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The Best Songs About Hollywood

Updated October 23, 2019 5.4k votes 1.1k voters 60.7k views95 items
The best songs about Hollywood are often observations on big dreams and innocence lostamid the stars and glitz of show business. Musicians with major label contracts either live in or spend a lot of time in L.A., the cradle of the recording industry–so writing songs about Hollywood’s people, scene and culture, and the musician’s relationship to it, is often inevitable. 
Some of the greatest Hollywood songs recorded revolve around its fast and loose ethos. In the 70’s, when ambition and excess collided very often and very publicly, The Eagles’s “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Life’s Been Good” were the most damning of the “Love ‘em and Lear ‘em” lifestyle. In the 80’s, leather-clad bards rolled into town from every bus-stop in the country and created not just amazing Hollywood songs, but entire album odes to The (Sunset) Strip’s hedonism. Mötley Crüe’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” and Guns N’ Roses “Appetite for Destruction” are among the best of the bunch. L.A. native sons, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, with their California-fuzz funk, continued the tradition, writing classic songs about Hollywood in the 90’s and aughts with stunners like “Under the Bridge” and “Tell Me Baby.” 
Today, the songwriting focus has shifted from what happens to those with too much ambition, talent and money to becoming a prisoner to the funhouse cycle of fame and celebrity. Britney’s “Piece of Me” and Madonna’s “Hollywood” ridicule while making you dance, while Hole spews on “Celebrity Skin.” But it is still the wry and insightful classic rock stalwarts The Kinks, always ahead of their time, who bite the hardest with “Celluloid Heroes.”
Not all songs about Hollywood are loaded with cautionary tales of Babylon-style decadence. Sheryl Crow captures the jaunty spirit of palm trees and pools with “All I Wanna Do,” while Randy Newman croons about the virtues of his beloved city in “I Love L.A.”
Which song on this list of the best songs about Hollywood do you think should go at the top of the pecking order? Vote it to the top and share some of your personal favorites in the comments section.