It’s no secret that more great songs have been written about California than any other state in the union. Why? Go there and you’ll find out very quickly why so many people write songs about it.. and why so many people live there. This is definitely going to be one of the more conflicting lists for me to write – too many great songs to choose from. I don’t know how many parts there will be to the California series… but there will be more than one, that’s about all I can guarantee.
5) Hollywood – Collective Soul
– Probably the most recent good pop song about California, albeit you’ll immediately notice you can practically sing Sugar Sugar by The Archies right along with it… just a slight rip off. I discovered this song when I took a cross-country road trip to LA in 2008 and put together a CD of songs about California.. somehow this song got on the CD. It’s a great tune by a band that has been kinda-sorta dead since their Shine days.
4) Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
– Has a better music video ever been made? Maybe not. Californication, the album of the same name is, in my opinion, easily the Chili Peppers best album. I have never been a huge Chili Peppers fan… but no one can argue with Scar Tissue, Otherside, and Californication all on the same album.
3) California Girls – The Beach Boys
– I can’t imagine any California girl not loving this song. California girls are hot, and they know it.. and the Beach Boys knew it, and they let everyone know it. Anyone who takes a trip, pilgrimage rather, to sunny southern California expects to meet beautiful women – and this song can be credited with the stereotype. The Beach Boys Greatest Hits is filled with great songs about California, and frankly I could have put just about any of the songs on this list.
2) California Love – 2Pac
– Now let me welcome everybody to the wild wild west. Pac and Dre’s best California tribute and the song that you definitely want playing while you’re dancing with a chick at a party. When Pac left NYC after being shot by Biggie and Puffy, he went to California and fully embraced his new home. I’m not exactly sure he did the state any favors with the music video, a Mad Max rip-off and just plain weird video. However, California Love is one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever and can take us all back to the glory days of hip-hop.
1) Alright, and your #1 song about California (for part 1) and also (and obviously more importantly) your song for the day.
Los Angeles Is Burning – Bad Religion
I love this song. And to be honest, I’ve been trying to find a good way to work Los Angeles Is Burning into this blog for a while now. Bad Religion began clear back in the early 1980s releasing their first official EP in 1982. And it wasn’t until 22 years later when they would release their best song to date: Los Angeles Is Burning – a song about the media’s brainwashing of our youth. It is incredible for a punk band to have that kind of longevity… no other punk band from back then is still putting out albums.
Another little tidbit for you. Bad Religion’s lead singer Greg Gaffin went on and got his Ph.D and is now also a life sciences professor at UCLA when he is not touring with the band. A reality show called “Punk Professor” is also currently in the works.