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Judas Priest, Billy Idol and Bush headline NHL 12’s soundtrack

Rob Halford, singer, songwriter and musi

Rob Halford, singer, songwriter and musician of British heavy metal band from Birmingham, the ‘Judas Priest’, performs on the main stage of Sziget Festival on August 11, 2011 on ‘Hajogyar’ Island in Budapest. Sziget (“island” in Hungarian), one of Europe’s largest music festivals, takes its name from its location, a 79-hectare (187-acre) island on the Danube just north of downtown Budapest. Since its creation 19 years ago, it has gained increasing international fame, with now mostly Dutch, French and Italian students and backpackers paying the 54,000 forint (200 euros, $287) for a week-long camping pass at the festival. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

If you’re anything like me, you end up playing your own “custom soundtracks” during sports games once the commentary tracks repeat themselves and the more grating choices wear you down. (Besides, nothing fits hockey quite like the experimental sounds of Can ... right?) Of course, my music choices tend to backfire when I’m stickhandling well beyond the final whistle, but that’s the price you pay to avoid Nickelback.

Anyway, the vast majority of people who play these games will probably find themselves exposed to a steady stream of whatever NHL 12 puts on its soundtrack. Musical taste obviously varies - many people probably didn’t appreciate my Nickelback comment, for instance - but for better or worse, NHL 11 featured a surprising run of recognizable arena tracks. (In a way, it’s shocking that every sports game doesn’t have Europe’s “The Final Countdown” on their soundtracks, even if it’s just for the inherent ironic humor.)

With its predecessor’s Jock Jams-friendly mix in mind, NHL 12 has a tough act to follow. Would they pull out all the stops and include Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” in the mix? Perhaps they’ll throw us all a curveball by throwing in a classy Michael Bolton number or make Phil Collins a little richer? Let’s take a look at the soundtrack via EA Sports’ NHL 12 blog.

Here’s the full list of tracks that will be on NHL®12 in alphabetical order by artist (album in brackets):

Against! Me – Occult Enemies (Russian Spies/Occult Enemies)

Anthrax – I’m Alive (Worship Music)

Beady Eye – Standing on the Edge of the Noise (Different Gear, Still Speeding)

Billy Idol – Mony Mony (The Very Best of Billy Idol)

Black Tide – That Fire (Post Mortem)

Blackguard – Farewell (Firefight)

Bush – Sound of Winter (The Sea of Memories)

Death Letters – I Wish I could Steal a Sunset (Post-Historic)

Dropkick Murphys – Hang ‘em High (Going out in Style)

ELO – Don’t Bring Me Down (Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of ELO)

Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ (Screaming for Vengeance)

Manchester Orchestra – April Fool (Simple Math)

Middle Class Rut – Busy Being Born (No Name No Color)

Murderdolls – Whatever you got, I’m Against It (Women and Children Last)

Well, the Judas Priest selection ranks as essential arena rock, but I must say I’m a bit lukewarm on the list overall. For direct comparison’s sake, here’s the NHL 11 soundtrack list via Kotaku.

In NHL 11
• In Whispers - Here I Stand
• Airbourne - Bottom Of The Well - No Guts. No Glory.
• Bullet For My Valentine - Your Betrayal - Fever
• Megadeth - Dialectic Chaos - Endgame
• Pantera - Walk - Vulgar Display Of Power

In NHL 11 and NHL Slapshot
• Danko Jones - Full of Regret - Below The Belt
• 2 Unlimited - Twilight Zone - Get Ready!
• Black Box - Strike It Up - Dreamland
• Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Mama Taught Me Better - Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
• Bouncing Souls - ¡Olé! - Hopeless Romantic
• Darude - Sandstorm - Before The Storm
• Dropkick Murphys - Shipping Up To Boston (Live) - Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA
• Europe - The Final Countdown - The Final Countdown
• Foxy Shazam - Unstoppable - Foxy Shazam
• Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones
• The Black Keys - Howlin’ For You - Brothers

Again, I have to give the edge to NHL 11, even if I ended up ignoring its soundtrack after a few hours of game time anyway. What do you think, though? Tell us all about your favorite/least favorite choices (or debate choices that would have been better examples of those artists’ unparalleled mastery) in the comments. Please be nice to fellow commenters either way, even if you disagree with their sonic preferences.

(H/T to Doug Miller.)