picao y Tostao)"
Machito and his Afro-Cubans - "Mambo Mucho Mambo"
Unaesta - "La Vida es Una Lenteja"
Lonnie Liston Smith - "Expansions"
Irakere - "Anunga Nunga"
Eumir Deodato - "Super Strut"
Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra - "Jamay"
Benny Moré - "Maracaibo Oriental"
Tito Puente - "Mambo Gozón"

Fever 105
DJ: Oliver "Ladykiller" Biscuit
Style: Disco, soul, R&B

The Whispers - "And the Beat Goes On"
Fat Larry's Band - "Act Like You Know"
Oliver Cheatham - "Get Down Saturday Night"
Pointer Sisters - "Automatic"
René & Angela - "I'll Be Good"
Mary Jane Girls - "All Night Long"
Rick James - "Ghetto Life"
Michael Jackson - "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
Evelyn King - "Shame"
Teena Marie - "Behind the Groove"
Mtume - "Juicy Fruit"
Kool & the Gang - "Summer Madness"
Indeep - "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Flash FM
DJ: Toni
Style: Pop music, rock, new wave

Hall & Oates - "Out of Touch"
Wang Chung - "Dance Hall Days"
Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
Laura Branigan - "Self Control"
Go West - "Call Me"
INXS - "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)"
Bryan Adams - "Run to You"
Electric Light Orchestra - "Four Little Diamonds"
Yes - "Owner of a Lonely Heart"
The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star"
Aneka - "Japanese Boy"
Talk Talk - "Life's What You Make It"
The Outfield - "Your Love"
Joe Jackson - "Steppin' Out"
The Fixx - "One Thing Leads to Another"
Lionel Richie - "Running with the Night"

DJ: Lazlow
Style:: Heavy metal, hard rock, thrash metal, glam metal

Twisted Sister - "I Wanna Rock"
Mötley Crüe - "Too Young to Fall in Love"
Quiet Riot - "Cum on Feel the Noize"
The Cult - "She Sells Sanctuary"
Ozzy Osbourne - "Bark at the Moon"
Love Fist - "Dangerous Bastard"
Iron Maiden - "2 Minutes to Midnight"
Loverboy - "Working for the Weekend"
Alcatrazz - "God Blessed Video
Tesla - "Cumin' Atcha Live"
Autograph - "Turn Up the Radio"
Megadeth - "Peace Sells"
Anthrax - "Madhouse"
Slayer - "Raining Blood"
Judas Priest - "You've Got Another Thing Comin'"
Love Fist - "Fist Fury"
David Lee Roth - "Yankee Rose"

Wave 103
DJ: Adam First
Style:: New Wave, synthpop, dance, pop rock

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - "Two Tribes"
Sigue Sigue Sputnik - "Love Missile F1-11
Gary Numan - "Cars
The Human League - "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"
Blondie - "Atomic"
Nena - "99 Luftballons"
Kim Wilde - "Kids in America"
Tears for Fears - "Pale Shelter"
Corey Hart - "Sunglasses At Night"
ABC - "Poison Arrow
A Flock of Seagulls - "I Ran (So Far Away)"
The Psychedelic Furs - "Love My Way"
Animotion - "Obsession"
Spandau Ballet - "Gold"
Thomas Dolby - "Hyperactive!"
Romeo Void - "Never Say Never"

Wildstyle Pirate Radio
DJ: Mr. Magic
Style: Old school hip hop, Electro

Trouble Funk - "Pump Me Up
Davy DMX - "One for the Treble"
Cybotron - "Clear"
Hashim - "Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)"
Herbie Hancock - "Rockit"
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force - "Looking for the Perfect Beat"
2 Live Crew - "Get It Girl
Run-D.M.C. - "Rock Box"
Mantronix - "Bassline"
Tyrone Brunson - "The Smurf"
Whodini - "Magic's Wand"
Zapp and Roger - "More Bounce to the Ounce"
Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five - "The Message"
Kurtis Blow - "The Breaks"
Man Parrish - "Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don't Stop)"