Los Angeles is a city that has inspired some of the greatest songs of all time. From its early days as a small town to its current status as a global metropolis, LA has been the subject of countless tunes over the years. Here are just a few of the many songs about Los Angeles that have become classics.
- 1. “LA” by Elliott Smith
- 2. “Back in LA” by BB King
- 3. “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A.
- 4. “Surfin’ Safari” by Beach Boys
- 5. “Hollywood Freaks” by Beck
- 6. “Going Back to Cali” by The Notorious B.I.G.
- 7. “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa
- 8. “Los Angeles Blues” by Peggy Lee
- 9. “Wanna Be In LA” by Eagles Of Death Metal
- 10. “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & the Papas
- 11. “City of Angels” by The Distillers
- 12. “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman
- 13. “Escape From L.A.” by The Weeknd
- 14. “Los Angeles Is Burning” by Bad Religion
- 15. “Los Angeles” by blink182
- 16. “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” by The Decemberists
- 17. “Move to L.A.” by Tyga
- 18. “L.A. Freeway” by Jerry Jeff Walker
- 19. “Come Out To LA” by Don Broco
- 20. “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow
- Final Thoughts
1. “LA” by Elliott Smith
First on the list is “LA” by the late, great Elliott Smith. This song perfectly captures the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can often come with living in a big city.
The lyrics paint a picture of a city that is both beautiful and heartbreaking, and it’s a must-listen for anyone who has ever felt lost in LA. It was released in 2000 as part of the Figure 8 album.
2. “Back in LA” by BB King
The next song is “Back in LA” by BB King. This tune is a bluesy ode to the city of angels, and it’s one of the most iconic songs about Los Angeles. It was released in 1991 and it instantly became a classic. This can still be streamed on all music platforms today.
3. “Straight Outta Compton” by N.W.A.
Another song that will make you love Los Angeles is this one by N.W.A. “Straight Outta Compton” chronicles the group’s rise to fame in the rap industry, and includes several references to iconic Los Angeles landmarks. It’s a great addition to your playlist if you’re planning on going on a road trip around the city.
4. “Surfin’ Safari” by Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are synonymous with Los Angeles, and “Surfin’ Safari” is the perfect song to get you in the beachy mood.
It’s a fun and upbeat track that will make you want to head to the nearest beach and enjoy the California sun. It was released in 1962 as part of their album of the same title.
5. “Hollywood Freaks” by Beck
“Hollywood Freaks” is a great song for anyone who’s ever felt out of place in Los Angeles. It’s a bit of a quirky track that will give you a glimpse of the weird and wonderful side of Hollywood.
Beck is a native of Los Angeles, and this song is taken from his album Midnite Vultures, which was released in 1999.
6. “Going Back to Cali” by The Notorious B.I.G.
Next on the list is “Going Back to Cali” by The Notorious B.I.G. This song is all about Biggie’s love for Los Angeles, and his desire to move back to the city after living in New York for a while. It’s a great track for anyone who’s ever felt homesick for Los Angeles.
7. “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa is a bit of an acquired taste, but “Valley Girl” is a fun and catchy song that’s worth checking out. It’s a parody of the stereotypical valley girl that will make you chuckle.
Valley girls are a type of girl who originated in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. You can find this track on his Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch album.
8. “Los Angeles Blues” by Peggy Lee
The next song is one of the most unique songs about Los Angeles. “Los Angeles Blues” is a Peggy Lee song that was released in 1962. The song is a blues ballad that tells the story of a woman’s love and hate for the city.
The lyrics paint a picture of the city as a cold and lonely place, but also one that can be full of life and excitement. The song has been covered by many artists, but Lee’s version is the most well-known.
9. “Wanna Be In LA” by Eagles Of Death Metal
“Wanna Be In LA” is a song by Eagles Of Death Metal that was released in 2004. The song is about the band’s love for Los Angeles and the California lifestyle.
The lyrics talk about how the city has everything you could ever want, from the beaches to the clubs. You can find it on their Heart On (Deluxe Edition) album.
10. “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & the Papas
Next on the list is “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & the Papas. The song was released in 1965 and is about the longing for the California lifestyle.
The lyrics talk about how the singer misses the sunshine and the easy life that California offers. If you’re longing for the California dream, this will resonate with you.
11. “City of Angels” by The Distillers
Up next is a song by The Distillers called “City of Angels.” This song is about the dark side of Los Angeles and how it can be a tough place to make it.
It’s a great song for anyone who has ever felt like they’re struggling to make it in this city. This track was released in 2002 as part of their Sing Sing Death House album.
12. “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman
Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” is a bit of an ode to the city of Los Angeles. The song talks about all of the things that make Los Angeles great, from the weather to the beaches. Even though the song is a bit tongue-in-cheek, there’s no denying that Newman loves his city.
13. “Escape From L.A.” by The Weeknd
The next song on the list is “Escape From L.A.” by The Weeknd. This song is a bit more on the dark side, as it talks about how The Weeknd is trying to escape the city because of a materialistic girl.
He talks about how the city has taken over his life and how he’s struggling to get out. You can find it on his popular album, After Hours.
14. “Los Angeles Is Burning” by Bad Religion
“Los Angeles Is Burning” by Bad Religion is a punk rock song that talks about the 2004 Los Angeles riots. The song criticizes the police force and how they handled the situation.
It also talks about the socioeconomic conditions that led to the riots in the first place. You can find it on the The Empire Strikes First album.
Another song that will make you want to get out and explore Los Angeles is “Los Angeles” by blink182. This song is a hardcore track about how people love to escape to LA whenever they’re going through something. It was released in 2016 as part of the California album.
16. “Los Angeles, I’m Yours” by The Decemberists
The Decemberists is a band from Portland, Oregon. The song is from their 2nd studio album, Her Majesty the Decemberists. The song is about how the city of Los Angeles has something for everyone. This makes a great background music for your IG stories!
17. “Move to L.A.” by Tyga
“Move to L.A.” is a song by American rapper Tyga. The song was released in 2017 as the lead single from his fifth studio album, BitchImTheShit2.
It now has over 7.8 million views on Youtube, making it one of his most successful tracks released. This can also be streamed on other music platforms out there.
18. “L.A. Freeway” by Jerry Jeff Walker
Next on the list is a song that’s not only about the city of Los Angeles, but also the famed freeway that runs through it. “L.A. Freeway” was written by country singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker and released in 1972.
The song is told from the perspective of a man who is leaving the city and everything in it behind him. You can find this on his self-titled album.
19. “Come Out To LA” by Don Broco
Don Broco’s “Come Out To LA” is a more recent addition to the list, having been released in 2018. The English rock band’s song is about making the move from their hometown of Bedford to Los Angeles in pursuit of their dreams.
It’s an upbeat tune that will make you want to dance along. You can find it on their Technology album.
20. “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow
Wrapping up the list is Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do.” The song was released in 1994 and is from her Tuesday Night Music Club album.
It’s a fun, upbeat tune that talks about all the things she wants to do in Los Angeles. From going to the beach to dancing all night, this song will make you want to pack your bags and head out west.
As we mentioned before, there are plenty of other great songs about Los Angeles – too many to list here! But we hope this article has given you a taste of the many different ways that musicians have written about this city.
If you’re heading out on a road trip or just need some musical inspiration, be sure to give some of these songs a listen. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find yourself writing a song about Los Angeles one day!