Top Ten Songs About Hollywood or with the Word "Hollywood" in the Title

Martin_Canine
Hollywood is a cultural icon.
In its heyday, it stood for glamour, fame, the American Dream. It was where imagination came to life. Imagination that brought us the big pictures with big, outer worldly stars that thrilled and excited us, and in which we could go on adventures that were so distant from what we knew from everyday. We found ourselves nailbiting, in love, shocked, amused, curious, scared, hurt, cheered up, enlightened, overwhelmed and touched - all because of the movies the dream factory brought us. The dream factory it is, indeed. It is the stuff that dreams are made of. It's where enchanting magic waits just around the corner.

Yet in recent years, it has also become another symbol. Hollywood now often stands for an industry, for soulless work just crafted to sell as much as possible. Where fame can be just as much a curse as a gift, and where the factory has outweighed the dream. It's also the place where the optimistic hopes and ambitions of the young, aspiring film people are brutally crushed by economic purposes and formulas.

How could an image change that dramatically? I don't know.
If film makers of the 1950s could only see what is possible nowadays... I personally do think that they would have been excited by what is possible today, and how we can make even the most unnatural images appear on the screen. We just saw fantastic landscapes and worlds too often to truly appreciate them - they became trivial. But back then, when Hollywood had no visual effects, they created the magic in other ways. Sometimes with hand crafted effects... but even more so by telling us stories, building up tension or making characters that we could connect with. To say all of this is gone by now would be simply wrong... but it is overshadowed.

Musicians have made songs about both sides of Hollywood. They were entranced by the dream, and they were crushed by the factory.

The Top Ten

1 Hollywood - Waterloo

There exist many recordings of this song by Waterloo. The original and best is from 1974 and was recorded in duet with an artist simply called Robinson. The listening sample is a newer version, but it's also quite okay.

The song is nostalgic about the magic of Golden Day Hollywood cinema, the verses are focusing around the different actresses and actors who played great roles in stunning films. But the chorus comes to a devastating conclusion: "Good old Hollywood is dying / Good old Hollywood is crying / Good old Hollywood is dead". Kind of sad, don't you think? But yeah, he was right. The Hayes Code was lifted in 1967, the movies grew more explicit and experimented with boundaries, and European art cinema made its way to influence Hollywood - this movement is known as "New Hollywood". The Hollywood as he knew and loved was over years before.

The also exists a German version from 1974, also sung by him, which is essentially lyrically the same during the verses, but the ...more - Martin_Canine

As I wrote, Waterloo re-recorded the song several times, in fact I couldn't even find the original on iTunes, but three different other versions.

To avoid confusion, this is the version I was talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d6msgk1OkxU - Martin_Canine

2 Another Day of Sun - La La Land Cast

I don't know if you know, as I didn't talk about it a lot, but this was one of my absolute favorite songs of 2016. It is such a bittersweet opener for this dazzling movie about aspiring artists trying to make it big, and even though none of the singers of this song are significant to the plot, it perfectly sets the tone. On the one hand, the newcomers are all optimistic, excited and ready to live their dreams, but they are also worried and scared, and they know how it could end. The music just perfectly fits. I mean... listen to it. On the surface it sounds positive and almost like a summer hit, but... isn't there a bit of an angsty tone hidden in between? I don't know how or why, but I can also hear a bit of a fear of what's to come in the song. And while I can't put my finger on it, I am hundred percent sure it's there. - Martin_Canine

3 Hollywood - Madonna

It's Madonna at her absolute peak. It's on her most overlooked album. It's also her most creative and emotionally roughest one. Gosh, the tone of this one song... wow, is this sarcastic. Something tells me that while recording "American Life" she really had it with society. Just look at that cover artwork. - Martin_Canine

4 Hollywood - Marina and The Diamonds
5 Hollywood Hills - Sunrise Avenue Hollywood Hills - Sunrise Avenue
6 Hollywood - Nickelback
7 Say Goodbye Hollywood - Eminem
8 Hollywood - Jay-Z & Beyoncé
9 Hollywood Tragedy - Blood On the Dance Floor & Shawn Brandon

This is one of their best songs from the time they just started to improve dramatically. This song is about a person who gave up their personality for fame in Hollywood. They actually made a song about this topic before on their probably most hated album "Epic", called "Beautiful Surgery", but I think this song here is much better executed. The other one has the problem of sounding like a club hit with its stomping techno beat, while "Hollywood Tragedy" is a bit more rock oriented, and also has the better performance and writing. - Martin_Canine

10 Lost in Hollywood - Rainbow

The Contenders

11 Hollywood - Shooting Star
12 Hollywood Nights - Bob Seger

I was expecting this in the top tens. - Undistinguished

13 Hollywood - Rufus & Chaka Khan
14 Hollywood Babylon - The Misfits
15 Lost in Hollywood - System of a Down
16 Old School Hollywood - System of a Down
17 Mr. MTV - Nothing More
18 Celluloid Heroes - The Kinks
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