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The soundtrack of the game Grand Theft Auto III has found popularity outside the game's fanbase. In the game, music is played on various "radio stations" which the player can listen to after a car has been acquired. Most radio stations play a mixture of music, DJ chat, and spoof advertising. The stations each reflect one style of music intended to evoke a certain atmosphere.

Some stations feature songs that were written specially for the soundtrack (or in some cases for the soundtracks of previous games in the series). Most of these tracks were written by Craig Conner and Stuart Ross, often with vocals and performances by other musicians. Where music has been created by Conner and Ross, a fictional band is credited to the song, and often the name of the band or the music itself is a parody of a well-known artist's style. Other stations, however, use music licensed from various record labels; this combination differs from those of the game's predecessors, which featured entirely original soundtracks.

The station that plays when the player gets in a car is fairly random (and can be changed or switched off if desired), but there are certain factors that will make the "choice" lean certain ways, such as the area the car is in, the type of car, and if it is a gang's signature car. All of the gangs in the game have favored radio stations.

Other than the radio stations, the only other occurrence of music in the entire game is within the game's intro and credit sequences, which play to very jazzy/bluesy piano tracks.

Music stations

Double Clef FM

Double Clef FM logo
DJ: Morgan Merryweather

Genre: Classical, Opera

Tracklist:

Summary: Hosted by Morgan Merryweather (Gerry Cosgrove), Double Clef FM plays a selection of popular sequences from various classical operas. In the game, Double Clef FM is the favorite radio station of the Leone Mafia Family. Morgan Merryweather is a stereotype of a pompous classical music afficionadio, interspersing the tracks with references to his refined lifestyle. His cultural references, however, are often incorrect. For instance, he at one point likens a piece of music to "Fellini's Lolita." Lolita was written by Vladimir Nabokov, and adapted for film once by Stanley Kubrick and again by Adrian Lyne. Federico Fellini never turned the book into a film. Moreover, Merryweather notes that he spent a summer "reading Proust in the original Italian." Marcel Proust wrote in French, not Italian.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


Flashback 95.6

Flashback 95.6 logo
DJ: Toni

Genre: Pop music

Tracklist: Summary: Flashback 95.6 plays 1980s pop music, and is hosted by "Toni" (Maria Chambers). It is aimed at people who are "stuck in the 80s" and, between songs, Toni reminisces about her hedonistic lifestyle during that time. Toni is also a DJ in two of GTAIII's prequels, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, both of which are set in the 1980s. The tracks on Flashback 95.6 are all taken from the soundtrack of the 1983 gangster film Scarface. Flashback is another of the Colombian Cartel's favorite radio stations. The DJ's name might also reference the film, with the protagonist named Tony Montana.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


Game Radio FM

Game Radio logo
DJ: DJ Stretch Armstrong and Lord Sear

Genre: Underground hip hop, Midwest hip hop, East Coast hip hop

Tracklist:

Summary: Game Radio FM provides the radio of Liberty City with hip hop featuring many lesser-known real-life artists and MCs. The station is hosted by DJ Stretch Armstrong and Lord Sear as themselves. Game Radio FM is one of the favorite stations of the Southside Hoods in the game. The instrumental "Scary Movies" which can be heard at the beginning of the radio loop, was produced by Red Spyda for Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" (Bad Meets Evil).

Head Radio

Head Radio logo
DJ: Michael Hunt

Genre: Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Tracklist:
  • Dil-Don't - "Stripe Summer"
  • Whatever - "Good Thing"
  • Craig Gray - "Fade Away"
  • Conor & Jay - "Change"
  • Frankie Fame - "See Through You"
  • Scatwerk - "Electronic Go Go"
  • Dezma - "Life Is But A Mere Supply"


Summary: Soft rock and adult contemporary radio station hosted by DJ "Michael Hunt" (Russ Mottla), and owned by Love Media (a fictional media company in the GTA world). Head Radio is the Diablos gang's favorite radio station. This is the third appearance of a Head Radio station in a GTA game.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


K-Jah

K-Jah logo
DJ: Horace "the Pacifist" Walsh

Genre: Dub

Tracklist:
  • Scientist - "Dance of the Vampires"
  • Scientist - "Your Teeth in My Neck"
  • Scientist - "The Corpse Rises"
  • Scientist - "The Mummy's Shroud"
  • Scientist - "Plague of Zombies"


Summary: Hosted by Horace "the Pacifist" Walsh (Herman Stephens). K-Jah is the favorite station of the Yardies gang, and plays dub reggae music with interspersed bits of chatter from the DJ. All tracks played on the station are from the Scientist album Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires. The frequency for the station, as mentioned by some between-song commercials, is 103.7. It is also one of the few stations not owned by "Love Media", the fictional corporation owned by Donald Love, as can be seen from Horace's line "We have no love for Donald Love, man."

K-Jah's west coast affiliate is named K-JAH Radio West, as seen in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


Lips 106

Lips 106 logo
DJ: Andee

Genre: Pop music

Tracklist:
  • Fatamarse - "Bump To The Music"
  • Marydancin - "Wash Him Off"
  • April's in Paris - "Feels Like I Just Can't Take No More"
  • Lucy - "Forever"
  • Boyz 2 Girls - "Pray It Goes Ok?"
  • Da Shootaz - "Grand Theft Auto (Joyride)"
  • Funky BJs - "Rubber Tip"


Summary: Hosted by "Andee" (Shelley Miller), Lips 106 plays pop music. Lips is the Yakuza's favorite radio station. The song "Grand Theft Auto" by Da Shootaz was originally featured in the soundtrack of the first Grand Theft Auto game, where it can be heard on the fictional N-CT FM radiostation.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


MSX FM

MSX FM logo
DJ: MC Codebreaker and DJ Timecode

Genre: Drum and Bass, Jungle

Tracklist:

Summary: MC'd by MC Codebreaker and mixed by DJ Timecode, MSX FM is a station that plays hardcore drum and bass music and has no commercials. The station's FM frequency is mentioned to be 101.1, an allusion to the 2001 Moving Shadow mix CD mixed by Timecode named "Moving Shadow 01.1". The tracks featured on MSX FM are a subset of those on 01.1. MSX FM is the second favourite station of the Southside Hoods. It should also be noted that the game is set in the year 2001 while the station has the frequency 101.1, while it has the suffix "98" in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, which takes place in 1998.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


Rise FM

Rise FM logo
DJ: Andre The Accelerator

Genre: Trance

Tracklist:

Summary: Hosted by "Andre The Accelerator" (voiced by "Andre") and plays four to the floor style electronic dance music. The playlist in the game is presented as a continuous liveset which is being played and broadcast live from a nightclub called the Planetarium. This station does not feature any commercials. Rise FM is one of the Colombian Cartel's favorite stations. Rise FM is also the name of a real-life internet radio station which is owned and run by Denmarkmarker based Rise Future Media. However, it is in no way connected to the GTA version.

See also: GTA:LCS rendition


Talk stations

Chatterbox FM

Chatterbox FM logo
Hosted and produced by Lazlow (who also co-wrote the script along with Dan Houser), Chatterbox FM is the only radio station in the game that does not feature music. Much like the talk radio stations in the real world, Chatterbox features a format in which listeners call in with opinions, concerns, and complaints, and the host responds with his take on the situation.

The station features two long interviews with fictional Liberty City characters. The first is with Fernando Martinez—a recurring character in the GTA series—who is the founder of Fernando's New Beginnings, which is billed as a sort of revolutionary new "miracle" therapy designed to save struggling marriages. Martinez speaks in a heavily exaggerated "Euro-accent"; when pressed about his heritage, he replies that he is "Latin." Martinez spends the length of the interview deflecting any deep review of his services, and instead relays his particular brand of folksy and absurdist wisdom. At the end of his interview, however, it is revealed that his therapeutic "techniques" are merely a thinly-veiled excuse for the husband to commit adultery when it suits him. Martinez asserts that whenever a man is tired of his wife, he should cheat on her, thereby reducing the anxiety he feels towards his wife, and thus "saving" the marriage. Until the next time. This results in Lazlow throwing Fernando out the studio, accusing him of being "just a cheap pimp from upstate". The second interview is with the pacifist, organic food-eating martial artist Reed Tucker, whom Lazlow constantly makes fun of. Towards the end of the interview, tired of being mocked, Reed attempts to karate chop the studio's desk "into two half desks," claiming he "already visioned" it. After failing miserably, Lazlow starts mocking him by adopting his voice and making comments about him ("I bruise easily, don't throw any tofu or bean curds at me"). It is said by both Lazlow and Reed that he has a food market called "Now and Zen" in Trenton, but this does not exist in the game.

The callers and calls are humorous, and the replies Lazlow gives to his callers are usually comically caustic and opinionated. A common reply to nonsense callers is "Well I'm sure that's a lesson to us all." Several calls reference elements of the game's storyline. Toni Cipriani calls complaining about his mother's failure to treat him like a real man and Maria Latore calls regarding relationship troubles with her boyfriend, Claude (the main character): "He don't talk much". Another call is from a SPANK-head, referring to the increasingly popular leisure drug prevalent in the game. He refers to Lazlow as a pansy and goes on about conspiracies and government brainwashing involving toothpaste.

Another two apparently unrelated calls appear to subtly reference each other; a caller who indicates he is fond of eating animals of any kind says he sometimes finds pigeons that have notes attached, commenting "it's like a fortune cookie with wings". Another caller, a woman from "Citizens Raging Against Phones" (C.R.A.P.), a fictional pressure group within GTA3 who are against the use of telephones, declares that the group uses carrier pigeons in the place of telephones, but that they keep going missing, implying that the first caller is, in fact, eating these pigeons. Lazlow also points out the ironic fact that this anti-phone group had to use a phone to reach the station.

Other callers include an English man calling to tell Lazlow that he needs a nanny to spank him, a man calling in regard to taxes (which he pronounces "Texasmarker"), a man who hates clothes ("Does a lion wear clothes? And the lion is the king of the jungle!") this same caller is also featured in the sequel game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a debate participant, nudist Barry Starks. And a caller who talks about turnips. Lazlow tells this caller that "This isn't 'Gardening with Maurice'." ("Gardening with Maurice" was later featured on WCTR, a talk radio station in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas). Another caller calls in just to say women are made from sand, a theory that was mentioned by Marvin Trill in San Andreas.

Lazlow off-handedly mentions that he is only hosting Chatterbox because he "got kicked off the rock station". In the sequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, he is the host of the radio station "V-Rock". The station is referenced again in Grand Theft Auto IV on the WKTT radio station, mentioning that Chatterbox has become defunct by 2007 and that Lazlow is attempting a new radio show called Integrity 2.0.

The guests on the station were voiced by: Lucien Jones, Karin Bykowski, Hank Stewart, Abbi Davis, Mellowvision.com, Paul Maloney, bernieS, Frank Fava, Kit Halsted, Joe Casalino, Dan Houser, Jay Crutcher, Frank Chavez, DJ Rush, A.M. Watson, Laura Bykowski, Navid Khonsari, Sherry Wohglmuth, Porkchop, Renaud Sebbane, Kyle Maclachlan, Sabby, Kim Schaefer, Debi Mazar, Nick Mandelos, David Connell, Reed Tucker, Jennifer Kolbe, Ami Plasse, Keith Broadus, Cameo Carlson, JD Leeds and Michael Madsen.

Chatterbox FM is the Triad's favorite radio station.

See also: LCFR


Commercials

The myriad commercials are written by Dan Houser and Lazlow (the latter of whom also produced them). They are fairly convincing as real adverts as they adhere to many typical marketing clichés and tricks. Several adverts mention telephone numbers and official websites. Rockstar actually created these websites, and although many links eventually lead back to the Rockstar site, some are more detailed. The Petsovernight.com website, for example, displays pictures of animals and promises "If it's got a central nervous system, we've got it ready to go in a box to your house", tying in with the humor of the commercials.

Some examples of commercials within the game are:

  • Dormatron - An invention that burns calories while sleeping — by moving the limbs strapped to the device while the owner sleeps. Exactly how the subject is strapped in is never explained but is implied as a form of bondage in Liberty City Stories. Parodies 'miracle' weight-loss products that are either ineffective or repackaged versions of proven methods.
  • Equanox - (not to be confused with 'Equinox') Alertness pills from Zaibatsu Pharmaceuticals, with a long and concerning list of side-effects. Parodying No-Doz, as well as dangerous pharmaceuticals. The name appears to be a portmanteau of Equus (Horse) and Nox (Sleep), which suggests that the drug is a horse tranquilizer. Zaibatsu, meaning "conglomerate", is a commonly used word in the GTA series as well as a faction on Grand Theft Auto 2, Zaibatsu is advertised as a pharmaceutical company, not to be mistaken with Maibatsu, a fictional car manufacturer parodying Japanese manufacturers in reality.
  • Eris Running Shoes - Parodies the controversy over Nikemarker's controversial outsourcing and labor practices (Eris, like Nike, is a Greek goddess). This sneaker company employs children ("It's fun! We get to play with knives!", "Yesterday, I made a dollar!" "My friend Joey sewed his hands together!"). Eris appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as one of the clothing brands, and are promoting their "Rampage" line.
  • Fernando's New Beginnings - "A revolutionary new way to save your marriage," explained further during Fernando's stint on Chatterbox FM.
  • Liberty City Survivor - A Battle Royale esque reality show with "20 recently paroled guys...equipped with grenade launchers and flamethrowers". They have to hunt each other down until only one man is left standing. Parodying reality television, especially the very early 2000s trend towards more degrading formulas such as Fear Factor. Liberty City Survivor is also a reference to a promised-but-cancelled multiplayer mode in GTAIII. However, "Liberty City Survivor" would come to frutition as the multiplayer mode in Liberty City Stories. The voiceover is from Jeff Berlin.
  • Maibatsu Monstrosity - A sports utility vehicle notable for its size ("It's so big; we lost little Joey in the back and couldn't find him for an hour") and low gas mileage ("So what if it only does three miles to the gallon, I'm a mom, not a conservationist"). The Liberty Tree says in its newspaper that there were problems with the prototype in the 90s with a few injured persons. Parodies the elephantine sports utility vehicles that were commonplace on American roads in the 2000s, there is also an advertisement in the GTA 3 handbook for the Maibatsu Monstrosity showing a larger Landstalker.
  • Petsovernight.com - A dot-com company that ships its customers live animals (including exotics), anywhere in the country. A parody of some of the decidedly ridiculous dot-com enterprises at the time of the game's release. "Delivering little bundles of love.. in a box.. directly to your door."
  • Pogo the Monkey - A platform action game where players play as a monkey with a banana cannon who attacks scientists and steals gems. Pogo's final mission is to take over the White Housemarker and become president of the United States. The radio adverts make particular parody of the merchandising blitz surrounding popular platforming games that featured anthropomorphic protagonists such as Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog. A fake arcade version of Pogo the Monkey can be found in several places in Vice City.
  • Rakin & Ponzer - Mocking compensation culture, this law firm commercial urges listeners to sue anyone for anything. The first of a recurring ad theme encouraging insurance fraud.
  • The House of Tomorrow - A specialist electronics retailer promoting high-tech items such as 3D virtual reality helmets of questionable usefulness as vital in the digital era, a parody of such real life retailers as The Sharper Image.
  • The Medieval Millennium Fair - A Renaissance fair that takes place every weekend at Liberty City Park, and sells spells, potions and other medieval artifacts.


The ads are voiced by: Stephanie Roy, Gerry Cosgrove, Sean Lynch, Lazlow, Alex Anthony, Jonathan Hanst, Chris Silvestro, Jeff Berlin, Shelley Miller, Ron Reeve, Maria Chambers, Alana Silvestro, Alice Saltzman, Dan Houser, Frank Chavez, Craig Olivo and Laura Bykowski.

Non selectable stations

There are several stations that can be seen advertised on billboards throughout Liberty City. However, these are not available for selection at any time during the game and have no songs or DJs associated with them. They are Liberty FM, WLLC ‘The Zone’ and Liberty Soul FM. It is not clear whether these stations were originally intended to be ‘real’ stations but dropped during development, or if they were simply designed to sit alongside other fake brands advertised in the game.

Another possible non-selectable station is what has been referred to as Orbit FM. However, close inspection of the ad (both in the game and in the instruction manual) shows that the correct name is OR-Bit. There is no ‘FM’ and no evidence that it is a radio station.

Notes

  1. All recordings belong to Opera d'Oro Records and Allegro Corporation ( website).
  2. Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performed by Sesto Bruscantini and Teresa Berganza with the Orchestra e Corodi Roma della RAI conducted by Zubin Mehta.
  3. Written by Gaetano Donizetti. Performed by Renata Scotto, Luciano Pavarotti and Piero Cappuccilli with the Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Torino della RAI conducted by Franchesco Molinari Pradelli.
  4. Written by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by Renata Scotto, Jose Carreras and Sesto Bruscantini conducted by Nino Verchi.
  5. Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performed by Sesto Bruscantini, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Alfredo Kraus with the Orchestra e Corodi Roma della RAI conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini.
  6. Written by Giacomo Puccini. Performed by Tito Gobbi, Cecilia Fusco and Renzo Casellato with the RAI Orchestra and Chorus, Milan conducted by Massimo Pradella.
  7. This aria is only featured in the PlayStation 2 version and is the background music for the Grand Theft Auto III trailer. For unknown reasons, it was removed and replaced with a commercial in all of the Xbox and PC versions.
  8. Written by Giuseppe Verdi. Performed by Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto with the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Comunale of Florence conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini.
  9. The imaging and production on the station was done by Sean Lynch.
  10. Flashback FM imaging voice: "Your dial is in the 90s but your head is stuck in the 80s...Flashback 95.6."
  11. Songs produced by Shecky Green and Stretch Armstrong for Game Records. All of the artists on the station are with Game Records, except for JoJo Pellegrino who is on Violator Records and Black Rob who is on Bad Boy Records. All tracks produced by Rush, unless otherwise noted
  12. Performer is the producer.
  13. All songs written and produced by Craig Conner unless otherwise noted. Imaging and production done by Jeff Berlin. All of the songs on this station were written exclusively for the game.
  14. Vocals by Heidi Hazelton
  15. Vocals by Craig Conner. Written and produced by Allan Walker and Craig Conner
  16. Written, produced and vocals by Stuart Ross
  17. Written and produced by Craig Conner and Julie Wemyss. Vocals by Julie Wemyss
  18. Vocals by Raff Corrilla, Craig Conner and Nancy Jenkinson
  19. Written and produced by Stuart Ross.
  20. Vocals by Kate Mckinnon
  21. Produced by Hamish Brown at Wavelength Studios, London, every song was taken from the Scientist album Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires. The tracks were produced and arranged by Henry "Junjo" Lawes. The rhythm tracks were laid at Channel One. It was mixed at King Tubby's by Scientist, and was published by Greensleeves Records.
  22. Imaging and production done by Jonathan Hanst. The songs on this station were created specially for the game, except for "Grand Theft Auto", which appeared on the soundtrack to the very first game in the series, Grand Theft Auto. All songs written and produced by Craig Conner unless otherwise noted
  23. Vocals by Nancy Jenkinson
  24. Vocals by Anna Stewart.
  25. Vocals by Paul Mackie and Craig Conner. Guitars written by and performed by Allan Walker.
  26. Vocals by Anne Somerville. Written and produced by Stuart Ross.
  27. Vocals by Raff Corrilla and Craig Conner.
  28. Vocals by Robert De Negro
  29. Written and performed by Stuart Ross
  30. MC Codebreaker provides lyrics for the songs. Hosted, produced and mixed by DJ Timecode, all the tracks belong to Moving Shadow. All tracks on MSX are taken from the Moving Shadow compilation titled 01.1.
  31. Written, produced and engineered by Larry Cons.
  32. Written, produced and engineered by Greg Lomas and Steve Ward.
  33. Written, produced and engineered by Sean Martins.
  34. Written, produced and engineered by Robert Haigh.
  35. Written and produced by Brent Newitt, Kieron Bailey and Dave Wallace. Engineered by Dave Wallace.
  36. Written, produced and engineered by Greg Lomas and Steve Ward.
  37. Written, produced and engineered by David Kulenkampff.
  38. The music mix was by Terry Donovan and produced by Lazlow. All songs by real bands signed to Generation Records


External links

General



Spoof sites by Rockstar



Commentary

  • An IGN article about the sounds in the game, with full track listing.



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