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17 Years On, Tony Hawk Pro Skater Still Rocks Hard

Shakafest 13

Photo from Shakafest 2016 – Jack Doonar

Seventeen years ago today a game was released that continues to define the skating and sports genres to this day. ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’. The best part of the game wasn’t the arcade style skating, it was the killer accompanying soundtrack. It isn’t a Tony Hawk game unless you’re destroying public property and breaking yourself in ways unimaginable to the human mind, and it certainly wouldn’t be complete without some of the best punk, rap, and garage rock tunes from the past few decades. Thankfully AAA Backstage is here to help you with a list of some of the killer tunes this game (and the others in the series) dropped, to help you reminisce or even remind you where that old copy is lying in your cupboard, gaining dust…

The Dead Kennedys – Police Truck

The infamous Dead Kennedys are a must for any punk rocker’s playlist and this song is perfect for when you’re about to nail that impossible combo at the school in pro skater one (that’s without cheats you hoodlums). The intro alone just screams that this song belongs in this game, from busting out that flip trick that has got you stumped to the guitar riff to just thrashing along as your friend plays.

Goldfinger – Superman

This song was an absolute favourite of fans with many even (I presume) restarting the rounds again and again until this amazing ska song graced their screen. We can honestly say this song helped us get that pesky S-K-A-T-E goal more times than we’re willing to admit in public.  The song is a classic and its funky riffs are bound to keep you grooving years later. Of course no ska song is complete without the complimentary trumpet going off in the background.

Primus – Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

Man oh man, there was nothing better than getting that 900 spin then switching into grind to this song! The mixture of funk and thrash within this song is what made it an absolute fan favourite, combining the best of both worlds. It’s perfect for finally nailing that pesky sick score goal. If the vibe of this song sounds familiar it’s probably because they also are the band who did the South Park intro song…

The Suicide Machines – New Girl

We swear they could have just released the disc as the soundtrack while you gazed at the PlayStation starting screen and people still would have bought it.  This song is no exception to that, there were many a-time in our childhoods where friendships were tested to this song, usually resulting in having to decide by the ‘best out of three….five….seven…ten rule’. But old grudges didn’t last for long around this tune, as The Suicide Machines do a fantastic job of creating an upbeat punk feel.

Rage Against the Machine – Guerrilla Radio

We all have that one friend who loves Rage Against the Machine and will continue to blare it out their window on the way home from a 9-5. Zach De La Rocha absolutely owns the vocal track in this song, from bringing years of teen angst to the surface (or helping make it) the tune is an absolute must for any Tony Hawk game with its aggressive lyrics which are guaranteed to have made a few parents a tad nervous.

Bad Religion – You

Okay I’ll admit it, I’m a tad biased about this song because I believe it is one of the most beautiful f*cking songs in the world. The lyrics are exactly what you want in a punk song, by that I mean some thought provoking themes whilst also giving the lyrical version of flipping you the finger. You could have filled this game entirely with Bad Religion songs, but out of them all this one is the most fitting to getting you into a destructive mood.

Millencolin – No Cigar

Die-hard fans knew this was coming, as an absolutely favourite on the THPS2 soundtrack we have a feeling this song helped influenced many a young skaters’ music taste over the years. This song was the perfect length for career mode, inspiring you to kick some ass in and outside of the game probably. Even their name is derived from a skateboard trick (if you don’t know what one it is – it’s the melancholy). The best thing is these Swedish punk rockers are still performing!

Powerman 5000 – When Worlds Collide

This song was an absolute must if you were good enough to unlock Skate Heaven which is fittingly in outer space. It’s a tune that’ll remind you of Underworld before delivering the goods in thrasher rock style. If this little number managed to slip under your radar in the past years then we think it’s about time you gave this one a listen again, as it combines the perfect mix or punk and electric music from the 90s.

AFI – The Boy Who Destroyed the World

We think it’s safe to say this was the peak of AFI’s career, diverting from their usual sound this songs was perfect for getting out some pent up pre-teen angst. From grinding the melting pot in foundry to squashing pumpkins in Suburbia, the grungy feel to this song is just right for a Tony Hawk game. Plus Rodney Mullen makes a killer skate video to this track, which gives it just enough brownie points to be on this list. 

Motorhead – Ace of Spades

This song was an absolute must on this list with the opening riff setting the foundation for the rest of this killer tune. There isn’t a point throughout this song where it doesn’t fill you with energy to nail that skater goal which has been pissing you off all afternoon. From the speedy guitar rifts to the undertone of heavy metal flowing through this classic song, it makes a more then fitting end to such a killer list of tracks which have graced the screen on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. 

Check out the full playlist on Spotify on the AAA Backstage page HERE