The radio stations in Grand Theft Auto III are a huge expansion over the radio stations of its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 2. Like GTA 2, radio stations can only be heard while in a vehicle. Most radio stations play a mixture of music, DJ chat, and spoof advertising. GTA III includes different genres of music and for the first time in the game series, it also introduces a talk show radio and a custom radio station. In law enforcement vehicles, basic radio cannot be heard, but a police radio can be heard instead.
Although many of the songs that appear in the game were written specially for the soundtrack (or in some cases for the soundtracks of previous games in the series), a large number of tracks were contributions by real artists. Craig Conner and Stuart Ross created the original tracks, often with vocals and performances by other musicians. It is worth noting that virtually none of the contributing real artists were particularly well-known at the time, and appearing on such a popular video game was no doubt greatly advantageous to their careers.
The radio stations that the player can listen in GTA III are as follows:
- Head Radio - Pop, Rock
- Double Clef FM - Classical
- K-JAH - Dub, Reggae
- Rise FM - Trance, House
- Lips 106 - Pop, Top 40
- Game Radio - Underground Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap
- MSX FM - Drum and Bass, Jungle
- Flashback 95.6 - 80's Pop
- Chatterbox FM - Talk Radio
In addition to the in-game radio stations, PC and Xbox players can play their own music on a custom radio station, a feature introduced in this game. The songs will be played on the "MP3 Player" on the PC version and the "CD Changer" on the Xbox version.
- The songs are listed in the same order as they appear in the game.
- For the original songs the year of release is that of GTA III: 2001.
- Authors of the original songs, at the side, in superscript.
- Dil-Don't - "Stripe Summer" (Craig Conner)
- Whatever - "Good Thing" (Allan Walker, Craig Conner)
- Craig Gray - "Fade Away" (Stuart Ross)
- Conor and Jay - "Change" (Craig Conner, Julie Wemyss)
- Frankie Fame - "See Through You" (Craig Conner)
- Scatwerk - "Electronic Go Go" (Stuart Ross)
- Dezma - "Life Is But A Mere Supply" (Craig Conner)
Double Clef FM
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - "Non più andrai farfallone amoroso" (You won't go anymore, loving butterfly) (1786)
- Giacomo Puccini - "O mio babbino caro" (Oh, my dear daddy) (1918) (PS2 only)
- Giuseppe Verdi - "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (Let's drink from the jolly cups) (1853)
- Gaetano Donizetti - "Chi mi frena in tal momento" (Who stops me at such a moment) (1835)
- Giuseppe Verdi - "La donna è mobile" (Women are fickle) (1851)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - "Finch'han del vino" (So that the wine) (1787)
K-JAH or Jah Radio is hosted by Horace "The Pacifist" Walsh and plays dub and reggae music. All the tracks came from the 1981 album "Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires", by Scientist.
- Scientist - "Dance of the Vampires" (1981)
- Scientist - "Your Teeth In My Neck" (1981)
- Scientist - "The Corpse Rises" (1981)
- Scientist - "The Mummy's Shroud" (1981)
- Scientist - "Plague of Zombies" (1981)
- Chris Walsh & Dave Beran - "Shake (Revolt Clogrock Remix)" (2001) (mixes in again at the end of the radio)
- Shiver - "Deep Time" (2000)
- R.R.D.S. - "Innerbattle" (2001)
- Slyder - "Score (Original Mix) (2000)"
- Slyder - "Neo (The One) (2000)"
- Marydancin - "Wash Him Off" (Craig Conner) (removed song, only heard briefly)
- Fatamarse - "Bump To The Music" (Craig Conner)
- April's In Paris - "Feels Like I Just Can't Take No More" (Craig Conner)
- Lucy - "Forever" (Stuart Ross)
- Boyz 2 Girlz - "Pray It Goes Ok?" (Craig Conner)
- Da Shootaz - "Grand Theft Auto" (1997) (C.Conner, Robert DeNegro) (originally included in GTA 1)
- Funky BJs - "Rubber Tip" (Stuart Ross)
- Reef - "Scary Movies (Instrumental)" (1999)
- Royce Da 5'9" - "We're Live (Danger)" (2001)
- Nature - "Nature Freestyle" (2001)
- JoJo Pellegrino - "JoJo Pellegrino Freestyle" (2001)
- Royce Da 5'9" & Pretty Ugly - "Spit Game" (2001)
- Royce Da 5'9" - "I'm the King" (1999)
- Rush - "Instrumental Bed 1" (Andy Thelusma)
- Black Rob - "By a Stranger" (2000)
- Agallah & Sean Price - "Rising to the Top"
- Rush - "Instrumental Bed 2" (Andy Thelusma)
- Calyx - "Quagmire" (2001)
- Rascal & Klone - "Get Wild" (2000)
- Ryme Tyme - "Judgement Day" (2000)
- Hex - "Force" (2000)
- Omni Trio - "First Contact" (2001)
- Aquasky - "Spectre" (2001)
- Rascal & Klone - "Winner Takes All" (2000)
- Ryme Tyme - "T Minus" (2000)
- nCode - "Spasm" (1999)
- D. Kay - "Monolith" (2000)
- Dom & Ryme Tyme - "Iceberg" (2000)
- Debbie Harry - "Rush Rush" (1983)
- Elizabeth Daily - "Shake It Up" (1983)
- Paul Engemann - "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" (1983)
- Amy Holland - "She's On Fire" (1983)
- Elizabeth Daily - "I'm Hot Tonight" (1983)
The following persons are credited for guest voices:
Lucien Jones, Karin Bykowski, Hank Stewart, Abbi Davis, Mellowvision.com, Paul Maloney, bernieS, Frank Fava, Kit Halsted, Joe Casalino, Dan Houser, Jay Crutcher, Frank Chavez, DJ Rush, A.M. Watson, Laura Bykowski, Navid Khonsari, Sherry Wohglmuth, Porkchop, Renaude Sebbane, Kyle Machlachlan, Sabby, Kim Schaefer, Debi Mazar, Nick Mandelos, David Connell, Reed Tucker, Jennifer Kolbe, Ami Plasse, Keith Broadus, Cameo Carlson, JD Leeds, Michael Madsen.
The following songs were included in the Beta stages of development but didn't make the cut for the final release:
- Tom Novy - "Back to the Streets"
- Conor and Jay - "Carry Me Off" (Craig Conner, Julie Wemyss)
- Marydancin - "Wash Him Off" (Craig Conner)
Commercials in GTA III are included in-between songs in the radios, a kind of feature that was successful in the previous game and was repeated for GTA III. The commercials are one of the hallmarks of the radios and advertize fictional products using adult humor, zany banters and recognizable marketing clichés and tropes used in real life commercials.
They are all written by Dan Houser and Lazlow (the latter of whom also produced them). Several adverts mention telephone numbers and official websites. Rockstar actually created these websites, and though many links just eventually lead back to the Rockstar site, some are really quite detailed. The Petsovernight.com website displays pictures of animals and promises "If it's got a central nervous system, we've got it ready to go in a box to your house", tying in with the humour in the commercials.
Some examples of commercials in GTA III are: "Sue Your Boss" (a scheme to gain money through lawsuits and faking injuries), "Fernando's New Begginings" (Fernando Martinez's method of saving stale marriages... through letting the husband use the services of a mistress that satisfies his sexual needs) and "Liberty City Survivor" (an extremely violent reality show, "we will take 20 recently paroled guys, equip them with grenade launchers and flamethrowers, and let them hunt each other down").
Non Selectable Radio Stations
There are several stations that can be seen advertised on billboards throughout Liberty City. However, these are not available for selection at any time during the game and have no songs or DJs associated with them. They are Liberty FM, WLLC The Zone 34.9 FM, and Liberty Soul FM. It is not clear whether these stations were originally intended to be ‘real’ stations but dropped during development, or if they were simply designed to sit alongside other fake brands advertised in the game.
Another possible non-selectable station is what has been referred to as Orbit FM. However, close inspection of the ad (both in the game and in the instruction manual) shows that the correct name is OR-Bit. There is no ‘FM’ and no evidence that it is a radio station.
- The number of new songs in this soundtrack is 55.
- There is 1 song repeating from a previous game (Da Shootaz's "Grand Theft Auto"), so in total the radio soundtrack presents 56 songs.
- The year with the most licensed songs is 2000, with 11 songs.
- For this edition, Rockstar greatly increased the use of licensed content, unlike what the company used for previous games in the series. However, the soundtrack still relies to a large degree in original creations, unlike what they would do in their next game, GTA Vice City.
- The game introduced the first talk radio in the series, Chatterbox FM.
- It also introduced the first custom radio station in the series.
- First game in which recurring radio host Lazlow appeared.
- Also first appearence of recurring radio host Fernando Martinez.
- In Lips 106, Marydancin's "Wash Him Off" can be heard briefly, this song was removed from the final release of the game. Rockstar would nevertheless release the song later, in its full form, as part of the soundtrack of the game.
- One fictitious band makes a reprise from GTA 2: Conor and Jay ("Vegas Road", "Change").
- GTA creator Dan Houser can be heard in Chatterbox FM, he is the caller named "Freddy" that wants to be spanked by a nanny.
- The game uses a generic police radio track used in countless films, series and games ("5 George K, number 30 Broad street" is said in the track). This police track was used too in GTA 1 and GTA 2.
- The oldest song in the entire GTA series can be heard in this soundtrack: Mozart's "Non più andrai farfallone amoroso", from his opera "The Marriage of Figaro" (1786).
- Radio Stations in GTA 1
- Radio Stations in GTA London
- Radio Stations in GTA 2
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City
- Radio Stations in GTA San Andreas
- Radio Stations in GTA Liberty City Stories
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City Stories
- Radio Stations in GTA IV
- Radio Stations in GTA Chinatown Wars
- Radio Stations in GTA V