The opening ceremonies for the London Olympics are happening today, and that got us thinking about songs that reference the “Big Black Smoke” (as the Kinks once called it).
London is the birthplace of so many great bands, singers and musicians– the Who, the Rolling Stones and Adele, for starters — that it should come as no surprise that there are tons of songs about the city. But a quick online search turns up a massive Wikipedia list that seems to go on forever. It’s so large that they had to put the list of songs beginning with “L” on a separate page.
The classic 1979 album you see above has several great songs about the city, including “Guns of Brixton” and the title track. The Clash — along with bands such as Saint Etienne, the Jam, Small Faces, Blur and the Kinks — tend to pop up on that list again and again. There’s a real sense of place in the music of those bands, and that place is usually London.
If you need some inspiration, try one of the all time great London songs, the Kinks “Waterloo Sunset.” Tell us about your favorite London song.