GTA Vice City’s V-Rock: The Best of ‘80s Metal


It’s been almost 20 years since Grand Theft Auto (GTA): Vice City came out in 2002. Yet somehow, it remains one of the most influential and talked-about games in the ever-popular series.

When veteran producer, writer, and radio host Lazlow Jones who also worked on Red Dead Redemption announced his departure from Rockstar games, the first thought for many was to remember his work as DJ Lazlow of V-Rock station in Vice City. Furthermore, unlike other GTA titles, Vice City has gone on to inspire material even in the rapidly growing digital casino gaming scene. Foxy Games details how the Gangsta City digital slot was directly inspired by GTA: Vice City, even basing its slot features on the helicopter rides, turf wars, and gun-wielding gangsters from the retro city of sin. In this and other Vice City-inspired games, the similarities are definitely not coincidental.

Apart from its iconic art style and action-packed elements, the in-game music was one of the game’s main draws – listenable through the game’s different radio stations. And out of all those stations, arguably the best and hardest hitting was V-Rock, the in-game rock radio. The only reason ScreenRant ranks V-Rock second in their list of best radio stations in GTA: Vice City is because Flash FM, with its top 100 ‘70 and 80’s pop playlist, arguably captured the spirit of the era better. That being said, V-Rock along with the voice of DJ Lazlow were inadvertently responsible for introducing countless teenage gamers from the early 2000s to seminal ‘80s thrash, glam, and hair metal.

Indeed, lots of gamers during this era were driving past the saturated streets and palm trees of Vice City when they first heard highly influential artists like Judas Priest, Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne, Loverboy, and Iron Maiden. Here’s a list of all the songs that DJ Lazlow originally played for V-Rock listeners:

Alcatrazz – God Blessed Video
Anthrax – Madhouse
Autograph – Turn Up The Radio
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
David Lee Roth – Yankee Rose
Iron Maiden – 2 Minutes To Midnight
Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Love Fist – Dangerous Bastard
Love Fist – Fist Fury
Loverboy – Working for the Weekend
Megadeth – Peace Sells
Mötley Crüe – Too Young To Fall In Love
Ozzy Osbourne – Bark At The Moon
Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel the Noize
Slayer – Raining Blood
Tesla – Cumin’ Atcha Live
Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock

When Rockstar later released GTA: Vice City Stories in 2006, they expanded the playlist for V-Rock. Here are the songs that made it to the new station:

Accept – Balls to the Wall
Autograph – All I’m Gonna Take
Dio – Holy Diver
Dokken – Breaking the Chains
Judas Priest – Electric Eye
Kiss – Lick It Up
Krokus – Long Stick Goes Boom
Mötley Crüe – Looks That Kill
Queensrÿche – Queen of the Reich
Quiet Riot – Metal Health (Bang Your Head)
Ratt – Round and Round
The Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane
Ted Nugent – Stranglehold

In short, V-Rock took the mandate of playing only the best of ‘80s rock seriously. And even if some of the songs are from the mid ‘70s or early 2000s, they still carried with them the spirit of ‘80s metal and rock. Thanks to V-Rock, GTA: Vice City will always have a place in the hearts of metal heads everywhere.

COVER IMAGE  CREDIT: Sean MacEntee under CC BY 2.0 License – No changes were made to the image.

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