I got a little emotional when this topic for a top ten came up, as I imagine a lot of you guys did when clicking on the link. I know a lot of people will have their own favourite songs and I urge you guys to share your own too. THPS meant a great deal to a great many and the soundtrack is that of our subculture through and through.
The important question of which songs meant the most though, I think, can stem from how old you were in 1999. I was seventeen when I first played a THPS game and, for me, the experience was of listening to songs that I had in my album collection play over a computer game. Others may have a totally different opinion to me since they would be discovering punk/rock/hip hop for the first time as part of the experience. Let’s have a look and see…
10. 99 Quite Bitter Beings – CKY
If you were watching Jackass when I was a teenager you were a sellout. If you really wanted to get a proper experience you had to be watching Bam Margera's Toy Machine skate videos and his offshoot films, CKY. His brother provided the soundtrack to those films and one tune in particular found it’s way onto Pro Skater 3.
9. TNT – AC/DC
I shouldn’t really need to say anything about this tune. It’s a classic hall of fame rock anthem and makes every trick gain +1 swag!
8. B-Boy Document ’99 – The High & Mighty
Hip hop didn’t feature on the original THPS soundtrack so my first experience with skating in any form to it came with this track. Now a staple of skating or snowboarding for me, it all came from this one tune.
7. Vilified – Even Rude
I love the start of this track. It feels totally epic and goes so well with hurtling round a level at top speed trying to finish in quickest time. Even Rude are one of those bands, of which I’m sure we all have many, where I hear the song on the game and think “damn man I need to find these guys' album” but always seem to forget to do so once I put the game down. Maybe this time I’ll remember!
6. Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
I own no less than four different versions of this song. Even though I could listen to it anywhere it’s just that little bit extra special screaming the lyrics out through the airport whilst racking up a ridiculous score going round and round the baggage reclaim.
5. Seneca Falls - The Distillers
Every now and then I’m a little indifferent to listening to bands that I already know of in the games. Sometimes the lyrics have to be censored and the song itself shortened and it can spoil it. Not for the Distillers though, they are nigh perfect in any setting in every situation.
4. I’m Destroying The World – Guttermouth
As I mentioned earlier, I was a big fan of stupid tricks and pranks mixed in with my skateboarding. Because of this I was always (and still am) a massive Guttermouth fan. The silly nature of the games just feels perfectly encapsulated in the red neck riffs and lyrical stylings of Mark Adkins.
3. No Cigar – Millencolin
This was Tony Hawks' favourite track and the man had damn good taste. Off the best Millencolin album (imo), No Cigar is a skate anthem that’s universally loved for its awesome riffage and super catchiness. I would be flabbergasted to not see this on everybody's lists.
2. Superman – Goldfinger
For a lot of people this is THE song for the THPS soundtracks. It’s so instantly recognisable lived as the standout out track of the smaller but amazing quality first soundtrack. I could have put this at number 1 if not for the fact that early 2000s nightclubs played this song to death and nowadays I can’t really listen to it all the way through.
1. May 16th - Lagwagon
Lagwagon were a band I’d missed in my early punk rock education. When your only access to music is sifting through CD Warehouse or downloading mp3s over a dial up connection, you tend to miss some of the good stuff so it wasn’t until I played the games that I came across what I consider as one of the best written skate punk songs in all of existence. The funny thing is I’m not even that big a Lagwagon fan but this one song seems to stand for everything I love about the genre, the scene and was just kickass when it was on – and you’d worked out how to keep up a combo circuit of the hangar!!
I could mention a hundred other honourable mentions but instead I’ll leave it to you guys to add your own. This was honestly exhausting trying to do a top ten so I would genuinely love to here from you and all your best tracks too.
This top ten was written by Dan Peters.