The soundtrack to the game Grand Theft Auto IV, like the previous games in the series, is mostly made up of in-game radio stations. These radio stations can be listened to when driving various vehicles in the game, or at the start menu. Radio stations in past Grand Theft Auto games have included licensed music, original music made specifically for the game, DJ chat, and spoof advertising. This game includes 19 in-game radio stations (20 in the PC edition) and over 200 tracks. Of the 19 stations, 16 are musical stations while the other 3 are talk radio.
The radio stations play songs in a random order and will still start at a random point whenever the player enters a vehicle. The radio station that is on when the player enters a vehicle is based on the type of vehicle the player enters.
Along with the in-game radio stations, other credited music is heard exclusively at certain points in the game. This includes the opening credits sequence and when walking through the interiors of certain buildings in the game. Michael Hunter composed and produced the theme song called Soviet Connection and incidental music for the original game.
As part of a partnership between Rockstar Games and Amazon.com, most of the music heard on the in-game radio stations is available for download through the Amazon MP3 digital music store. Beginning with the release of The Lost and Damned, Rockstar's soundtrack sales partner is the iTunes Store.
The following is a complete list of music-oriented radio stations in Grand Theft Auto IV and the music programming found on them, as credited in the Grand Theft Auto IV game manual and the Amazon.com MP3 Music Store. In the PC version there is also a "Independence FM" station which plays music files stored in My Documents\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\User Music path (the songs also need to be scanned on the Audio menu in Settings). Songs that featured with the downloadable content can also be heard in the original version.
^c While not credited as such, as the official title for this song is a picture, it is unofficially titled "[z twig]" or "[b+w stripes]", which is also referenced in the file name ("ZTWIG"). The nomenclature used in this article comes from Warp Records' own labeling of the song.
†† Not included in Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City.
The PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV adds Independence FM to the station line-up, which plays digital music files of the user's choice. Music files or shortcuts to music files placed within the GTA IV User Music folder are played in varying modes as selected by the user. Sequential mode plays the files in order, Shuffle mode randomly selects files, and Radio mode randomly plays songs with DJ commentary and advertisements. Supported file types are .wma, .mp3 and .m4a. QuickTime or iTunes needs to be installed for M4A support. In order for music to be played in Independence FM, the player must tell the game to scan the folder.
Other Info: This station follows Lazlow as he tours Liberty City, speaking with various vendors and pedestrians, and does not actually go on the air until the player unlocks Algonquin Island in the game (prior to this several references are made to the station launching soon). During the program various references are made, mostly from Lazlow's life, like V-Rock in Vice City, WCTR in San Andreas, and Chatterbox FM in Liberty City, there are also specific references to the Chatterbox program aired in GTA III, as he is told to bring back "the vegetarian guy" (Reed Tucker) who Lazlow made fun of, other references include a Backstage encounter at a Love Fist Concert (Love Fist being a band featured in an earlier game). These references are notable as GTA IV is set in a different continuity to the earlier games, and other than Lazlow's discussions contains no direct connections to any of the previous games. During the course of his program he interviews a pervert, a Latin hot dog vendor, a taxi cab driver, and an artist shooting a music video about rain, he also enters into arguments with several pedestrians, including one who tells him to keep his voice down, one telling him that he is an asshole, an internet obsessed teenager who calls him an old man, and a geek who he asks to build a website to sell Lazlow stuff. The pervert, the hot dog vendor, and the geek were all voiced by Fred Armisen.
The Ballad Of Gay Tony adds additional segments to the station. Lazlow mentions that the station "went dark" for a while because of lack of funding (explaining off the absence of new content to the station for The Lost And Damned). The segments deal with Lazlow having an intern named Jorge follow him around Liberty City while he interviews people and shows him the city. Jorge cannot speak English, which Lazlow takes advantage of regularly (and, to that effect, Lazlow cannot speak Spanish which is Georgie's language). He repeatedly threatens to deport Jorge. At the last new segment, Lazlow and Jorge, with Lazlow claiming that he can get into all the clubs, are directed to the Hercules club (which is one of the two clubs featured in the plotline to Ballad). Lazlow is ignorant to the fact of the club's main theme (it's a gay club, synonymous to Ballad's characters). Jorge finally gets revenge on Lazlow by saying something in Spanish, to which all of the clubgoers in the front door line look to Lazlow (to which Lazlow is still ignorant as to why, stating that "the people are attracted to me all of a sudden").
Program: The Séance Host: Beatrix Fontaine (Ilyana Kadushin) Topics: A call-in talk show focused on New Age spiritualism. During the show, Beatrix, a phony psychic, provides callers with questionable advice, and constantly asks for their money. Beatrix's last name may be a reference to Darius Fontaine, a get-rich-quick huckster who appeared in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Program: Pacemaker Host: Ryan McFallon (Bryan Tucker) Topics: A talk show focused on health care. Host Ryan McFallon interviews a panel of three guests: Sheila Stafford (portrayed by Rachel Allen), a spokeswoman for Betta Pharmaceuticals who is said to have left a woman to die because Sheila feared the dying woman was uninsured, Wilson Taylor Sr. (portrayed by Bill Hader), a representative for an HMO, and Waylon Mason (portrayed by Rick Shapiro), an advocate of holistic medicine and home remedies. The show ends with Mason drilling holes in the heads of the other two guests.
Program: Intelligent Agenda Host: Mike Riley (Brian Sack) Topics: A left-wing call-in talk show. Host Mike Riley interviews a panel of three guests: Brandon Roberts, a Vinewood actor who associates himself with left-wing causes only to enhance his own image, John Hunter, a candidate for state governor, and Zachary Tyler, a child prodigy who was brought onto the show as an example of liberal parenting. The show ends with John Hunter spanking Zachary Tyler, and Zachary pleading 'No! Please no!'. Brandon also mentions a 'real' religion that he's a member of, The Epsilon Program of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas fame, and says "Kifflom" at the start and the end of the program.
Program: Richard Bastion Show Host: Richard Bastion (portrayed by Jason Sudeikis) Topics: A right-wing call-in newstalk show. During the show, host Richard Bastion (a parody of Rush Limbaugh) answers guests' questions and statements about what they think is wrong with America. One male caller (voiced by Matt Pearson) details about the "Maibatsu Monstrosities", a large luxury SUV parodying the Ford Excursion, which winks GTA III's radio commercials and Chatterbox FM's female caller driving one. Other Info: In July 2007, Rockstar sent out an e-mail to their mailing list subscribers advertising an opportunity to get on the radio in the game. The e-mail included a link to a website with more information. On the website, it was explained that anyone could call a phone number provided and leave a message complaining about America. Selected messages would be chosen and would appear on the political talk station WKTT in the final build of the game.
Program: Just or Unjust Host: Judge Grady (Michael-Leon Wooley) Topics: A radio court show, drawing some inspiration from Judge Judy and Divorce Court. The show's star, Judge Grady - who is a parody of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas - is extremely misogynistic, biased and idealogical. He is constantly heard insulting and hitting on his female guests, will take the man's side during domestic disputes regardless of how blatantly in the wrong they are, and his monologues are full of right-wing talking points which are often irrelevant to the case. At the end of each show, rather than the judge deciding who is right, the plaintiff and the defendant take part in a game to see who wins the trial. Games include duels, gladiatorial combat with lions, a Three-way, cannibalism and glass-eating contests.
The following is a list of songs that are found in the game, but cannot be heard on any in-game radio stations, as credited in the game manual. Instead, other than the song played during the title sequence, they can be heard exclusively while walking through the interiors of different buildings in the game. One song being heard in a cutscene for the mission, Buyer's Market from TLaD, is Don Omar - "Dale Don Dale" (During Elizabeta's party at the start of mission)
Michael Hunter – "Soviet Connection – The Theme from Grand Theft Auto IV"
Several different adaptations of this song are used in various parts throughout the game. A remix of the theme plays upon game's startup. A solemn version plays on the pause screen and several different short variations are heard upon the player's completion of a mission. A few notes from the theme play when a mission is completed. A remix also plays during the last 30 seconds of a multiplayer match. There is also a short musical jingle version of the theme that is played from an ice cream truck within the game. Another remix version is also played at the end of the game's storyline.
Stuart Hart and Tony Eicher – "The Lost and Damned Theme"
Aaron Johnston, Jesse Murphy, and Avi Bortnick - "The Ballad of Gay Tony Theme"
Additionally, an in-game poster advertising the radio station features a list of bands from the station including Tears For Fears, suggesting that they were dropped during development. However, no song title from this band is seen in the file "american.gxt".