My Highlight Of Red Dead Redemption Is... This Song

Anyone who's played Red Dead Redemption should instantly recognise this song. It's one of the highlights, not just of an amazing soundtrack, but of the entire game itself.

If you haven't played the game, and want to, I'd actually recommend you not hit play. A YouTube clip can't do the "experience" justice.

You'll hear it for the first time when riding across Mexico, around a third of the way into the game (I was particularly lucky and got it alone, on a desert plain, in the middle of the night). And, if you're anything like me, it'll stop you dead in your tracks.

It's called "Far Away", by José González, a Swedish folk singer. What's interesting about this song is not how fitting it is for the game, but how it's so unlike anything we ever expect from a video game.

González is an actual recording artist of note. You may have seen him on TV, or heard his stuff somewhere, or even be a direct fan. That's not the unusual part; lots of games, especially Rockstar ones, sign real artists all the time.

What's unique about this is that the song was made for Red Dead. Rockstar got González to sit down and write a song that would work well for a gunman who finds himself in Mexico, desperate, in danger, alone and a long way from home.

And he totally nails it. It's haunting, but also somehow sounds like it could have come from 1910 and 2010. This is one of my favourite songs of 2010. Not favourite video game songs of 2010, favourite songs. And I don't think I've ever been able to say that about something I heard in a game before.


Comments

    Indeed this was my favorite, closely followed by Dead Mans Gun in the credits.

    I really cannot fault ANY song in this game. They were so sparsely, and so *perfectly* used that they were outstandingly effective.

    I cannot praise the team that put this game together enough.

    it was also my favourite part. the entire soundtrack is great probably one of the in years

    Amazing song. This game would be the sole reason for me getting a PS3.

    Hmmm, Ive been in Mexico for a while now and still havent heard it.
    Over 20 hours in and 50% of the game complete.
    Yes, Im taking my time.

      Then you have missed it... it occurs directly after the mission where you cross the border... once you get on your horse it will start automatically...

      As soon as you get off your horse it will cut out, so you probably have done that.

      I must admit that it's certainly wasn't a song that I was expecting, but it really does fit in with the game. A man crossing the border into a country that is so different to where he is now.

      Kept my horse at it's slowest speed, slowing walking up the hill to find the escarpments in front of you to the left, if the far off distance you can barely make out aa town, as you walk along a thin trail, sheer cliff face one side, a raging river the other.

      That part of the world is very well crafted, my experience was early night, I just wish that is was at sunset or sunrise, that would have been the best. A friend of mine had a thunderstorm happen, that would have been quite cool also.

        Ok, after hearing it on this page and after reading all the comments, Im pissed that I missed it.

      The song is triggered by jumping on one of the horses directly infront of you after getting off the raft,if you didnt take one of those horses you will have missed it.

        Ah that would be it, I just summoned my own trusty steed.

    Yeah it was a beautiful moment in the game when this song started up, except for me it didn't stop me in my tracks....it made me keep riding

    It is an amazing song, which fits so SO perfectly. As has been said above, the soundtrack to this game is utterly brilliant. One of my favourite tunes is the bass driven music that builds up when a fight is about to start.

    Man I love this game. I really, really want them to bring out some singleplayer DLC soon! Can't wait to get back into the stories of that world.

    As a big fan of José... I am truly shocked that I haven't heard this song in the game yet!!

    He is such a great artist too, his voice is distinctive and as Luke mentioned, his voice is truly haunting. If you listen to music whilst you are at work, José is perfect for it... check out his album Veneer and in particular the track Heartbeats.

    Glad to see this song get a write up on kotaku. The entry price for RDR (and a console to play it on) is totally worth it just for these 4mins. Absolutely incredible stuff. Like mr plunkett, I put the controller down, too afraid I would 'break' the song by doing anything.

      I wish I'd done the same, I also really enjoyed it, one of the best and well placed musical pieces I've enjoyed in a game. Unfortunately I got into a bit of a gunfight that seemed to cut it off halfway through.

    This was one of the many mindfuck awesome moments I had during the game... it's just so the opposite of what you'd expect. This game is amazing.

    how do i access my Soundtrack i got the limited edition but it didnt tell me what to do.

    (Riding across Mexico for the first time after saying farewell to Irish, has been one of my fave moments)

      Go Here... http://www.rockstargames.com/reddeadredemption/soundtrackdownload/

      You will need to find the code that should have come with the game though, it will have a 16 character code on it... follow the prompts, etc...

      Although, I'm sure it would have been downloaded enough to find it's way onto the internet somewhere... ;)

    When I got up to this bit it was in the early morning and the sun was just starting to rise above the mountains. I can't say in words how much it just fitted in.

    ^I had this at the same time in the game as Brendan, and wow, it was incredible. It was about midnight when I crossed the border, and all lights in the room were turned off. It sent a kind of warm and fuzzy tingle down my back.

    I just REALLY hope that they bring it to PC (and not just a 'Conversion' version either)

    I'm going to have to play through again. So much footage in that I haven't seen, seems if you take a "darker" path the game plays out quite different.

      I am interested to hear a little bit more about this as well. Wouldn't mind picking it up after a few months and replaying as a bit of a badass to see how different things can be.

    I luckily timed it perfectly, so when I was riding into Mexico, the sun was setting. I was god damn awe-struck.

    Beautiful moment in the game!

      Me too - you crest a hill and see the river and the canyons before you and the sun setting as you trot along the little cliffside path. It was beautiful.

    I got this walking into mexico at about noon, riding slowly along the top of the canyon looking out and being able to see basicly for ever.

    Absolutley awesome.

    Pretty much anytime a song with vocals starts playing it ends up epic in this game.

    The song 'Compass (red dead on arrival)' also hit the mark when your on you way back to see your family after killing Dutch.

      And Dead-mans gun for the end credits. It almost moved me to tears.

      I have never played a game that's gripped me emotionally before.

    Yea, i was in a party and my friends who were ahead of my didn't know what i was talking about the song.

    Awesome song though and when you get your ranch, the song they have then is good.

    Haven't played Red Dead so I only listened to the first few seconds to get a feel for the song. People have listened to Paris, Texas by Ry Cooder (for the movie of the same name)?

    Always loved that track.

    Oh absolutely, this song really did stop me in my tracks. Like most of you I rode to the edge of that cliff and just sat there on my horse. For me it was sunset...

    Equal first is riding back through Tall Trees near the end of the game with "Compass (red dead on arrival)". For me it was during a thunderstorm - my god it gives me shivers just thinking about it.

    I kept riding it actually made me feel pretty Bad A**

    For me, the song did not begin until the moment I reached the crest of the cliff, RIGHT as the sun began to rise over the distant plains. Honestly one of the most startlingly, well, beautiful moments in a Video Game.

    It's things like that, that make me convinced that soon Games will take a place alongside Movies and Novels as a far greater medium of art and storytelling. Though these moments are few and far between now, when they do occur it makes them all that much more astonishing.

    A few of the moments that have stuck with me in gaming as shocking reminders that games can be so much more than "games" were (Possible spoilers)
    When Aerith died in FF7, when you turned out to be Revan in KotoR and the "Would you Kindly" thing from Bioshock would definantly be right up there on my list.

    I also got it at night. Full moon and unexpected. I sat on my horse on top of a little cliff the whole song. It was freaking awesome closest I'll ever come to being a cowboy, or in a movie.
    Made a really good game great!

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