OK everyone. I am finally back from my sabbatical. I hope everyone didn’t miss me too much. Why in the world am I starting back on a Friday you say. Well, I have this song stuck in my head today and I just wanted to share it.
“I Love LA” by Randy Newman. I know when it comes to groundbreaking songs, this one isn’t it. While I doubt that this song would make very many people’s Top 100 lists, it does make my Top 100 favorite songs. I love how it is straight forward and upfront. I love the catchy bridge. It is just a fun song. If you have never heard it before, I hope you enjoy it. Randy Newman does have a very unique voice and to be honest, it works perfect in this song.
I included two videos. The first is the original music video. The second is a live performance Randy made on the Johnny Carson Show way back in 1984 (I was 7 yrs. old then by the way). I hope you enjoy!
“I Love L.A.” is a celebratory song about Los Angeles, California written and recorded by Randy Newman. It was originally released on his 1983 album Trouble in Paradise. The hook of the song is its title, repeated, each time followed by an enthusiastic crowd cheering, “We Love It!”
This song is an example of Newman’s ambivalence toward the American Dream, as it celebrates living the dream (“look at that mountain, look at those trees”), while giving a nod to those who have been unable to fulfill the dream (“look at that bum… he’s down on his knees”). Newman also presents this dichotomy by incorporating the names of L.A.’s Century Boulevard, Victory Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, Imperial Highway and 6th Street into the lyrics of the song. Traversing any one of these roadways from end to end will reveal some of the wealthiest and some of the poorest areas of the city. In the video, after Newman says the name of each street, a crowd shouts “We love it!”
Notwithstanding the primary message of the song, Newman confessed an affection for Los Angeles: referencing more of the song’s lyrics in a 2001 interview, he explained, “There’s some kind of ignorance L.A. has that I’m proud of. The open car and the redhead, the Beach Boys… that sounds really good to me.”
In popular culture
A modified version of the song was used as part of the “You’ll Love It!” 1985-86 TV season image campaign for ABC. In addition, the song was also featured prominently in 1988’s The Naked Gun, in a scene featuring a baseball game.
“I Love L.A.” is played following major sporting events in Los Angeles if the home team has scored or won. This occurs notably when the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Galaxy win, and when the Los Angeles Kings score a goal.
During the 2008 National League Division Series and 2008 National League Championship Series, TBS or Fox Network would play the song at the end of any half-inning where the Dodgers produced a run. The song was also played over speakers when the Lakers arrived at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum following their 2009 NBA Championship parade and the winning of the second of their back-to-back titles when the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7.
The song has been frequently parodied, including “I Love D.C.” (Washington, D.C.), “I Love D.M.” (Des Moines, Iowa), “I Love Padres” (San Diego Padres), “I Love Elway” (John Elway), “I Hate L.A.” (Underground Comedy Movie) “I Love SU” (Syracuse University), and in the film Run Ronnie Run the song “I Loathe L.A.” is heard on the radio performed by Daffy Mal Yinkleyankle. In the 1985 movie Gotcha!, Anthony Edwards plays an American teenager, fugitive in Europe, who teaches “I Love L.A.” to a German punk rock band that smuggles him to safety. The song also appears during the ending credits of the 1997 disaster film Volcano, which depicts a volcanic eruption in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, as well as during the end of Mr. Bean: The Ultimate Disaster. The song briefly appears twice in the movie Escape From L.A.. The song is also heard blaring from the car of Bette Midler in the 1986 hit film Down and Out in Beverly Hills as she drives up to her house.
The sequence of streets in the song was parodied in the song “Born in East L.A.” by Cheech Marin. But instead of listing the streets sung by Randy Newman, listed are Soto Street, Brooklyn Avenue, City Terrace, and Whittier Boulevard, all streets of East Los Angeles.
I Love L.A.
Artist: Randy Newman
Album: Trouble In Paradise
Hate New York City
It’s cold and it’s damp
And all the people dressed like monkeys
Let’s leave Chicago to the Eskimos
That town’s a little bit too rugged
For you and me you bad girl
Rollin’ down the Imperial Highway
With a big nasty redhead at my side
Santa Ana winds blowin’ hot from the north
And we as born to ride
Roll down the window put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys baby
Don’t let the music stop
We’re gonna ride it till we just can’t ride it no more
>From the South Bay to the Valley
>From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody’s very happy
‘Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day
I love L.A. (We love it)
I love L.A. (We love it)
Look at that mountain
Look at those trees
Look at that bum over there, man
He’s down on his knees
Look at these women
There ain’t nothin’ like ’em nowhere
Century Boulevard (We love it)
Victory Boulevard (We love it)
Santa Monica Boulevard (We love it)
Sixth Street (We love it, we love it)
I love L.A.
I love L.A.
(We love it)