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

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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.