If you’re anything like me, hearing that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is copping remasters will have you frothing at the damn mouth. With that nostalgic explosion now just around the corner, I figure it’s a good time to get pumped on one of the best parts of the entire franchise — the immaculate soundtracks.
The THPS games have always held a special place in my heart, not only because they were the perfect alternative to actually skating when the weather sucked, but also because the perfectly curated tracks introduced me to a world of music I still love so much today.
With that, allow me to present to you the absolute 10 best tracks from THPS 1 + 2.
10. Powerman 5000 – When Worlds Collide
This is what it’s like when worlds collide, baby. Boardsliding into number ten is Powerman 5000‘s When Worlds Collide, which is practically the dictionary definition of nu-metal.
You just can’t beat that disco verse beat and heavy chorus combo when it comes to a solid skate tune, you know?
9. Naughty By Nature – Pin the Tail on the Donkey
The THPS soundtracks are a lot like my own tastes. Plenty of punk and metal with a sprinkle of good hip hop. This Naughty By Nature track definitely informed the hip hop I’m likely to enjoy today.
Also, it just fits the game so damn well. It’s upbeat, well-paced and makes stacking it a little less painful. GO, GO, GO, GO, GO.
8. Dead Kennedys – Police Truck
Punk with the perfect smattering of surf rock guitars. To me, this song is the audio embodiment of a good old fashioned snake run.
It is my belief that listening to this track will extend your grinds by at least 30 metres.
7. Bad Religion – You
Punk doesn’t get any more pure than this, folks. THPS was the first place I ever heard Bad Religion and it added a whole new layer of sound to the punk I knew at the time, which was pretty much just The Offspring‘s Americana.
If a kickflip was a band, it would be Bad Religion.
6. Suicidal Tendencies – Cyco Vision
Hardcore is my favourite genre of music. It takes the punk base, slaps it across the face and crams it full of more energy than it had in the first place, which is a lot. Suicidal Tendencies was one of the first bands I heard that leaned towards the hardcore side of punk.
Digitally skating to this song really amped me up every damn time, which ultimately led me to conclude that it’s extremely my jam.
5. Lagwagon – May 16
You can’t have a top 10 of THPS tracks without Lagwagon. Need I say more?
When punk taps into the feels it can only lead to good things, like this cracking song.
4. Anthrax & Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
Public Enemy and Anthrax doing a song together? I really didn’t recognise how huge this was at the time, but dude, what a combo. The thrash metal pounding of Anthrax and Flava Flav in the same setting will always be a beautiful thing to behold.
This song led me to explore early Anthrax and the whole thrash metal scene in general, so I really owe it a lot.
3. Rage Against the Machine – Guerrilla Radio
I didn’t know that this was Rage Against the Machine when I first heard it, but I knew that it kicked ass, especially as a skate track. When I started to really get into the band in later years I remember finally connecting the dots and thinking, “Yeah, this makes a lot of sense.” Another great soundtrack pick by an incredible band.
LIGHTS OUT. GUERRILLA RADIO. Hook it to my god damn veins, man.
2. Millencolin – No Cigar
To this day, No Cigar is still one of my favourite songs. It also stands as one of the most memorable tracks spanning the entire THPS franchise.
Millencolin are Swedish punk geniuses and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees. Or beat you in a game of HORSE, either one.
1. Goldfinger – Superman
PICKITUP PICKITUP PICKITUP PICKITUUUUPPPP. C’mon, as if you didn’t see this absolute belter of a tune coming in at number 1. Ask anyone to name the first THPS song that comes to their mind and I’d wager most of them will throw this one at you.
Ska has copped a bung rap over the years but man it’s a good time. Those opening chords still elicit a powerful response in my brain that makes me wanna run full-pelt to the nearest skate park and launch straight into a Christ Air.
Dropping on the 4th of September, the THPS 1 + 2 remasters will feature all of the classic tracks above along with 37 brand new ones including Aussie and Kiwi artists like Baker Boy, DZ Deathrays, A. Swayze & the Ghosts, Alex Lahey, CHAII and more. I think we can all agree that along with a schmick new coat of paint, some great new tunes will really make this thing pop.
See you in the warehouse, which you can actually play in a demo right now.