The soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which is set in 1992 in the West Coast state of San Andreas, is made up of in-game radio stations which play a variety of music from various genres. In addition to contemporary 1990s music, it also includes music from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. For the first time in the game series, all the songs are licensed, the complete opposite of GTA 1.
Althought most vehicles in the game can tune in the radio, some (i.e. emergency vehicles) play a police radio track instead, and some (i.e. bikes, tractors) don't play anything whatsoever. For the first time the game's stats track which radio is the player's favorite, based on the time spent listening it.
Instead of playing the radios using the mechanics of the previous games (that is, having a single file looped and thus playing the songs, commentary and commercials always in the same order), GTA San Andreas introduced a different mechanic of playing the radios: the game itself randomizes the playlist, DJ commentary during and between songs, and other aspects such as weather reports. Some stations, most notably WCTR, changes its programming as the game progresses, sometimes reflecting events within the game or subplots occurring within the radio programming. Even the police radio track changes towards the latter part of the game, when the riots occurs.
The radio stations that the player can listen in GTA San Andreas are as follows:
- Playback FM - Classic East Coast Hip Hop
- K-Rose - Classic Country
- K-DST - Classic Rock
- Bounce FM - Funk, Disco, Soul, R&B
- SF-UR - House
- Radio Los Santos - West Coast Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap
- Radio X - Alternative Rock, Grunge
- CSR 103.9 - New Jack Swing, Contemporary Soul, Pop, Boy Band
- K-JAH West - Reggae, Dub, Dancehall
- Master Sounds 98.3 - Rare Groove, Classic Funk, Classic Soul
- WCTR - Talk Radio
In addition to the in-game radio stations, in the PC, Xbox and iOS platforms the players can play their own music on a custom radio station. The songs will be played on the "User Track Player" on the PC and Xbox versions and on the "Mixtape" on the iOS version.
An extensive 8-CD Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Official Soundtrack Box Set was released containing music from the game's radio stations, while a smaller 2-CD compilation set was also released.
On 26 October 2014, GTA San Andreas was re-released as a download for the Xbox 360 to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary. However, over the years the licenses for some of the songs expired, and thus some of the songs were excluded from the re-release.
- The songs are listed in the same order as they appear in the game manual.
- * - This song is missing from the re-released versions of the game.
- Kool G Rap & DJ Polo - "Road to the Riches" (1989)
- Big Daddy Kane - "Warm It Up, Kane" (1989)
- Spoonie Gee - "The Godfather" (1987)
- Masta Ace - "Me and the Biz" (1990)
- Slick Rick - "Children's Story" (1988)
- Public Enemy - "Rebel Without a Pause" (1987)
- Eric B. & Rakim - "I Know You Got Soul" (1987)
- Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock - "It Takes Two" (1988)
- Gang Starr - "B.Y.S." (1992)
- Biz Markie - "The Vapors" (1988)
- Brand Nubian - "Brand Nubian" (1989)
- Ultramagnetic MCs - "Critical Beatdown" (1988) *
- Jerry Reed - "Amos Moses" (1970)
- Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn - "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" (1973)
- Hank Williams - "Hey Good Lookin'" (1951)
- Juice Newton - "Queen of Hearts" (1981)
- Statler Brothers - "New York City" (1970)
- Asleep At The Wheel - "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read" (1975)
- The Desert Rose Band - "One Step Forward" (1987)
- Willie Nelson - "Crazy" (1962)
- Patsy Cline - "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray" (1957)
- Statler Brothers - "Bed of Rose's" (1970)
- Mickey Gilley - "Make the World Go Away" (1999)
- Ed Bruce - "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" (1975)
- Merle Haggard - "Always Wanting You" (1975)
- Whitey Shafer - "All My Ex's Live in Texas" (1987)
- Eddie Rabbitt - "I Love a Rainy Night" (1980)
- Foghat - "Slow Ride" (1975)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Green River" (1969)
- Heart - "Barracuda" (1977)
- Kiss - "Strutter" (1974)
- Toto - "Hold the Line" (1978)
- Rod Stewart - "Young Turks" (1981)
- Tom Petty - "Runnin' Down a Dream" (1989) *
- Joe Cocker - "Woman to Woman" (1972) *
- Humble Pie - "Get Down to It" (1973)
- Grand Funk Railroad - "Some Kind of Wonderful" (1974)
- Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird" (1973)
- America - "A Horse with No Name" (1971)
- The Who - "Eminence Front" (1982)
- Boston - "Smokin'" (1976)
- David Bowie - "Somebody Up There Likes Me" (1975)
- Eddie Money - "Two Tickets to Paradise" (1977)
- Billy Idol - "White Wedding" (1982)
- Dazz Band - "Let It Whip" (1982)
- Fatback Band - "Yum Yum (Gimme Some)" (1975) *
- Gap Band - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" (1982) *
- Kool & the Gang - "Hollywood Swinging" (1973)
- Cameo - "Candy" (1986)
- MFSB - "Love Is The Message" (1973)
- Johnny Harris - "Odyssey" (1980)
- Roy Ayers - "Running Away" (1977) *
- Ohio Players - "Love Rollercoaster" (1975)
- The Isley Brothers - "Between The Sheets" (1983)
- Zapp - "I Can Make You Dance" (1983)
- Rick James - "Cold Blooded" (1983)
- Ronnie Hudson and The Street People - "West Coast Poplock" (1982)
- George Clinton - "Loopzilla" (1982)
- Ohio Players - "Funky Worm" (1972)
- Maze - "Twilight" (1985)
- Lakeside - "Fantastic Voyage" (1980)
- Joe Smooth feat. Anthony Thomas - "Promised Land" (1988)
- 808 State - "Pacific 202" (1989)
- A Guy Called Gerald - "Voodoo Ray" (1988)
- Frankie Knuckles feat. Jamie Principle - "Your Love" (1986)
- Raze - "Break 4 Love" (1988)
- Cultural Vibe - "Ma Foom Bey" (1986)
- Jomanda - "Make My Body Rock" (1988)
- CeCe Rogers - "Someday" (1987)
- Nightwriters - "Let The Music Use You" (1987)
- Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It? (1988)
- Marshall Jefferson - "Move Your Body" (1986)
- Maurice - "This Is Acid (A New Dance Craze) (K & T Mix)" (1988)
- The Todd Terry Project - "Weekend" (1988)
- Fallout - "The Morning After (Sunrise Mix)" (1987)
- Robert Owens - "I'll Be Your Friend" (1991)
- The 28th Street Crew - "I Need A Rhythm" (1989)
Radio Los Santos
- 2Pac (feat. Pogo) - "I Don't Give a Fuck" (1991) *
- Compton's Most Wanted - "Hood Took Me Under" (1992)
- Dr.Dre (feat. Snoop Dogg) - "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" (1992)
- Too $hort - "The Ghetto" (1990)
- N.W.A. - "Alwayz into Somethin'" (1991)
- Ice Cube (feat. Das EFX) - "Check Yo Self (The Message Remix)" (1992)
- Kid Frost - "La Raza" (1990)
- Cypress Hill - "How I Could Just Kill a Man" (1991)
- Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Dogg & RBX) - "Fuck wit Dre Day" (1992)
- The D.O.C. - "It's Funky Enough" (1989)
- N.W.A. - "Express Yourself" (1988) *
- Ice Cube - "It Was a Good Day" (1992)
- Eazy-E - "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn" (1988)
- Above the Law - "Murder Rap" (1990)
- Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Dogg) - "Deep Cover" (1992)
- Da Lench Mob (feat. Ice Cube) - "Guerillas in tha Mist" (1992)
- Helmet - "Unsung" (1991)
- Depeche Mode - "Personal Jesus" (1989)
- Faith No More - "Midlife Crisis" (1992)
- Danzig - "Mother" (1988)
- Living Colour - "Cult of Personality" (1988)
- Primal Scream - "Movin' on Up" (1991)
- Guns N' Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" (1987)
- L7 - "Pretend We're Dead" (1992)
- Ozzy Osbourne - "Hellraiser" (1991) *
- Soundgarden - "Rusty Cage" (1991)
- Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name" (1992) *
- Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealing" (1990)
- The Stone Roses - "Fools Gold" (1989)
- Alice in Chains - "Them Bones" (1992)
- Stone Temple Pilots - "Plush" (1992)
- SWV - "I'm So Into You" (1992)
- Soul II Soul - "Keep On Movin'" (1989)
- Samuelle - "So You Like What You See" (1990)
- Johnny Gill - "Rub You the Right Way" (1990)
- Ralph Tresvant - "Sensitivity" (1990)
- Guy - "Groove Me" (1988)
- Aaron Hall - "Don't Be Afraid" (1992)
- Boyz II Men - "Motownphilly" (1991)
- Bell Biv DeVoe -"Poison" (1990)
- Today - "I Got the Feeling" (1990)
- Wreckx-n-Effect - "New Jack Swing" (1988)
- Bobby Brown - "Don't Be Cruel" (1988)
- En Vogue - "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" (1992)
- Black Harmony - "Don't Let It Go to Your Head" (1979) *
- Blood Sisters - "Ring My Bell" (1979) *
- Shabba Ranks - "Wicked Inna Bed" (1990)
- Buju Banton - "Batty Rider" (1992)
- Augustus Pablo - "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" (1975)
- Dennis Brown - "Revolution" (1983)
- Willi Williams - "Armagideon Time" (1979)
- I-Roy - "Sidewalk Killer" (1972)
- Toots & The Maytals - "Funky Kingston" (1973)
- Dillinger - "Cokane In My Brain" (1976)
- Toots & The Maytals - "Pressure Drop" (1969)
- Pliers - "Bam Bam" (1992)
- Barrington Levy - "Here I Come" (1984)
- Reggie Stepper - "Drum Pan Sound" (1990)
- Black Uhuru - "Great Train Robbery" (1986)
- Max Romeo & The Upsetters - "Chase The Devil" (1976)
Master Sounds 98.3
- Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - "Express Yourself" (1970) *
- Maceo & The Macks - "Cross The Tracks (We Better Go Back)" (1974)
- Harlem Underground Band - "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba" (1976)
- The Chakachas - "Jungle Fever" (1970)
- Bob James - "Nautilus" (1974)
- Booker T. & the MG's - "Green Onions" (1962)
- The Blackbyrds - "Rock Creek Park" (1975) *
- Bobby Byrd - "Hot Pants - I'm Coming, I'm Coming, I'm Coming" (1971)
- James Brown - "Funky President" (1974) *
- Lyn Collins - "Rock Me Again And Again" (1974)
- Maceo & The Macks - "Soul Power' 74" (1973)
- Bobby Byrd - "I Know You Got Soul" (1971)
- James Brown - "The Payback" (1973) *
- Lyn Collins - "Think (About It)" (1972)
- The JB's - "The Grunt" (1970) *
- War - "Low Rider" (1975)
- Gloria Jones - "Tainted Love" (1965)
- Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul - "So Much Trouble In My Mind" (1972)
- WCTR News: Hosted by Lianne Forget with Richard Burns , which features up-to-date news in the San Andreas state.
- The Tight End Zone: Sports program hosted by Derrick Thackery.
- The Wild Traveler: Travel program hosted by James Pedeaston.
- Entertaining America: Entertainment program featuring various guests, hosted by Billy Dexter and, after his on-air death, by Lazlow.
- Gardening with Maurice: Gardening show hosted by Maurice.
- I Say/You Say: Political debate show hosted by a husband-and-wife liberal-and-conservative team of Peyton Phillips and Mary Phillips.
- Lonely Hearts: Relationship advice program hosted by Christy MacIntyre and, after he hijacks her show, by Fernando Martinez.
- Area 53: A "Coast to Coast AM" spoof hosted by Marvin Trill.
Various intros, outros and comments are delivered by Barbara Fox.
User Track Player/Mixtape
GTA San Andreas allows players to play their songs in the PC, Xbox and iOS ports of the game. This custom radio station is named "User Track Player" in the PC and Xbox ports, and "Mixtape" in the iOS port.
"User Track Player" only supports .ogg and .mp3 music formats (as well as shortcuts to those types of files). Contrary to previous custom stations in the series, "User Track Player" offers various options of playing the music files: in sequential order, on random, or within a rudimentary radio station that only plays commercials between music tracks. Players are also allowed to immediately skip to the next track if the station is not set as a radio station. Inserting custom music into "User Track Player" consists of placing music files in a "User Tracks" folder, located in its GTA "User Files" folders within My Documents. To ensure recently inserted tracks are sure to be played, GTA San Andreas requires the players "scan" the music folder using the audio options for new music tracks.
"Mixtape" requires the player to create an iTunes playlist on their iOS device named "GTASA", and add songs to that playlist. After that's been done, they must start up the game, be in any normal vehicle, and keep changing the radio station until they reach "Tape Deck", which is between "Radio Off" and WCTR.
The following song wasn't included in the game, but as a bonus track in the 2-CD soundtrack compilation :
Commercials in GTA San Andreas are a gigantic expansion from the previous game, the huge ammount of fictional products that are advertized in San Andreas dwarfes anything that Rockstar had made until that point. Running time for San Andreas commercials is just a couple of minutes shorter than that of GTA V (and with the added value of doing it 9 years ahead of its time). Due to the brand new randomizing mechanics of radios in San Andreas, any radio could play any commercials in any order. As San Andreas is set in an earlier era, the commercials follow the model set by the commercials of GTA Vice City and depicts the media trends, relevant topics and general atmosphere of the early '90s.
Some examples of commercials in GTA San Andreas are: "Grin" (a pill to help cure anxiety, depression, and the lack of confidence that comes with raising a family at the suburbs; consuming it is completely safe, "after all, what could be wrong about a pill that makes you feel better all of the time?"), "Starfish Resort and Casino" (referencing humorously the '90s obsession with "family friendly" casinos, this is a casino where kids can bet, gain money by making lapdances and selling their organs, "this kind of fun should be illegal!") and "Dreamakers" (referencing the arrival in the '90s of many immigrants from ex-communist countries, it offers a start of a career in Vinewood; women that "are only attractive but can hardly read or act will have to sleep their way to the top", and men that "are fat, boring, and have no ideas of their own [are] perfect, why not be movie producers!")
- The number of new songs in this soundtrack is 155.
- The year with the most songs is 1992, with 18 songs.
- All the songs in GTA San Andreas are licensed content, in what is the first time in the GTA series that such a case happens. It is effectively the complete opposite of what happened in GTA 1, where all the songs were original creations made especially for the game.
- Unlike the previous games in the series, which had soundtracks that leaned heavily towards a particular period, the soundtrack of GTA San Andreas is evenly distributed across various decades.
- First time in the series that the game keeps record of which radio is the player's favorite.
- First time in the series where a dynamic and randomized radio mechanic is used, with interchangeable songs, DJ commentary and commercials. Until then, radios in the GTA series were a single file that looped endlessly (and thus it always played the songs, chat and commercials in the same order). This kind of feature wouldn't return until GTA IV.
- Some of the DJs will provide weather forecasts and warnings on air. However, they never mention the sandstorms in Tierra Robada/Bone County/Las Venturas area.
- DJs also broadcast news when important plot points in the game occur.
- The police radio track will change drastically when the player reaches the point of the game where the riots happens: screams, gunshots, alarms, crashes and a loud murmur can be heard over the police radio.
- GTA creator Dan Houser can be heard in a commercial, he is the guy with the British accent that advertises his agency of children-spanking nannies.
- Many songs in the game are sampled by other songs, both in this game and other games in the series.
- The only song that is anachronistic given the 1992 setting is Mickey Gilley's "Make the World Go Away" (1999).
- When staying idle for a long time, sometimes CJ may be heard singing or humming some songs that appear on the game's radio stations:
- Big Daddy Kane - "Warm It Up, Kane"
- Dr.Dre (feat. Snoop Dogg) - "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang"
- Ohio Players - "Love Rollercoaster"
- En Vogue - "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"
- Marshall Jefferson - "Move Your Body"
- Gap Band - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me"
- Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - "Express Yourself"
- Rod Stewart - "Young Turks"
- Lyn Collins - "Rock Me Again And Again"
- Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Dogg) - "Deep Cover"
- Joe Cocker - "Woman to Woman"
- Slick Rick - "Children's Story"
- Only K-Rose, SF-UR and CSR 103.9 retained their full tracklists for the re-releases.
- Radio Stations in GTA 1
- Radio Stations in GTA London
- Radio Stations in GTA 2
- Radio Stations in GTA III
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City
- 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