10 Songs from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to take you back to the early 2000s

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The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series – before they went back – were some of the greatest sports games ever made. What made them iconic wasn’t just the game engine, which created some of the most fluid gameplay ever seen, but the soundtrack. Here’s our pick of the ten most memorable songs from the series.

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Bad Religion – You

Bad Religion first came to prominence for many as You blasted out whilst skating around the Hangar in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – but the band is so much more. Arguably the greatest band in the world, the sheer density of singer Greg Graffin’s lyrics make the entire Bad Religion discography a call to arms for a punk rock defined by intellectualism and challenging authority.
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Suicide Machines – New Girl

New Girl is the perfect introduction to the Suicide Machines. Fast. Loud. Ska. Once you’ve listened to New Girl, go check out the rest of Destruction by Definition too.
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Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla Radio

Lights out! Guerilla Radio! Turn that shit up! Long before RATM became a Christmas novelty band, Tom Morello, Zach de la Rocha and, umm, the other two were subversives, spreading leftist political messages through the major labels. Guerilla Radio is taken from the band’s second album, the Battle of Los Angeles – which is brilliant, but there are very few albums that can match the band’s debut self-titled release for such a consistently strong tracklist.
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The Reverend Horton Heat – I Can’t Surf

Slick back your hair, its time for some psychobilly with this memorable track from Tony Hawk’s 3.
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Motorhead – Ace of Spades

Probably the most famous track in all of the Tony Hawk games. When the song was released in 1980, it spent 12 weeks in the Top 40. Perhaps more importantly, it is no indelibly etched into my mind as the soundtrack to when I hit the Pro score on Airport in TH3 – discovering you could more or less infinitely grind around the rails at the baggage claim machine.
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House of Pain – I’m a Swing It

Who knew that House of Pain had more than one song? “I’m a swing it”, from TH3 is also a song you may wish to Jump Around to.
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Lagwagon – May 16

Veteran punks Lagwagon contributed this track to Tony Hawk 2. “Violins” is perhaps the band’s best known song, but probably isn’t upbeat enough for a skateboarding game.
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CKY – 96 Quite Bitter Beings

Appropriately enough for a skating game, CKY is strongly associated with the TV show Jackass and Bam Margera, who has also been a playable character in a number of Tony Hawk games.
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The Vandals – Eurobarge

Formed in 1980, and with this track featured on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1, the Vandals are surprisingly still going strong today. The band came out of the same Los Angeles punk scene that spawned the likes of Black Flag, Bad Religion and Suicidal Tendencies.
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Goldfinger – Superman

And finally, surely no round-up of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater songs would be complete without the song that defined a generation? Superman, by Goldfinger is the anthem that sums up those much missed afternoons wasted in a virtual skate park. Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!

James O’Malley
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