Harmonix didn't start the fire, but they did land Billy Joel exclusively for the Rock Band platform

by: Chuck -
It only makes sense that the first music game with a keyboard would land the Piano Man which is why the folks at Harmonix were happy to announce today that they've signed Billy Joel as an exclusive DLC artist for the Rock Band platform, starting with Rock Band 3.

What's funny about the deal is that it looks like Billy Joel signed up for the deal at least partially out of spite.  The USA Today article that came with the release includes this wonderful quote:

"Alluding to an episode in which characters mention a Rock Band featuring Billy Joel, "the critic wrote something like, 'God forbid that ever should happen.' So I called my people and said, 'Get me (on) that Rock Band game.' Then I wrote the critic, saying that every time I get a check, I'll give him a little nod."

I'm sure most people will care more about the music than the motivation but it's interesting little tidbit for the record.  No details on dates or songs but let us know which songs you like to see in the comments.
ROCK BAND 3 FANS TO PLAY SONGS FROM ‘THE PIANO MAN’ HIMSELF AS BILLY JOEL’S MUSIC IS ADDED AS DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

Rock Band 3 to Rock the World on Oct. 26, 2010, with More Than 2,000* Songs Available to Fans at Launch

Cambridge, MA – Oct. 20, 2010 – Harmonix Music Systems Inc., the world’s premier music video game developer, and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today proudly confirmed that, as reported in USA Today, Billy Joel will bring his music exclusively to the Rock Band platform, among the first to be released as Rock Band™3 downloadable content.

"The addition of the keyboard made me interested in bringing my musicto Rock Band," said Billy Joel. "The game introduces music to an enthusiastic audience in a powerful way, and now also helps players get a grasp on the fundamentals of the keyboard."

“We are very excited to count Billy Joel’s celebrated songs among the first downloadable content available for Rock Band 3,” said Paul DeGooyer, senior vice president of electronic games, music and programming for MTV Networks. “The moment our fans heard we were adding keyboard game play, they have been clamoring for music from The Piano Man. We are delighted to be working with Billy to allow our fans to play his killer arrangements in Rock Band – especially the fantastic keyboard parts.”

Billy Joel has won six Grammy® Awards since his first hit in 1973. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, is a member of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and beginning Dec. 14, some of Billy Joel’s most-loved songs including “Big Shot,” “Captain Jack,” “It’s Still Rock N Roll to Me,” “Movin’ Out,” “Only The Good Die Young,” “Piano Man,” “Pressure,” “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” “The Entertainer,” and “The Stranger” will be available as Rock Band 3 downloadable content and will include Keys and Pro Keys parts.

To date, Rock Band fans have downloaded more than 75 million songs from the Rock Band Music Store, and the Rock Band Network Music Store. With more than 2,000* tracks available in the Rock Band platform, Harmonix and MTV Games stand next to none as the leading providers of downloadable content for rhythm video games. Rock Band pioneered offering content in a variety of ways, through on-disc game play, game export, downloadable content and the Rock Band Network. The Rock Band platform allows fans to interact with their favorite music in a unique and hands-on way, and also gives artists the ability to reach fans through a whole new channel.

Highly anticipated this holiday season, Rock Band 3 delivers the deepest Rock Band experience yet with an incredible 83-song setlist and the addition of keyboards, vocal harmonies and the all-new Pro Mode. The game will be available Oct. 26, in North America and Oct. 29 in the rest of world for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Nintendo Wii™ and Nintendo DS™.

Developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games and distributed by Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), Rock Band 3 will be compatible with all Rock Band™ and The Beatles™: Rock Band™ peripherals and microphones. Pro Mode requires Rock Band Pro-compatible instrument controllers. Mad Catz is the official, licensed peripheral manufacturer and distributor for Rock Band 3 game controllers. Rock Band Pro Guitar mode is compatible with the Rock Band 3 Fender™ Mustang™ PRO-Guitar™ Controller and the Rock Band 3 Squier® by Fender Stratocaster® Guitar Controller (manufactured and distributed by Fender). Find more information on how to pre-order Rock Band 3 today here.
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