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BioShock Infinite Licensed Soundtrack

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For the orchestral score composed by Garry Schyman, see BioShock Infinite Original Soundtrack.

BioShock Infinite features an electic licensed soundtrack. It can be divided into three sections:

  • Songs from around the time period of the game's setting in 1912, including music from the bluegrass and gospel genres.[1]
  • Modern recordings of period songs.
  • Music that has been arranged to fit in with the era while anachronistic to the time period.


BackgroundEdit

Like the licensed soundtrack for both BioShock, BioShock 2, many songs in the game's soundtrack are typical of its time period or earlier. However, some are technically anachronistic due to the game's setting being in 1912. In an interview, Ken Levine stated that it was difficult to "find music from that era that sounds great to a modern ear" as modern chord progressions had not yet developed.[1] Thus some of the songs listed here should be taken as representative rather than strictly adhering to the setting ranging from early Edison cylinders from 1909 to folk recordings from 1967.

Other songs are modern recordings of actual period songs. Duncan Watt (Fastestmanintheworld Media) played the piano [2] for Scott Joplin's piano compositions.

Jessy Carolina was invited to perform "After You’ve Gone", "Fortunate Son", and Mozart’s "Lacrimosa". "Wild Prairie Rose" is an original song written by Jessy Carolina and performed by her band Ommie Wise.[3]

Creative director Ken Levine and music director Jim Bonney debated over the concept of "modern songs, but in a period style". The largest problem posed was finding people who could arrange in a period style and the honor the intent of the songs. Rock songs were slightly easier as they could be traced back to their roots in blues such as Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son".[4]

Looking for a song for the Barbershop Quartet proved tricky as many choices required "a modern percussion sound" that did not transfer well to vocal harmonies. The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" was one that thrived in the transition and was inspired from the ending scene in the 1997 film Boogie Nights.[5] Arrangement was done by Clay Hine, baritone, and sung by a Mighty Wind.[6][7]

Scott Bradlee, creator of the Post Modern Jukebox series on YouTube, was invited to contribute arrangements for the anachronistic songs. He commented that "[u]nlike some of my YouTube videos, this had to be done in an extremely subtle way".[8] He played piano on all his rearrangements: "Tainted Love", "Shiny Happy People", and "After You've Gone". Bradlee also recorded "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" while singing with his best "best 1912 voice".

In order to lend authentic credence to these modern recordings, Audio Director Patrick Balthrop used a "1912 Edison gramophone" to add Foley, background pops, and crackles.[9]

Religious controversy erupted after the premiere of the BioShock Infinite trailer at the 2011 Video Game Awards regarding the cover of the hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and its apparent removal of "Lord" from the chorus. [10] The confusion arose from the popular Carter family version of the song released in 1935 which featured rewritten lyrics.[11] However, the original 1908 lyrics does not feature the word "Lord".

Licensed SongsEdit

Note: As stated above, some of the songs listed here should be taken as representative rather than strictly adhering to the setting of 1912.

Title Artist Year Location
"(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion" Polk Miller[12] 1909[13]
"(What Do We Do on a) Dew-Dew-Dewey Day" Charles Kaley & His Orchestra[12] 1927[14]
"Indian Love Call" Sigmund Krumgold (organ)[12] 1927[15]
"Little Pal" Lew White (organ)[12] 1929[16]
  • Background music of various Kinetoscopes
"Ain't She Sweet" Ben Bernie and the Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra with Scrappy Lambert and Billy Hillpot[12] 1927[17]
"Ain't We Got Fun?" Van & Schenck[12] 1921[18]
  • The Blue Ribbon Restaurant
  • On radio in the main menu and at the Columbian Archeological Society
"Watermelon Party" Polk Miller[12] 1909[19]
"Makin' Whoopee" Rudy Vallée[12] 1929[20]
"St. James Infirmary Blues" Irving Mills with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra (recorded under the pseudonym "Ten Blackberries")[12] 1930[21]
  • In the storage room near the employee entrance to the Arcade
  • On radio in the main menu and at the Columbian Archeological Society
"Me and My Shadow" The Sam Lanin Orchestra (recorded under the pseudonym "The Rangers")[12] 1927[22]
  • The Envy of All His Peers kinetoscope.
  • On radio in Esther's room next to the gondola station's ticketing booth
  • On radio in the main menu and at the Columbian Archeological Society
"Black Gal" Ed Lewis with unidentified prisoners, recorded by Alan Lomax[12]1959[23]
  • Sung by prisoners in a chain-gang while being questioned by Daisy Fitzroy aboard the First Lady, prior to entering Finkton
"I'm Wild About That Thing" Bessie Smith[12] 1929[24]
"Button Up Your Overcoat" Helen Kane[12] 1929[25]
"Shake Sugaree" Elizabeth Cotten (guitar)
Brenda Evans (vocals)[12]
1967[26]
"It All Depends on You" Irving Kaufman with Fred Rich and His Hotel Astor Orchestra[12] 1927[27]
"The Bonnie Blue Flag" Polk Miller[12] 1909[28]
"Shine On, Harvest Moon" Ada Jones and Billy Murray[12] 1909[29]
"The Grand Old Rag" Billy Murray 1906[30]
  • BioShock Infinite 2010 Debut Trailer

‡The official credits page incorrectly cites the 1948 Dan Barnes recording. The 1959 Ed Lewis recording of the song is the one actually used in the game.

Contemporary CoversEdit

Modern Covers of Period SongsEdit

Title Original Composer Year Composed Performer Location
"After You've Gone" * Henry Creamer (lyrics)
Turner Layton (composer)
1918 Jessy Carolina (vocals)
Scott Bradlee (piano)
Sean Condron (guitar)
[31][12][8]
"Solace" Scott Joplin 1909 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
  • During loading screens
"The Easy Winners" Scott Joplin 1901 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
"The Strenuous Life" Scott Joplin 1902 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
"Sunflower Slow Drag" Scott Joplin 1901 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
"Bridal Chorus" Richard Wagner 1850 unknown
  • Performed at the Raffle when getting the first prize
"Air on the G String" Johann Sebastian Bach 1723 unknown
  • On a phonograph at the aviary atop the Fraternal Order of the Raven
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Choir) Ada R. Habershon (lyrics)
Charles H. Gabriel (composer)
1907 Marc Lacuesta (arrangement)
Maureen Murphy (soloist)[31]
"Agnus Dei"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1791 unknown
"Confutatis"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1791 unknown
"Lacrimosa"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1791 Jessy Carolina [32]
"Rex Tremendae"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1791 unknown
"Goodnight, Irene" Hudder Ledbetter (composer/lyricist)[31][12] 1932 Jim Bonney (performance/arrangement), Bill Lobley (main speaker)
"Just a Closer Walk with Thee" Unknown, The Selah Jubilee Singers (first known recording) Unknown, first recorded version in 1941 Courtnee Draper (vocals), James Edwards (piano)[31]
"Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2" Frederick Chopin 1832 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
"Canon in D Major" Johann Pachelbel 1694 Jim Bonney (piano)[31]
  • At the projector room on the second floor of Comstock House
"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (Elizabeth and Booker) Ada R. Habershon (lyrics), Charles H. Gabriel (composer)[33] 1907 Courtnee Draper (vocals), Troy Baker (guitar)[31]
"Valse Sentimentale No. 1" Franz Schubert 1823 Duncan Watt (piano)[31]
  • Entrance to Emporia at Port Prosperity, played by the player piano at which Rosalind Lutece is seated

* Marion Harris is credited for first performing the song in 1918. However the game references the arrangement performed by Bessie Smith in 1927.[12]

†Part of Mozart's Requièm Mass in D minor


Infinite Spoilers


Anachronistic Covers of Modern SongsEdit

Several songs heard in Columbia are period-sounding "covers" of modern hits.

Some of the original versions of these songs can also be heard through Tears which allowed[34] composer Albert Fink to plagiarize and create his immensely popular (but unoriginal) melodies.

Title Original Artist Year Originally Recorded Performer Location
"God Only Knows" The Beach Boys[12] 1966 A Mighty Wind barbershop quartet[31][35]
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Robert Hazard (composer)
Cyndi Lauper (vocals)[12]
1979 Jim Bonney (calliope)[31]
"Tainted Love"

(Clash in the Clouds Full Version)

Ed Cobb (composer)
Gloria Jones (1964)
Soft Cell (1981)[12]
1964 Scott Bradlee (piano)
Miche Braden (vocals)[8][31]
"Fortunate Son"Creedence Clearwater Revival[12] 1969
Jessy Carolina (vocals)[31]
  • Sung by woman near the stocks in Shantytown during successful uprising
  • Plaza of Zeal in a Tear (original)
"Shiny Happy People"R.E.M. [12] 1991 Tony Babino (vocals, Al Jolson-esque)
Tom Abbott (clarinet)
Scott Bradlee (piano)
Sean Condron (banjo)
Adam Kubota (bass)
Allan Mednard (drums) [31]
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"Tears for Fears [12] 1985 Scott Bradlee (vocals, piano)[8][31]
  • BioShock Infinite E3 2011 Gameplay Demo
  • Hummed through the Siphon in Monument Tower.
  • Phonograph at Albert Fink's House
  • Monument Tower in a Tear (original)
  • End Credits
"Wild Prairie Rose" Ommie Wise[31] 2013[36] Ommie Wise

†Also available to unlock in The Columbian Archeological Society (Clash in the Clouds)

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • As an Easter egg, Django Reinhardt's and Stéphane Grappelli's "La Mer" is reprised from the first BioShock when crossing over the Tear to Rapture at the end of the game.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Q&A: Ken Levine’s Brave New World of BioShock Infinite" article at Wired.com
  2. "BioShock Infinite" Fastestmanintheworld Media article
  3. "Jessy Carolina and Bioshock Infinite" article at Gamer Horizon, published May 14, 2013
  4. The music behind Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea - An interview with Ken Levineat Gamestop
  5. We are Ken Levine (@iglevine) and Andres Gonzalez from Irrational Games. Ask Us Anything. at reddit.com
  6. http://www.barbershop.org/a-mighty-wind-bioshock-infinite/
  7. http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/view/gametrailers-com/115849-BackTrack-Composing-BioShock-Infinite-Act-1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 My Music in Bioshock Infinite at Post Modern Jukebox
  9. "The sound of BioShock Infinite" BioShock Infinite Audio Development (stored at archive.is)
  10. "Oh, Lord: Ken Levine didn't remove religious lyrics from BioShock Infinite trailer" article on ArsTechnica.com
  11. Orphan Songs, Part 4: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" at The Celestial Monochord
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 Music page of the official BioShock Infinite website
  13. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/polk_miller_and_his_old_south_quartette
  14. http://www.78discography.com/COL1000D.htm
  15. http://www.78discography.com/OK40500.html
  16. http://www.78discography.com/BRN4000.htm
  17. http://www.78discography.com/BRN3000.htm
  18. http://www.78discography.com/COLA3000.htm
  19. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/polk_miller_and_his_old_south_quartette
  20. http://www.78discography.com/Har500.htm
  21. http://www.depanorama.net/30.htm
  22. http://www.78discography.com/Linc2500.htm
  23. http://research.culturalequity.org/rc-b2/get-audio-detailed-recording.do?recordingId=4207#
  24. http://www.78discography.com/COL14000D.htm
  25. http://www.78discography.com/vic21500.html
  26. http://www.discogs.com/Elizabeth-Cotten-Vol-2-Shake-Sugaree/release/1762342
  27. http://www.78discography.com/COL500D.htm
  28. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/polk_miller_and_his_old_south_quartette
  29. http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr+1=1020&num=1&start=1&query=cylinder3588
  30. http://www.discogs.com/Billy-Murray-The-Grand-Old-Rag/release/3957827
  31. 31.00 31.01 31.02 31.03 31.04 31.05 31.06 31.07 31.08 31.09 31.10 31.11 31.12 31.13 31.14 31.15 31.16 31.17 31.18 "Music and Score" section of the BioShock Infinite end credits
  32. "Jessy Carolina and Bioshock Infinite" article at Gamer Horizon, published May 14, 2013
  33. "Oh, Lord: Ken Levine didn't remove religious lyrics from BioShock Infinite trailer" article on ArsTechnica.com
  34. Changing My Tune
  35. A Mighty Wind barbershop quartet homepage
  36. "Jessy Carolina and Bioshock Infinite" article at Gamer Horizon, published May 14, 2013

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