With stunning new photo-real teaser locations for the new GTA V DLC hitting the web, there are some of us who pine for the retro years when GTA was a bit more, well, retro. 2003, to be precise, when Rockstar Games whisked us back to Miami in the 1980s to live out our wildest Crockett and Tubbs fantasies, complete with a soundtrack perfect for fleeing police helicopters along Ocean Drive in a top-down Stallion. Over the seven in-game music radio stations, here are the songs you only know from your bad old days running rampage around Vice City…
Kurtis Blow – ‘The Breaks’
Rapping should really have been called ‘enunciating’ back in 1980, and Kurtis Blow was one of the slickest enunciators in the game, the man George Michael was emulating when he memorably said “well hi George, meet my fiance”. So there was no better track to evoke the garishness of the 80s, blaring from Mr Magic’s hip-hop station Wildstyle, as you cruised up to the downtown dirtbike track between cocaine drops.
Electric Light Orchestra – ‘Four Little Diamonds’
Station: Flash FM
The home of glossy pop, Flash FM was the Sunday driver’s favourite GTA:VC station, with its non-stop Jacko, Buggles, Hall & Oates and Bryan Adams hits making every stop-off at your art deco safehouse a punch-the-air pleasure. And nestled between these monster retro favourites was ELO’s little-known ‘Four Little Diamonds’, a synth rock stormer about hunting down a jewel thief ex-partner that gave your own post-heist police chases that extra adrenalin jolt. “And if the law don’t get her then I will…”
Oliver Cheatham – ‘Get Down Saturday Night’
Station: Fever 105
Those cool customers who wanted to feel like every desperate car chase had a Tequila Sunrise waiting for them at the end of it tuned in to Fever 105, the funk and R&B station hosted by Vice City’s own Barry White Oliver ‘Ladykiller’ Biscuit. Here the Pointer Sisters, Rick James and Kool & The Gang made every getaway sound like a pool party, and Oliver Cheatham yearned for Saturday night to come around so he could “make love until the morning light”. The mood was only broken by the between-song adverts for dodgy lawyers promising to clear you from torching Kwik-E-Marts and pushing your spouse off a cliff.
Love Fist – ‘Dangerous Bastard’
Currently residing in the Where Are They Now? file, Love Fist were the Scottish, Crue-style soft metallers in Vice City as part of their Steel Heart Stone Cold Prostate tour, whom you had to ferry around town in a limo while fending off murderous fans. And what better song to listen to while racing off to procure them groupies and ‘love juice’ – a mixture of cocaine, moonshine and petrol – than their own riff-ravaged hit ‘Dangerous Bastard’, a groundbreaking work of self-realisation for a hair rock band in 1986: “Is it true you like my curls? Do you think we look like girls?”
Tito Puente – ‘Mambo Gozon’
Station: Radio Espantoso
Heading over to Little Havana to help the Cubans fight off the Haitian gangs and their hypnotic voodoo leader Auntie Poulet, if you’re anything like us you whacked on Radio Espantoso, pulled on some colourful sleeves and necked mojito buckets along to this infectious mambo madness. Plus, its essential cheeriness made pulling up at an Ammu-Nation to load up on AK rounds all the more badass.
Cutting Crew – ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’
Station: Emotion 98.3
Okay, so you knew this tune before the game, but Vice City players grew a particular fondness for this power ballad station’s fist-pumpiest moment. When you’d fought your way through a thousand warehouse fire-fights, ducked into dozens of pay’n’sprays with six stars’ worth of army tanks and choppers on your tail, destroyed all rival gangs and realised your every Scarface fantasy, there was no more rousing song to help celebrate while burning across Starfish Island to your sprawling mob boss mansion than this.
Corey Hart – ‘Sunglasses At Night’
Station: Wave 103
At the time we all thought ‘Sunglasses At Night’ was a Tiga & Zyntherius song, but this original version popping up on the electro-pop station of GTA:VC was just one of the game’s knowing nods to the 80s tunes that were being sampled willy-nilly in the 2000s. Even music was robbery, it seemed to say, kapish?