Songs About California
November 20, 2006 1:17 AM   Subscribe

California music filter: me and my girlfriend are planning a road trip in California next year. I'm looking for the best songs about California -to play while driving our camper van.

I already got:

- Hotel California by the Eagles
- California Girls by the Beach Boys
- California here I come by Tom Waits
- California by Rufus Wainwright
- Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
- California by Phantom Planet
- California Dreamin' (in several versions, a.o. Mama's & The Papa's, Jose Feliciano, Bobby Womack)
- California Soul by Marlena Shaw

Please provide me with your best California music tips! Thanks!
posted by IZ to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Tool's Ænema.
posted by mullingitover at 1:27 AM on November 20, 2006

Goin' Back to Cali - LL Cool J
Valley Girl - Frank/Moon Zappa
posted by Pollomacho at 1:29 AM on November 20, 2006

Going to California -- Led Zeppelin
California Girl -- Chiliwack
posted by dreamsign at 1:33 AM on November 20, 2006

Going to California - Led Zeppelin
posted by routergirl at 1:33 AM on November 20, 2006

"California" - The Wedding Present

"California Sun" - Ramones version

"Los Angeles" - Frank Black
posted by melorama at 1:39 AM on November 20, 2006

Albert Hammond - It never rains in southern California
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 1:41 AM on November 20, 2006

"California" - Wax (liked the song, loved the video!)
posted by melorama at 1:42 AM on November 20, 2006

"Sausalito Summernight" by Diesel
posted by Rubber Soul at 1:47 AM on November 20, 2006

Also I Hate California by Jonathan Coulton
posted by Rubber Soul at 1:49 AM on November 20, 2006

"All I Wanna Do" - Sheryl Crow
"Californication" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
posted by RichardP at 1:55 AM on November 20, 2006

"California (All the Way)" - Luna
posted by flod at 1:58 AM on November 20, 2006

Oh, and the Gipsy Kings' cover of the Eagles' "Hotel California" is kind of fun...
posted by RichardP at 2:00 AM on November 20, 2006

Most of the beaches mentioned in the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" are located in California.
posted by RichardP at 2:06 AM on November 20, 2006

Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far) - The Thrills
Big Sur - The Thrills
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:24 AM on November 20, 2006

2Pac - California Love
posted by empyrean at 2:32 AM on November 20, 2006

"Heads Carolina, Tails California" (Jo Dee Messina). OK, so it's a country song, so out of my general tastes, but the ex and I played it a lot on a road trip from, well, (South) Carolina to California about a decade ago.
posted by Cricket at 2:32 AM on November 20, 2006

Best answer: "California Man" - The Move
"California Über Alles" - Dead Kennedys
"San Francisco Bay Blues" - Eric Clapton
"Do You Know the Way to San José" - Burt Bacharach
"San Jacinto" - Peter Gabriel

Oh wait, Wikipedia has a big list of songs about California.
posted by RichardP at 2:38 AM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

California One - The Decemberists
California - Gomez
Kalifornia - Fatboy Slim
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 2:40 AM on November 20, 2006

The Decemberists do a good one, a bit more doleful than the above, called 'California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade'.
posted by Flashman at 2:42 AM on November 20, 2006

posted by Flashman at 2:42 AM on November 20, 2006

Malibu - Hole
Paradise City - Guns 'n' Roses (likewise most of Appetite for Destruction)
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
California (All The Way) - Luna
Girls Girls Girls - Motley Crue
Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
Nuthin But a G Thang - Dr. Dre
Today Was a Good Day - Ice Cube
Los Angeles I'm Yours - the Decemberists
Left My Wallet in El Segundo - A Tribe Called Quest
Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle & Sebastian (actually about SF despite the titme)

The Four Tops did a pretty good cover of California Dreaming.
posted by samh23 at 2:44 AM on November 20, 2006

"Fuck California" by the Presidents of the U.S.A.
"California" by Mason Jennings
"California Uber Alles," both the Dead Kennedys version and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy version

And another vote for "California (All the Way)" by Luna.
posted by jeffmshaw at 2:51 AM on November 20, 2006

"San Berdoo Sunburn" / Eagles of Death Metal
"(don't Ya Go To) Goleta" / Camper Van Beethoven
posted by misteraitch at 3:01 AM on November 20, 2006

"California" by Jay Farrar (off Terroir Blues or the live album Stone, Steel & Bright Lights) is a great song. And Jay's voice is just perfect for road trip listening.

Also check out the cover of Woody Guthrie's "California Stars" by Billy Bragg and Wilco.
posted by felix betachat at 3:23 AM on November 20, 2006

California Bound by Frank Black and the Catholics
posted by Melsky at 3:43 AM on November 20, 2006

I have always had a soft spot for R.E.M.'s "I Remember California".

But really, throw on all the Beach Boys and be done with it. Softer? All the Sheryl Crow. Harder? All the Dead Kennedys.

(PS The Hotel California in the Eagles song is in Mexico... probably. And even if it wasn't, I'd toss it out the window. Does anyone need to hear it EVER AGAIN?)
posted by rokusan at 3:45 AM on November 20, 2006

Best answer: Mine's been thoroughly trounced by Wikipedia now, but earlier this year I created my own playlist of California tunes which was as follows. (Apologies for repetitions.)

For a roadtrip I would also suggest "Moving Right Along" by the Muppets, from the Muppet Movie.

26 Miles (Santa Catalina) - The Four Preps
99 Miles from L.A.- Art Garfunkel
Beverly Hills - Weezer
Big Sur – The Beach Boys
Bless You California - The Beau Brummels
Blue Yodel Number 4 California Blues - Jimmie Rodgers
Born In East L.A. - Cheech and Chong
Boyz-N-the-Hood - Eazy-E
Burritos - Sublime
Cali To New York - Black Eyed Peas
California - Gene Pitney
California - Jean-Luc Ponty
California - John Mayall
California - Joni Mitchell
California - Rufus Wainwright
California - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
California - Wilson Phillips
California - Akia
California - Joni Mitchell
California - Phantom Planet
California – Rufus Wainwright
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
California 1 - Con Funk Shun
California Blue - Roy Orbison
California Dreamin' - The Beach Boys
California Dreamin' - José Feliciano
California Dreamin' - The Mamas And The Papas
California Dreamin' - Bobby Womack
California Girl - Eddie Floyd
California Girls - Beach Boys
California Here I Come - Al Jolson
California Here I Come - Paul Martin
California Love - Zapp & Roger
California Love - Tupac Shakur
California Man - Cheap Trick
California Montage - Young-Holt Unlimited
California Nights - Lesley Gore
California One / Youth And Beauty Brigade - The Decemberists
California Saga / Beaks of the Eagle - The Beach Boys
California Saga / Big Sur - The Beach Boys
California Saga / California - The Beach Boys
California Soul - The 5th Dimension
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
California Stars - Billy Bragg & Wilco
California Sunset - Neil Young,
California Uber Alles Dead Kennedys
California Zephyr - Hank Williams
Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dear Hollywood - The Lashes
Desperados Under the Eaves - Warren Zevon
Diamonds On My Windshield - Tom Waits
Do You Know The Way To San Jose -Dionne Warwick
Drinking In LA - Bran Van 3000
Estimated Prophet - the Grateful Dead,
Foggy Night In San Francisco - Connie Russel
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Garden Grove - Sublime
Going Back to Cali - LL Cool J
Going to California - Led Zeppelin
Goldenstate - Peter Parker
Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues - Danny OKeefe
Harbor Lights - Claude Thornhill Orchestra
Hollywood Argyles - Alley-Oop Various Artists
Hollywood Babylon - Misfits
Hooray for Hollywood
Hotel California - The Eagles
I Ain’t Got No Home - Bruce Springsteen
I Come From San Francisco - Gold Chains
I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Brenda Lee
I Left My Heart In San Francisco - Tony Bennett
I Love L.A. - Randy Newman
I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco - Carmen McRae
In Hollywood Everybody Is A Star -The Village People
It Never Rains in Southern California - Albert Hammond
L.A. - Elliott Smith
L.A. Woman - the Doors
Life in the Fast Lane - the Eagles
Los Angeles – Frank Black
Los Angeles - X
Los Angeles I’m Yours - The Decemberists
Low Rider - War
Madame Hollywood - Felix Da Housecat
Pacific Coast Highway
Queen Of Hollywood - The Corrs
San Diego Serenade - Nanci Griffith
San Francisco Judy Garland
San Francisco
(Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie
San Francisco Bay Blues - Richie Havens
San Francisco Blues - Peggy Lee
San Francisco Teardrops Marty Robbins
San Francisco Youve Got Me - The Village People
Santa Barbara - Ronny Milsap
Santa Catalina - the Four Preps
Surf City - Jan and Dean
Surfin Safari the Beach Boys
Tape from California - Phil Ochs
To Live and Die In L.A - Tupac Shakur
Ventura Highway - America
Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N Roses
West Coast Love Affair - Unrest
When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
posted by skylar at 3:53 AM on November 20, 2006

California Nights - Lesley Gore

that one's a classic and often overlooked ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 AM on November 20, 2006

Doesn't look like anyone's yet referenced this thread concerning songs about Los Angeles.

In it, I think I mentioned "California Songs" by a band called Local H. And if I didn't, I should have. It's the anti-California-song song.

Others that I don't think have thus far been mentioned:
-"Santa Monica" by Everclear
-Ana Egge's "Fairest of Them All"
-Maia Sharp's "I Need This To Be Love"
-The album Battle of Los Angeles by Rage Against The Machine.
-The original "To Live And Die In L.A." (from the soundtrack of the film) by Wang Chung.
posted by Clay201 at 5:20 AM on November 20, 2006

Walking in L.A. - Missing Persons
Los Angeles is Burning - Bad Religion
Burn, Hollywood, Burn - Public Enemy
Butthole Surfers - TV Star (one Sunset Strip reference, but sarcastic about celebrity)
posted by evil holiday magic at 5:30 AM on November 20, 2006

Best answer: A great California Mix courtesy of director Ruben Fleischer.

1. Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis - Hollywood or Bust
2. Jimmy Rogers - Blue Yodel No
3. funkadelic - holly wants to go to california
4. David Holmes & Marlena Shaw - California Soul
5. Mama's & the Papa's - California Dreamin'
6. Frank Black - Los Angeles
7. X - Los Angeles
8. Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
9. jack mudurian - california, here i come
10. Ramones - California Sun
11. Beach Boys - California Girls
12. Johnny Cash - Friends in California
13. Joni Mitchell - California
14. Led Zeppelin - Going to California
15. Phantom planet-California
16. Hole - Malibu
17. Rufus Wainwright - California
18. Liz Phair - Why I Left California
19. beck - hollywood freaks
20. Felix da housecat featuring miss kittin-Madam hollywood
21. Public Enemy - Burn Hollywood Burn
22. Tu Pac feat Ice Cube - California Love
23. Notorious B.I.G. - California
24. Randy Newman - I Love L.A.
25. albert hammond - It Never Rains In Southern California
posted by phirleh at 7:03 AM on November 20, 2006

California - Josh Ritter

Lovely little song.
posted by Skyanth at 7:12 AM on November 20, 2006

just a part of california, but i'd reccomend the door's 'la woman'
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:16 AM on November 20, 2006

"Moon over Marin" by the Dead Kennedys.
posted by saladin at 7:35 AM on November 20, 2006

Take California by the Propellerheads
posted by GreenTentacle at 8:01 AM on November 20, 2006

EZ LA by Folk Implosion
posted by loiseau at 8:02 AM on November 20, 2006

All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks, by the World/Inferno Friendship Society.
posted by milquetoast at 8:08 AM on November 20, 2006

"Come A Long Way" by Michelle Shocked. Cool ditty about a chick who steals her motorcycle from the repo man and rides off into the L.A. smogset.
posted by duckus at 8:20 AM on November 20, 2006

Y'all got nearly all of mine. The leftovers:

Woody Guthrie, California Blues
Roy Orbison, California Blue

I also have some SF songs:

Journey, Lights
Scott McKenzie, San Francisco
Arcade Fire, Cold Wind
Phoebe Snow, San Francisco Bay Blues
Arthur Cruddup, Mean Ole Frisco
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:26 AM on November 20, 2006

Come to California - Matthew Sweet
posted by daravida at 8:38 AM on November 20, 2006

As EndsOfInvention mentioned above, The Thrills would be a good choice. Actually, the whole album (So Much for the City) is about California.
posted by eebs at 10:23 AM on November 20, 2006

I just wanted to mention that my favorite version of California Dreamin' is definitely Eddie Hazel (of Funkadelic)'s.
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2006

San Simeon - Goldfinger
posted by SBMike at 10:29 AM on November 20, 2006

"San Francisco" by Alkaline Trio
posted by radioamy at 11:06 AM on November 20, 2006

Lyle Lovett – L.A. County
Pavement – 2 States
Mason Jennings – California
Mason Jennings – California (Part II)
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:21 AM on November 20, 2006

Argh. Skyanth beat me to it. Check out Josh Ritter's California, from the album Hello Starling, which if I may be so bold, is a lovely little album.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 12:59 PM on November 20, 2006

Freedy Johnston's "California Thing" is a terrific windows-open driving song. Cf., his album, Can You Fly.
posted by mykescipark at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2006

The album Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"California" by Joni Mitchell.

"Going to California" by Led Zeppelin.

"L.A." by Elliott Smith.
posted by nonmerci at 8:29 PM on November 20, 2006

Oh, yes, I forgot...

"You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma" by Dave Frizzell and Shelly West. It's actually about both the title state and Los Angeles.
posted by Clay201 at 11:24 PM on November 20, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you all so very much. It;s going to be a great playlist!
posted by IZ at 1:59 AM on November 24, 2006

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