We’re Adding New Songs to Our California Soundtrack

“Gone Hollywood” by Supertramp (1979)

“The opening song on the 1979 album ‘Breakfast in America’ about a guy stuck in a ‘dumb motel near the Taco Bell’ who perseveres to become ‘the talk of the boulevard.’ The slow-burning sax and achy falsetto captures urban Los Angeles’s simultaneous promise and hopelessness, and the anxious internal monologues of its creative aspirants trying to make it their own.” — Austin Lyke, Santa Monica

“Sausalito” by Conor Oberst (2008)

“The rhythm is great, and the lyrics incorporate many of the iconic elements of the state: the desert, the sun, the stars, the road, both love and desolation and, of course, the ocean and the dream of living on a houseboat: ‘Let the ocean rock us back and forth to sleep.’” — Lisa Rossbacher, Santa Fe, N.M.

“California” by Lorde (2021)

“She talks about not wanting ‘California love’ because she feels like the adoration that she receives from Hollywood is fake. She looks back at it wistfully, but deep down she knows that it’s not genuine.” — Monique Reed, Lakewood

“West Coast” by Coconut Records (2007)

“For me, it speaks to the feeling of being a transplant to California and feeling torn between everything I love about California and everything I miss about those I left behind. Now that I’ve moved back to the East Coast, it has extra poignancy for me and comes to mind every time I travel back to the Bay Area for work.” — Sarah E. Brummett, Brightwood, Va.

“Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses (1987)

“G.N.R. are one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music to come out of Los Angeles, so it’s no surprise that one of their biggest hits is about their home turf. Los Angeles isn’t written about as ‘the big city’ nearly as much as New York is, so the song is a refreshing, if dark, take on the City of Angels. I’m sure many people actually assume ‘Jungle’ is written about New York City but, no, it is Los Angeles through and through.” — Dino Ladki, West Hollywood

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