20 Best Songs About Los Angeles

By Nico Gonzalez

The city of angels is a place that never sleeps. It’s always alive with the sound of people, cars and music. Los Angeles is home to one of the most vibrant art scenes in America as well as many world-renowned restaurants and hotels. This is a town where you can have anything your heart desires – from Hollywood glamor to urban chic or laid back beach style living. If you’re looking for a new experience, it doesn’t get much better than this!  Here are some of the best songs about Los Angeles:


Shangri-LA  – Yacht

YACHT — Shangri-La

Shangri-LA is a song by the electronic band Yacht. It was released in 2009 as the lead single from their second album, See Mystery Lights. The song reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording.

The lyrics of Shangri-LA are about Los Angeles and its many attractions, including Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and Beverly Hills. Yacht frontman Jona Bechtolt said of the song: “Shangri-LA is about Los Angeles as an idea: a place where you can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do.”

Los Angeles is Burning – Bad Religion

Bad Religion - Los Angeles Is Burning

Los Angeles is Burning is a song by punk rock band Bad Religion. It was released in 1990 as the fourth single from their album Suffer. The song is about the Los Angeles riots of 1992, which were sparked by the acquittal of four police officers who had been videotaped beating Rodney King.

Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz wrote the song in response to what he saw as the systematic racism exhibited by the police and the judicial system during the riots. He later said, “When I saw those cops beating Rodney King, it just cooked my brain. I thought, ‘This isn’t some random act of violence – this is a lynching.’ And that’s how the song started.”

Los Angeles, I’m Yours – the Decemberists

The Decemberists – Los Angeles, I'm Yours (from Her Majesty)

There’s something about the Decemberists’ “I’m Yours” that just makes you want to sing along and dance. The song perfectly captures the energy and excitement of Los Angeles, making it one of the best songs about the city. With its jangly guitars and upbeat tempo, it’s the perfect song to listen to while cruising down the freeway with the windows down. So put on your sunglasses and turn up the volume, because this song is sure to get you in a LA mood!

Lullaby – Shawn Mullins

Shawn Mullins - Lullaby

Shawn Mullins is known for his soulful ballads and “Lullaby” is one of his most beautiful songs. The lyrics are about a man who is reflecting on his life and all of the amazing moments he’s experienced. He’s grateful for everything he’s been given and he’s looking forward to the next chapter in his journey. The song is a perfect anthem for anyone who’s feeling sentimental about their hometown – whether that’s Los Angeles or anywhere else in the world.

I Wish – Skee-Lo 

Skee-Lo - I Wish (Official Video)

When it comes to songs about Los Angeles, it would be hard to exclude I Wish by Skee-Lo. Released in 1995, this song perfectly captures the essence of LA – the glamour, the glitz, and the dreamers who come here chasing their aspirations. With its infectious beat and Skee-Lo’s smooth vocals, this song is a must-listen for anyone who loves LA! Its lyrics are about how he wishes he were a little bit taller and that girls would notice him, but I think we can all understand that feeling!

Santa Monica – Everclear

Santa Monica by Everclear With Lyrics

Santa Monica is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Los Angeles and it’s no surprise that it has been the inspiration for so many songs. One of the most famous is “Santa Monica” by Everclear. The song is about a young man who is struggling to find his way in life and he turns to Santa Monica as a place to find hope. He sings about how the beach and the boardwalk offer him a chance to forget his troubles and feel free.

California Stars – Wilco

Billy Bragg and Wilco – California Stars (karaoke)

“California Stars” by Wilco is a beautiful song that perfectly captures the spirit of Los Angeles. The lyrics describe the city’s natural beauty and its allure as a place where dreams can come true. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy has said that the song is about “the mythology of California, and how it’s all in your head.” Anyone who’s ever lived in or visited LA will understand what he means. This is a song for anyone who’s ever been enchanted by the City of Angels.

Back in LA – BB King

B.B. King - Back In L.A.

Back in LA by BB King is a song about the city of Los Angeles, and all of the trials and tribulations that come with it. King sings about how he’s been away for a while, but now he’s back in LA and ready to take on the world. He talks about how the city can be tough, but it’s also where his dreams came true. The song is a testament to the toughness and resilience of the people of LA. Some people have called it the unofficial anthem of Los Angeles, but there are many songs about this great city so let’s get on with our list.

Regulate – Warren G

Warren G - Regulate (Official Music Video) ft. Nate Dogg

Released in 1994, Regulate was Warren G’s first solo single and it quickly became a West Coast classic. Produced by Dr. Dre, the song samples Michael McDonald’s I Keep Forgettin’ and features Nate Dogg on the chorus. The lyrics are about two lovers who meet in a dark alley and end up getting into a shootout. Even though the song is based on a true story, it’s still one of the most fun and upbeat tracks about Los Angeles!

All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do (original music video)

Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” is a quintessential Los Angeles song. Released in 1993, the song perfectly captures the laid-back vibe of the city and its many attractions, from the beach to the Hollywood Hills. In the lyrics, Crow sings about wanting to just “hang out downtown” and enjoy all that LA has to offer. The song was a massive hit and remains one of Crow’s most popular tracks. Its lyrics are about the simple pleasures of life in Los Angeles and is a perfect song for an afternoon drive along the coast.

Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang – Dr. Dre

Nuthin' But A "G" Thang

One of the most quintessential songs about Los Angeles is Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang by Dr. Dre. Released in 1992, this song perfectly captures the vibe of LA during the early 1990s – all bass, beats, and bravado. It’s no surprise that Dre was born and raised in Compton, just a few miles south of downtown LA. This song is a celebration of LA’s unique culture and its endless opportunities for young people who are willing to put in the work. 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings – Father John Misty

Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Father John Misty released his latest album, “God’s Favorite Customer” in June of this year. The album has been met with critical acclaim, and one of the standout tracks is “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.” The song is a haunting ballad that pays tribute to some of Hollywood’s most famous residents, including Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash, and Farrah Fawcett.

Hollywood Freaks – Beck

Beck’s song “Hollywood Freaks” perfectly captures the dark and quirky side of Los Angeles. The song is about a group of outcasts who hang out together and embrace their weirdness. The lyrics talk about all the strange and unusual people who live in LA, from the “freaks on Fairfax” to the “skaters in Venice.” This song is a perfect tribute to all of the weird and wonderful characters that make up this city. Some people might call them freaks but these are the kinds of people that make LA such an exciting place.

Los Angeles – Frank Black 

Frank Black.- Los Angeles (Official Video 1993)

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting cities on earth, and it’s no wonder that so many musicians have written songs about it. One of my favorite songs about LA is “Los Angeles” by Frank Black. This song perfectly captures the feeling of being in this city, with its mix of excitement and loneliness. If you’re ever feeling homesick for Los Angeles, or just want to feel its energy, then I recommend listening to “Los Angeles” by Frank Black.

Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J

LL COOL J - Going Back To Cali (Official Music Video)

Going Back to Cali is one of LL Cool J’s most iconic songs. It was released in 1988 and pays homage to his hometown of Queens, New York. The song is a smooth mix of R&B and hip-hop and tells the story of LL’s journey from Queens to Los Angeles, where he eventually became a mega-star. Its lyrics are about the “west coast/east coast beef” that was going on in the 1980’s. Some people love to hate the city, but it’s hard to deny that LL Cool J is right there with them!

Electrolite – R.E.M.

R.E.M. - Electrolite (Official Music Video)

R.E.M.’s “Electrolite” is one of the most poignant songs about Los Angeles ever written. Singer Michael Stipe sings about the city’s allure and its dark side, describing how it can be both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. The song is from the band’s 1998 album, “Up”, and it’s still one of their most beloved tracks. Its lyrics are about “the night, the city lights, the busy streets, and the madhouse rock.”

Girls, Girls, Girls – Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe - Girls,Girls,Girls

Girls, Girls, Girls is a song about Los Angeles that was released in 1987. It was the fourth single from the album of the same name, and it became an instant hit. The song is about the excess and glamour that can be found in LA, and it’s a celebration of all the things that make the city so special. Mötley Crüe was one of the biggest hard rock bands of the 1980s, and this song is a prime example of their signature sound. It’s upbeat, catchy, and just plain fun. If you’re looking for a song that captures the essence of LA, look no further than Girls, Girls, Girls.

Born In East LA – Cheech & Chong

Born In East L.A. (Cheech And Chong) [HD]

Few songs capture the unique spirit of Los Angeles like “Born In East LA” by Cheech & Chong. This classic tune paints a humorous but accurate portrait of life in the City of Angels, from the endless traffic to the melting pot of cultures. If you’re from LA, you can definitely relate to the lyrics of this song, and it’s sure to get you pumped up for another day in the world’s most exciting city! Some people say that “Los Angeles, California” by Tupac Shakur describes the dark and gritty reality of life here in LA, but few artists have painted such a realistic portrait of LA quite like Steve Perry did with his hit song “Don’t Stop Believin'” from the album Escape.

The Recipe – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar - The Recipe (Lyric Video) ft. Dr. Dre

The Recipe is a song by Kendrick Lamar about the temptations of the fast life in Los Angeles. The song is about the dangers of getting caught up in the glamour and luxury of Los Angeles and how it can be easy to lose yourself in the city. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of living in LA and how easy it is to get seduced by its many temptations. Its lyrics are about how people of color are drawn to the easy money of selling drugs in America’s most dangerous cities like Compton, California. 

The Little Old Lady from Pasadena – Jan and Dean

Jan & Dean - Little Old Lady From Pasadena

The Little Old Lady from Pasadena by Jan and Dean is a classic song about Los Angeles. This upbeat tune is all about an adorable old lady who loves her hometown of Pasadena and is always up for a good time. She’s known for her dance moves and her ability to have a good time no matter what. If you’re looking for a song that captures the spirit of LA, you can’t go wrong with “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”! Its lyrics are about a spunky old lady who is always up for a good time and the city of Los Angeles.