5. Eiffel 65, “My Console (PlayStation Song)”
Yes, you do know these guys. They sang the infectious – and by that I mean it gave your ears an infection – 90’s electro pop song “Blue (Da Be Dee)”. This song is about as good as that one, literally just listing PlayStation game titles in a voice that sounds like Daft Punk filtered through Autotune while riding in a bumpy car, in a recording that is being played underwater. Among obvious standbys like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo, Eiffel 65 decides to prove their gamer cred by name dropping a few deeper cuts, including Omega Boost, Bloody Roar and…X-Files? Yep, that classic PlayStation X-Files game.
4. Klymaxx, “Video Kid”
Well this is unexpected. From the group that brought you the sweet love ballad “I Miss You” comes a song that is not only told from the surprising perspective of a group of girls checking out and fawning over a guy playing arcade games, but one that is filled with such filthy game-related double entendres as “my arcade is always open” and – no lie – “I wish he’d put a quarter in my slot”. There’s also something about him being her Pac-Man…and the less time you spend contemplating that double meaning, the better.
3. Joe Walsh, “Space Age Whiz Kids”
You know those songs that are really good and you used to really like – until you just heard them so many times that you just can’t stomach them anymore? “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh is one of those songs for me. It is especially unfortunate that DJs play that song so much when Walsh has songs like this in his repertoire. Sure, it has a bit of that judgey “games are melting our kids’ brains” vibe that was prevalent in the early 80’s, but I ain’t even mad at Joe – this song is pretty awesome. He should’ve done more music in that pseudo-robot voice.
2. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, “Human Video Game”
As with most Jazz and Prince songs, this one tells a complete and riveting story, and the story here is this: the Fresh Prince was completely addicted to video games, until one day when he met beatboxer Ready Rock C. He heard Ready doing a vocal rendition of the Donkey Kong refrain, and that somehow broke him of his video game addiction. Now, whenever the Prince feels the urge to relapse, he just has Ready – apparently the titular Human Video Game – do some beatboxing of video game music and sound effects, and that’s how he gets his fix. Or something. I guess gamers just don’t understand.
1. “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Pac-Man”
Weird Al has lovingly skewered nerd culture in general on several songs –White and Nerdy, All About The Pentiums – but a dedicated video game parody song is missing from his back catalog. Well, his officially-released back catalog, anyway, as this recently discovered home demo of his Pac-Man tribute song is now listenable to online. And it’s great. It’s unclear exactly why he never released it, although it being a parody of a Beatles song probably takes most of the blame for that. Still, it’s a really solid song with some terrific accordion work. I love Weird Al and all eras of his work, but there is still something to be said for the charm of these simpler, accordion-heavy tunes that were so prevalent in his early career. As the typical Weird Al-loving and video game-loving 80’s kid I would’ve been absolutely obsessed with this song.