Even as a maven of the plastic guitar, I can admit the heyday of the music genre in its most recent incarnation has ended.  That isn’t stopping Harmonix, creators of the behemoth Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, from slowing down.  Rock Band Blitz is taking the developer back to its Frequency and Amplitude roots as a downloadable title that plays more like the more recent handheld incarnations of the Rock Band series.  Harmonix has now announced the full track list of 25 songs that will be playable in the offering, which also doubles as an expansion pack for Rock Band 3.

For $14.99, players will be able to rock along to tracks decades old and recent pop hits.  The full list includes:

  1. The All-American Rejects – “Kids in the Street”
  2. Avenged Sevenfold – “So Far Away”
  3. Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
  4. Blink-182 – “Always”
  5. Collective Soul – “Shine”
  6. Elton John – “I’m Still Standing”
  7. Fall Out Boy – “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’”
  8. Foo Fighters – “These Days”
  9. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
  10. Fun. ft. Janelle Monáe – “We Are Young”
  11. Great White – “Once Bitten Twice Shy”
  12. Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
  13. Kool & The Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
  14. Iron Maiden – “The Wicker Man”
  15. Living Colour – “The Cult of Personality”
  16. Maroon 5 – “Moves Like Jagger”
  17. My Chemical Romance – “Sing”
  18. P!nk – “Raise Your Glass”
  19. Queen – “Death on Two Legs”
  20. Quiet Riot – “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)”
  21. Shinedown – Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”
  22. Soundgarden – “Spoonman”
  23. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
  24. Rick Springfield – “Jessie’s Girl”
  25. Tears for Fears – “Shout”

As a big fan of rhythm gaming, I can probably predict a few of the responses.  But before you raise your pitchforks against Fall Out Boy and Kelly Clarkson, look at how varied the list actually is.  Harmonix is certainly leaning more pop-heavy than they have on recent titles, but this is still an incredibly strong list that I am thrilled to play.

Longtime fans may recognize two of the tracks and, yes, “Spoonman” and “Give It Away” were both in Rock Band 2.  Fans lost those songs, however, if they attempted to import that game’s tracks into Rock Band 3 due to licensing issues.  This is a smart way of getting to great songs back into the vast catalog alongside some long-awaited entries (“Jesse’s Girl” should surely find its way into your rotation).  I’m quite excited to see how the majority of these tracks play in Blitz as well as in Rock Band 3, as all the songs will be exportable.

However you choose to play these songs, Harmonix is continuing to prove that they know music and music gaming.  One thing is for sure – my roommates will quickly grow tired of me singing along to “One Week.”  All Harmonix fans will be able to find out if the studio continues its strong track record when Rock Band Blitz releases on August 28 for the PlayStation Network and August 29 for Xbox Live.