What's the soundtrack to your arcade life?

Chip Hageman's picture
ArcadeBack in the late 70's and early to mid 80's, arcades were the place to be. It was a time when there was a noticeable difference between what could be played in public and what you were playing at home. Once consoles and computers started to match the power and complexity of their arcade counterparts, there just wasn't a reason to pry your butt off the couch to get your video game fix.

It's sad really.. because there was a magic to the classic arcades.. a social dynamic that has been lost. Sure, some arcades still exist but they aren't the same- most are just a mess of dancing games, guitar games and redemption machines. And you might say that online multiplayer games with TeamSpeak adequately fill the void left by the arcades.. but I would argue against that. The spectators, high scores, trash talking, lining your quarters up on the marquee, the soda stained floors, the deafening din of the machines, and the music.. oh, the music. It was the soundtrack for your life.

What was the soundtrack for your "arcade" life?

What are your top ten songs that pull you into those glory days? What are the songs that take you back to when you were a kid and all that mattered was hoarding your quarters, chasing the high score and getting a ride to the mall?

My top ten are:

  • Tom Sawyer (Rush)
  • Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)
  • Stone in Love (Journey)
  • Autobahn (Kraftwerk)
  • Down Under (Men at Work)
  • Dead Man's Party (Oingo Boingo)
  • Der Kommissar (Falco)
  • She Sells Sanctuary (The Cult)
  • Limelight (Rush)
  • Invisible Touch (Genesis)

-Gandalf42

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
There's really only one

There's really only one album: Pac-Man Fever. I love every song! Well, at least the ones on the original album. This one has a couple of new ones (E.T. I Love You).

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Bill Loguidice
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Buckner & Garcia
Matt Barton wrote:

There's really only one album: Pac-Man Fever. I love every song! Well, at least the ones on the original album. This one has a couple of new ones (E.T. I Love You).

Interestingly, if you read the comments, B&G actually re-recorded these, so they don't sound quite like the originals. I guess CBS still owns the rights for whatever reason. I do have a affection for the originals.

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Chip Hageman
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Yeah.. that was a great

Yeah.. that was a great album. I had the original LP and unfortunately didn't take the best care of it. I think it got crushed in the bottom of my closet. :-( I do have the new CD but, like you said, it's a rerecording and they did add some stuff.. It's a shame that Buckner and Garcia didn't save the masters.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Still pop in my pac-man Fever

Still pop in my pac-man Fever CD once and awhile (and yes I still ahve my original LP too, I'm one of the lucky ones, I kept excellent car of my LP's, was a big music nut). But the jukebox in our arcade (that I actually ran for a year, talk about dream job).

Everybody Wants you- Billy Squire
Happy trails- Van Halen
Back In Black- ACDC
Goody Two Shoes- Adam Ant (girls picked it, guys grudgly inserted in rotation ( i wonder why :) )
One More Time- Streetheart (sure most of you dont know these guys, HUGE canadian band)
Raise little hell- Trooper (boy did we love cranking this one, a SWEAR WORD!)
Does your daddy Know- Toronto
ZZ Top- Tube Snake Boogie (cant believe we didnt know what that song was about back then)

We had alot of canadian bands as we where on the border and they (canada) had the better rock station. There where about 15 songs (sadly my memory just inst good enouhg to remeber um all still) that where always on, we kinda had a "deal" whoever put money in had to add to the rotation of the same songs, so we all kept it playing all night long. Not sure why we never got sick of it.. to this day I have (rarely ) heard 2 of the songs in a row on the radio.. gives me a little shiver, relive the old days.

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
One thing you mentioned "a

One thing you mentioned "a social dynamic that has been lost", made me think a bit. If you have seen Surrogates (movie) about people all useing robots to interact and stay home so they are "safe". So all human contact has stopped. We are (i know this is a big jump and conclusion) heading that way. We no longer meet people to talk, heck we dont even TALK, we txt, we use FACEBOOK/ MYSPACE/TWITTER/FORUMS/ errr... blogs :) We are getting more and more away form face to face contact and many of never actually "see" the person we talk to alot.

now dont get me wrong, I dont see this as a bad thing, I think its great i can discuss stuff with like minded people (and not so like minded) on places like this, it really gives you some perspective. My friends in RL that I talk with often, we "know" each other so well we tend to not say things we know will "rile" them up, and you get so comfortble with them, even when they do say things you just dismiss them and forget them. With the net, we sometimes say EXACTLY what we want, when many face to face encounters we wouldnt. Double edged sword, I know I overstep (hopefully never in any rude or mean way)at times as I know there will never be any reaction that I need to deal with..

But I am a person who hates talking on a phone with people I can easily see and do something with.. I'm getting to be more and more a minority in that respect and it does sometimes bug me. I miss the elbow to elbow fun, jokeing and even ribbing of the old arcade days.

Matt Barton
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What's the difference between

What's the difference between the Pac-Man Fever recordings?

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Bill Loguidice
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Differences from original and remastered
Matt Barton wrote:

What's the difference between the Pac-Man Fever recordings?

I don't know, but here's the comment on Amazon:
"If you bought the album when it was originally released and loved it like I did, you will be disappointed in this new version. I loved every inflection, I loved the exact way the instruments were played, and I loved the classic video game sounds. Each song on the album was a masterpiece.

Since Buckner and Garcia couldn't get their hands on the original, it's nice that they tried to recreate it, but it's an offense to the ears for people who loved exactly how the original album sounded. Thank God I still have mine!

Buy this version to support them. You can always use it as a coaster. Maybe they'll make enough money to buy the original from CBS Records so they can put out the CD we've all been waiting for. "

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Matt Barton
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To be honest, that commenter

To be honest, that commenter sounds like an ass. Obviously they couldn't replicate every "inflection," that's laughable. It certainly doesn't mean that it's "a coaster," grr.

If that's the only difference, I'm quite happy to have my mp3s!

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Videogame-era music (R.Cade and the Video Victims)

Believe it or not, I don't recall ever actually hearing "Pac Man Fever" in it's entirety! (That is until I looked it up on Youtube just now and listened to it). Eh, maybe I'd have liked it as a kid.

One of my friends gave me the album "Get Victimized" by "R. Cade and the Video Victims" for my birthday in high school. Every song on the album was about a particular videogame (Donkey Kong, Defender, etc.). I hated the album, and I "lost" it somehow soon after. I wish I still had it, just for collector purposes. The chant "Save the girl, Save the girl, Save the girl from KONG!" still haunts me to this day. :-)

There wasn't any arcades that I recall that had jukeboxes and such, so there was no "soundtrack" that I associate with videogaming other than videogame music/sound effects. And you guys would beat me up, just like back in high school, if I told you my "uncool" musical tastes during that era. :-) Generally, it was dominated by classical movie soundtracks (Star Wars, Superman, Raiders, Star Trek:TMP, etc.), ABBA, Judas Priest, and my primitive 8-bit computer music mix tapes. :-)

Chip Hageman
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I've never heard of "R. Cade

I've never heard of "R. Cade and the Video Victims".. but you're right, it would make for a nice addition to a video game collection. And no judgments on musical tastes here, I also listened to the Star Wars (John Williams) soundtracks and a fair bit of classical, and of course most 80's metal.

Most of the arcades in the malls in New Jersey (and no, it's nothing like it's portrayed on TV) had the music pumped in via ceiling speakers.. so it was mainly the contemporary music of the time. At least for me, since I spent a fair bit of time at the arcades, the music became a part of my association to the experience.

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