Every other Wednesday I share a playlist of songs tangentially related to a single game or series. Songs about alien sex for Mass Effect, songs about world leaders for Civilization, and so on. Searching for random terms on Spotify is a great way to discover new music and rediscover old classics.
Civilization 5 is just around the corner, taunting me from Steam's "Coming Soon" list. I know it'll consume me, swallow my free-time whole just like Civ 4 did. After hours of empire-building, I start to perceive personalities in the algorithms of my artificial opponents, and create my own stories from a game that has almost no script.
#1 - Street Legal - Warriors of Genghis Khan
This is actually a cover of a song by Bad News -- a deliberately-bad parody metal band. These Norweigan metallers are forged from heavy and macho, but have catchy and melodic elements. With bands like them and Turbonegro coming out of Norway, you have to wonder what's in the water there.
#2 - The Mills Brothers - Julius Caesar
If you've seen Thank You for Smoking or played Bioshock 2, you've heard the Mills Brothers. For another video game connection -- they've performed with The Ink Spots, who appear prominently on the Fallout soundtracks. They were a vocal group (accompanied only by a guitar) active in one form or another from the '20s until the end of the last century.
#3 - Norman and Nancy Blake - Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again
This is a traditional folk song about getting drunk. If I was trying to annoy hardcore folk fans, I'd call it a '30s version of Tik Tok. Those guys get annoyed at Bob Dylan for playing the electric guitar, so annoying them is easy.
#4 - Iron Maiden - Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
I'm not sure if Iron Maiden know how ridiculously theatric they sound. You can't really take too epic a tone though, when singing about one of history's most prolific conquerors.
#5 - Neil Young - Cortez the Killer
Neil Young clearly hadn't played Civ 4 when he wrote this, because no one whose lands have ever bordered on Montezuma's could have any sympathy for him. "War was never known" is a straight-up lie, if Civ is anything to go by.
#6 - Patti Smith Group - Gandhi
Like Neil Young, Patti Smith is one of those personalities who can hold a song for ten minutes, or as long as she likes. The same goes for her career -- this is from her 2004 album Trampin'. Although she's slowed down since the '70s, she shows no signs of fading away.