Ghost Story Games

From the Vault: The Jingles of Burial at Sea

on January 7 2014


The following is from Jim Bonney, Music Director.

Early in production on the BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea – Episode One DLC, Ken encouraged all of us to come up with ways to add depth and definition to Rapture. I thought it would be cool to hear jingles for products that citizens of Rapture would use regularly, and that the player would encounter in the world. Plasmids seemed like great advertising fodder, because they weren’t designed to be weaponized – they were intended to be used for modern convenience. The first one I wrote was for Possession, and I targeted the jingle toward a lover, who might be having trouble keeping their eyes from wandering:

For richer, for poorer,
He always will adore ya,
Faithful to his dying day…


I showed my first pass to one of our writers, Joe Fielder. After he helped me tighten up the lyrics in Possession, Joe came up with a great lyric for Devil’s Kiss, detailing a few novel uses for flames at your fingertips:

Need a light?
Or dry your hair?
Want your steak well-done
but when it comes, it’s rare?
Don’t fret!

Devil's Kiss

C. Heather Holland came in to the studio to record demos for both of these jingles. Her musical talent and vocal flexibility helped us create two different vocal approaches, to accentuate the different styles of the jingles. We recorded Joe as the narrator with the “hottest new plasmid from Ryan Industries”, and then pitched the concept to Ken. He loved them both!

We had time in the schedule to create one more jingle, so I roughed out a tune and arrangement for Bucking Bronco. Joe and I then hammered out lyrics fit for the kiddies:

Bucking Bronco!
It’s how the West was won!
Bucking Bronco!
A blast for everyone!

Bucking Bronco

Time was getting tight, but this was meant to be a big production number. So I sent a lead sheet of the arrangement to composer Duncan Watt. Duncan worked hard and fast to capture the authentic style of a 50’s radio orchestra, while I tracked Brian Church as our barrel-chested baritone. We hired a few voice over talents for our “1950’s-rap”-style canned testimonials, recorded Senior Sound Designer, Jeff Seamster for the narrator, layered up a male chorus, then mixed the whole thing down and “antiqued” it to sound period-appropriate.

Posted on January 7 2014 01:34 pm, under From the Vault, Insider
From the Vault Insider
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Comments (5)

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  • budonasty | January 7, 2014 8:10 pm

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    Hehe I thought those jingles were a cool touch when playing Burial at Sea. Thank you for sharing them and making them available.

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  • budonasty | January 7, 2014 8:15 pm

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    I think the download for the Devil’s Kiss jingle actually plays Bucking Bronco, 🙂 just fyi

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  • joshimarston | January 8, 2014 4:53 am

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    I love Bucking Bronco jingle x/D

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    • losstarot | January 8, 2014 6:47 pm

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      Yes indeed, that one easily gets stuck in your head

      Anyways it’s nice to see how adverts have always been crafted with great detail, each Bioshock an epoch, a city whether it be set in Rapture or in Columbia.more believable each time.

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  • icegrove | February 11, 2014 4:56 am

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    An’t going to fix the devils kiss song? Would like to be able to download it so got all 3.

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