Well I went out and plunked down $5 at Gamestop for Fallout 3 yesterday and got myself one of their promo poster and soundtrack samplers for the game for doing it. Ok, I will be honest, that is exactly why I did it! What I got was a good taste of what the original music will sound like, along with the twisted humor of licensed songs for the game.
The five song disc opens with The Ink Spots’ classic from 1941 “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.” As Fallout lore goes, Interplay tried but couldn’t get the license for this song for the original game, but Bethesda has had better luck with Fallout 3. The humorous juxtaposition of this song against the game’s post-nuclear war storyline out does amps up what 2K did by licensing “Beyond the Sea” for Bioshock. You will likely never hear this song the same way again once you hear it in the final game. Similar will be the reaction to the old-time/good-time feeling of track 2, “Way Back Home” by Bob Crosby.
Next up is a taste of frankly awesome “Dirty Blues” from Roy Brown. Brown was an early pioneer of rock ‘n roll who gets downright filthy on his underground classic “Butcher Pete (Part 1).” For the uninitiated, Dirty Blues encompassed early R&B songs with overt sexual lyrics, oftentimes done with blatantly obvious entendre that should bring a shocked smile to gamers when they hear it. You will forget about what 2 Live Crew is known for when you hear the lyrics about Butcher Pete’s exploits with all the women in town. I can’t wait to hear how the musically knowledgeable game devs at Bethesda are going to use this pervy piece in the game.
The last two songs on the disc are original compositions for the game by Inon Zur. The first is Fallout 3’s Main Title, which from the moment you hear its opening dissonance, you will picture scenes of post-apocalyptic devastation, or opening menu screens. While rather short at exactly two minutes, it is a fitting opening for a game such as this. The second number from Zur is a very low key, atmospheric number called “Megaton.” Discordant string and percussion instruments play off each other as a harmonica fills in a baleful melody.
The packaging is bang on as well with the disc printed to look like a 45-RPM record and the cardboard sleeve printed to match. Here is hoping Bethesda decides to do a full length soundtrack release once the game ships.
--Rick “Castle Bravo” Damigella