Saturday, December 11, 2010

WoW Music

Well the Cataclysm expansion hit this week. I'm kind of bummed because I can't play it. I've been working on this music article for a while and I think I'm just going to release it now. I want to include some additional songs from each favorite artist, but I'll come back and do that later. Please enjoy!

The wow community has spawned an amazing amount of surprisingly decent music, and in this post I'm going to share my favorite tunes. I've listened to a lot of wow music over the years ('s been years), and I really wanted to bring it all together into one place, somewhat for myself, but I also hope that a few wet-behind-the-ears warcraft newbs might stumble upon this and unlock a treasure trove that took me, well, my entire wow career to discover. I'm going to pick one song per artist, because if I discussed each and every song I like from each artist then this post would simply be too long.

So what exactly do I define as "wow music"? For the purposes of this post it means music that's about wow. This isn't the music I like to listen to while playing wow, the zone music and other music that's in the game, or those music videos were someone takes a song that has absolutely nothing to do with wow and pairs it with a WoW machinima (I'm not discounting those, there are some quite good ones, but I'm keeping my theme narrow here). Also, no Gigi. I'm sorry, I don't make the rules. Actually I do, but she is horrible. Now onto the music!

The Favorites

Can't PuG KZ
Artist: Nyhm
Genre: Parody/Rap

I could probably write an entire article about Nyhm alone. He's a parody artist that basically takes *mostly* rap songs and adds WoW-related lyrics to them (although recently I think he made a couple songs with his own beats). That might sound like an awful idea, but he makes it work. I actually prefer some of his parodies over the originals! As far as I know he started the "blood elf rap" genre that everyone is always hating on. He's the original, and, in my opinion, still the best.

The song "Can't PuG KZ" is by no means his most popular in terms of hits (that honor goes to M.A.G.E.), but it's definitely my favorite. It's a parody of Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady", and it's the second song that Nyhm ever recorded so it's very rough, but I feel that's part of its charm. He actually re-recorded it in an effort to "clean it up", but I still prefer the original.

I feel like the song matches the subject material well. The Slim Shady beat sounds a bit like KZ zone music (probably because of they both utilize the harpsichord), the lyrics are sharp, and the video is simply awesome. It's one of those vids that seems like it was a real group effort. He didn't just open up model viewer and make a bunch of computer generated characters /dance, these are actual people that he got together in-game and choreographed. It gives the video a really organic and spontaneous feeling which you just can't get in a perfectly planned out machinima-style video.

Leeroy Jenkins Funtastic Remix
Artist: Funtastic Power
Genre: Techno

Hopefully by now you've all witnessed the original Leeroy Jenkins video. It's probably one of the most famous wow videos ever made, so much so it has its own achievement. I think it's popular because of its universal appeal. Being a WoW player is not a prerequisite, anyone can enjoy the video. Anyways, the song is a remix of that incident, or at least that's how I understand it. I don't really know much about the artist Funtastic Power! other than the fact that he is awesome for making this remix.

The video is a great complement to the music, and especially this part. Out of all the Leeroy Jenkins inspired music out there this is definitely the best one that I've heard and the accompanying video is top-notch as well.

That's the World of Warcraft That You Play!
Artist: Ian Beckman
Genre: Parody

Ian Beckman is probably best known for his Azerothian Super Villians machinima series (episode 8 is coming out on Nov. 27th!), much to his chagrin. I get a sense that he's essentially done with the project and wants to move on, but it's so popular that he's kind of forced to begrudgingly continue. Anyways, I'm getting off topic...the point is before he did ASV he did this little song for a movie contest. Up until just 5 minutes ago I didn't know this, but the song is a parody of Weird Al's "Your Horoscope for Today", which I have never actually heard so I'm not going to bother making a comparison.

About the actual song...the singing is rough, but it's passable. The lyrics are pretty clever, and the machinima portion is great, especially considering the age of the video, but I think the real worth of the song lies in its overview of every class. I didn't play much vanilla WoW so it's really fun to go back in time and get a look at what things were like back then. So if you want to revisit the past, or maybe visit it for the first time, and you like your information in song form (and honestly, who doesn't?) then I highly recommend giving this song a listen.

H.M.S. Theramore  
Artist: Myndflame
Genre: Parody

Ah, Myndflame, another machinima maker that's taking thier sweet time on a popular series. Anyway, the song is a parody of the song "H.M.S. Pinafore" (H.M.S. stands for "Her Majesty's Ship) which is from a play bearing the same name. "H.M.S. Theramore" appears in the machinima masterpiece Illegal Danish 2: Escape from Orgrimmar. In the movie portals have mysteriously stopped working so the characters are forced to travel by ship and this song ensues. It's a short tune (there's only about 40 seconds or so of actual singing), but the clever lyrics have taken up a  since earning it a place as my favorite Myndflame song.

Big Blue Dress
Artist: Cranius
Genre: Rock

This song is the mage anthem. I don't really know why there's so many great songs about mages, but the class just seems to inspire good music. Big Blue Dress the first song that Cranius ever did, and as far as I'm concerned it's still his best. It may be a vanilla-era song, but it asks a pertinent question, "I'm a mage, I'm a badass, why do I have to wear a dress?" It's good times all around. If you're a mage and you haven't heard this song then you first need to flog yourself, then follow the link above and prepare for auditory euphoria.

Ballad of the Noob
Artist: Stone Falcon Productions
Genre: Folk?

Like Beckman's song above, this song and its video were made for a machinima contest, and it seems that the spirit of competition can really inspire some great music."The Ballad of the Noob" is Stone Falcon Productions' only wow-related song, but, as with everything they do, it turned out insanely well. The song is about a noob who decided he's too leet for his starting zone so he ventures out only to get into a duel with a level 60 character (which, at the time, was the level cap). I won't spoil the ending here, but it's truly an epic tale. The singing and the guitar are excellent, the lyrics are excellent, and machinima portion is a great accompaniment to the song, it's no wonder it took first place.

Epic Raids
Artist: Oxhorn
Genre: Parody

Oxhorn! Surely you've heard of him. He's famous for his (sadly now ended) Inventing Swear Words series, but he's also a prolific musician. It was really hard to pick a favorite song from his expansive library of work, but I settled on Epic Raids. It's an obvious parody of the Happy Days theme song, and it's incredibly catchy. Once it's heard it will forever be embedded in your skull, and I guarantee that after you've spent four hours wiping on the same boss the chorus will creep into your mind..."these raids are haaaAAAAaaaaaAAAAAaaaaard!"

Honorable Mention

Here's some more great music. They're not by absolute favorites, but they're all still quite good. They're arranged in no particular order.

I Dislike Blood Elf Rap by Wowcrendor
Momma Said Freeze You Out by Nananea (Free MP3)
Icecrown Raiding by Propostris
Northrend Wonderland by Firebolt Productions
I've Been Everywhere by World of Filkcraft
Level Up! by ZeaLouS1
Rogues Do It From Behind by Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain
Welcome to the Deadmines by X-Cross Pictures (Free MP3)
Take My Quest by Sharm


Those are all of the decent wow songs that I know of. I hope you enjoyed the listening, and perhaps you even added a few new songs to your iTunes library. I don't intend this list to be the end-all "this is the only good WoW music out there" list, so if there's a song that you think should have been mentioned then please leave a comment.

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