The idea for this post came to us one day recently while having a few brewskis around the fire pit – socially distanced of course. We thought: how about just a fun list of our favorite bands, songs, or albums that featured geographical places? We knew there was a ton, and there are so many we could easily do a sequel when it’s time. As always we would love to hear from you in the comments regarding who did we miss. Sorry “Trout Fishing in America” will not be on our list.
This may have been the easiest X-List I have ever created and one of the most fun. I really dug to see what I could come up with, I had so many that the most difficult part was cutting the list down. Should have been an XX list am I right? So here it is, have fun with it.
- Buffalo Tom – This ironically named Boston based band had a brief run of success with their album Red Letter Day spurning hits “I’m Allowed” and “Soda Jerk” the rest of the album is pretty darned good too. I wonder if there is a Buffalo Tom.
- Kansas – The 70’s band actually from Kansas is a hits guilty pleasure with “Point of No Return” (recent come back in a car commercial), “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on Wayward Son”.
- Living in Oz – Rick Springfield – The platinum album from Rick Springfield, titled for the nickname of his homeland Australia, has the classics, “Human Touch” and “Affair of the Heart”.
- “Walking in LA”, Missing Persons – A minor new wave sensation Missing Persons hit with this classic in 1983. Lead singer Dale Bozzio’s outlandish style made them an MTV darling.
- “Weekend in New England”, Barry Manilow – This may be the first time I have written about Manilow. Being a New Englander myself I understand a perfect fall weekend.
- Thelma Houston – Known for her one-hit wonder and Grammy winner “Don’t Leave Me this Way”. One of my all-time fire me up tracks, and one of the best all-time disco hits. And FYI she is not from Texas.
- “Kentucky Rain”, Elvis Presley – I could have done Kentucky Woman but this Kentucky song trumps it and Elvis’ performance of it is legendary.
- England Dan & John Ford Coley – Another one-hit wonder group who scored with the 70’s classic, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”. Dan Seals loved the Beatles and acquired a British accent hence the nickname, oddly he ended up in country music.
- “New York is Not My Home”, Jim Croce – A great album track from 1972, Croce wrote autobiographical songs and this song is no different, making albums in NY he longed for his home in Philly.
- “Jerusalem”, Sinead O’Connor – From my favorite O’Connor album, The Lion and the Cobra, Jerusalem is such a powerful song that uses her vocals to the fullest.
Bonus: “Across the Universe”, The Beatles – Let’s go away from the Earth to this Let it Be classic. It inspired a movie and a lot of cover versions. A great song that Lennon and McCartney left for last.
MG: Pretty creative list you put together here. I will have my work cut out for me to match it. Living In Oz was a particularly inspired choice. “Jerusalem” is a great track from an album I only recently discovered and really enjoy. I had no idea that was who sang “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight” – now I know.
There are a lot more bands/songs/albums with places in them, or about them, than you might think. In some cases, the places used in titles have to do with where the artist comes from or spent time in, but that only holds true for maybe half my list. I’ve been thinking about this list for ages, so it is fun to finally put some of them down in a blog.
- “My Antarctica”, Duran Duran – A deeper cut from their “break-up album” Liberty. I’ve always thought this album was underrated and it is more introspective than most of their stuff – particularly this track.
- Berlin – I’m not big on “Take My Breath Away”, but they have some great new wave tracks like “No More Words”, “The Metro” and “Sex (I’m A..)”. They are not German, by the way, but American.
- “One Night In Bangkok”, Murray Head – One of my favorites of the many one-hit wonders in the 80s.
- “Private Idaho”, B-52s – Idaho’s claim to fame, second only to potatoes. Consider this: this song was released in 1980, and the band didn’t play a concert in Idaho until September 2011.
- Asia -They were an early 80s English prog rock supergroup with members coming from bands like Yes and King Crimson. They only had three real hits but are still touring, believe it or not.
- “Santa Monica”, Everclear – of the many, many songs that name check a place in California, this one is my favorite, and its the one that always makes me think fondly of the year I lived in that state.
- “Walking in Memphis”, Marc Cohn – Inexplicably one of my favorite tracks – love the piano work in this. This song always makes me chill.
- “Kashmir”, Led Zeppelin – The guitar/strings backbeat of this song is iconic – played in so many films/TV etc. I don’t know what the lyrics of this song have to do with this region of the world that India and Pakistan are always ready to go to war over.
- Chicago – I knew they were popular in the 70s and 80s, but who knew they sold over 100 million albums? They are a band I could use for Part 3 of Bands with Multiple Lead Singers – though Peter Cetera is definitely the best known of their singers.
- “Leaving Las Vegas”, Sheryl Crow/”Waking Up in Vegas”, Katy Perry – Eventually Vegas kicks everyone to the curb. Considering our cultural fascination with the city, I’m surprised there aren’t more Vegas-themed songs out there.
Bonus: “Under The Milky Way”, The Church – I figured I would also go celestial in my bonus track. It was either this song or “Down To Earth” by Peter Gabriel from the Wall-E soundtrack. Both tracks are well-written, lushly produced and never get old for me.
DJ: Also a very interesting list. Could have also used “Pretty Vegas” by INXS or “Vegas” by Sara Bareilles. Zeppelin and the B-52’s have great tracks on here. I really do not know the Liberty album much, probably should. Not a fan of Chicago but I do understand their musicianship and what they have been able to do. I can’t buy into that Marc Cohn song though I think I liked it at the time but it’s got too much cheese in it for me. I always think of a friend who went to Memphis University.
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