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best city pop songs

Eddy Frankel. What exactly happened on that magical twenty-first night of September is still a mystery, and the rest of the lyrics (that ‘baa-dee-ya!’ vocal hook for one) don’t really clear things up. Tory Belleci and Streetbike Tommy meet experts using cutting-edge explosives to turn entire mountains into gravel-sized bits essential for construction. He considers London, “a small city”, then decides that despite Birmingham’s rich people and ghosts, its dry ice factory is “a good place to get some thinking done”.

Car dealer supremo Mike Brewer and mechanic Marc 'Elvis' Priestley trade up to iconic Japanese sports car, the Nissan Skyline, for photographer Harlen. Taylor Swift shook off her Disney princess image with this 2014 smash.

Yes, Amerie’s come-hither teasing vocal is good but that bass and brass combo is a big dirty come-on. Amid a ticker-tape of tourist attractions, from the Staten Island ferry to “the Empire State where Dylan lived”, there’s one sly acknowledgement of the narrator’s rose-tinted spectacles. Course you have, so celebrate that kick in the teeth you received by throwing some seriously moody New Romantic shapes to this era-defining synthpop classic.

‘Hey there baby,’ he sighs. The song hit the top of the charts in the US after being featured in Robert Altman’s fashion send-up, ‘Prêt-à-Porter’. People are divided over the song’s meaning: on one hand, some think that 'Push It' means to have sex and on the other hand there’s a camp that think that it means to dance your butt off. There’s a shimmer to its tune, as if the city stands like something of a mirage, with Smith sounding thirsty and muddled before it: half-charmed, you sense, by the idea of his picture on a hundred-dollar bill, and then repelled by the gamble of it all. Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! And the fact that the intro dares you, hard, to crank up the volume before the fuzzy onslaught begins doesn’t exactly hurt, either. DL, Danish producer CHLLNGR took the tempo down a couple notches for his wistful remix of Congolese artist Alec Lomami’s 2011 break-out single Kinshasa.

After a decade that saw the beehive-topped party band enshrined in the college-rock pantheon – and dealt the group a crippling blow with the death of beloved guitarist Ricky Wilson – the B-52s roared back to their career peak with this ode to a ‘little place where we can get together'. Glenn 'Yogi' Kendall leads a convoy of trucks to deliver desperately needed hay to drought ravaged farms.

That’s the opening line. Josh Jones. It’s a song about a boy playing hooky, skipping out on his life and his girl to go driving through the city – taking in the freeway, Ventura Boulevard, the Valley. Eddy Frankel, Holidays, sex and disco beats – ‘Girls and Boys’ really is a perfect storm of a pop song, built to ignite the dancefloor into an inferno of nostalgia for ’90s hedonism. Paul Simon is that baron. Produced and sung by Andre 3000 (the more flamboyant half of the Atlanta hip hop outfit), ‘Hey Ya!’ is a leftfield R&B masterpiece – on the one hand, a sexual statement of intent, and on the other a passionate lament for the death of love. Kicking off with Slash’s most famous riff, which was apparently written as a joke (LOL, good one Slash! Sure, its joyfully wobbly grooves are fuelled by sheer silliness, but let’s be honest: so are all the best parties. Make like Lena Dunham in ‘Girls’ (see-through vest optional). Share your favourite city songs in the comments below and we’ll round up the best suggestions later in the week, Available for everyone, funded by readers. From 1979’s The Raven, Dead Loss Angeles combines one of Jean-Jacques Burnel’s most insistent basslines with singer Hugh Cornwell’s litany of grumbles about the otherwise sunny metropolis: “the plastic peaches there, on concrete beaches there”, the “shit” in the La Brea tar pits and the way “shallow, android Americans live in the ruins there.” Never shy of an outrage, the band cheerily performed the song at the city’s Whisky A Go Go venue the following year. You know when you wake up at a festival and there’s that drip of moisture running down the wall of your tent onto your head? Perhaps for new arrivals, New York still glitters and thrills like it always has.

James Manning. Even 50 years after release, the song feels thrillingly sinister, and by extension so does New Orleans. When Paul Thomas Anderson needed a backdrop for Dirk Diggler’s glory days in ‘Boogie Nights’, this is what he chose. Here, the city serves as an unforgiving backdrop to one man’s personal tragedy, as Springsteen casts himself as as the Tom Hanks character in the movie, a gay lawyer stricken with AIDS as the epidemic ravaged the 1980s; ”I was bruised and battered and I couldn’t tell What I felt, I was unrecognizable to myself. It's a bleak national outlook—except here. Danielle Goldstein. Keep it up with a bombastic hip-hop epic armed with a chorus from Keys that bellows from the Brooklyn basements to the tip of the Manhattan skyline. James Manning, Diana Ross’s most ebullient hit is the perfect song to turn any party from tentative into full-on fabulous. ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ also made our list of the best ’80s songs. In a way, Galveston could be about any beach town, but, somehow, it’s romantically Texan. A Holiday Inn, you say? It was an ode to a woman, and a way of life. At the start of 2015 only two videos could boast having over a billion views. Flowers in the back pocket are optional but advised. He nailed it. Here are the 10 most popular songs in the world (according to YouTube). When you’re having a terrible time and you just feel so alone and it’s impossible to meet anyone special - no matter how many parties you go to - it seems you’ll never, ever find that soulmate, but then the DJ drops this and you can just let the emotion pour out of you in five minutes and fourteen seconds of borderline hysteria, while everyone just thinks you’re doing a really passionate homage to Whitney. Sophie Harris, James Brown is a sex machine. Sometimes the best dancing is done defiantly, with tears forming in the corners of your eyes, and 'Dancing On My Own' gets that like few other pop songs in history. “It’s just the apple stretching and yawning/Just morning.” DL, Stevens’ 50 States Project, to write an album for every US state, has been on hiatus for some while, but his tributes to Michigan and Illinois offer some wonderful accounts of Midwestern cities. In the dying days of its three-decade reign on the region they were two of Congolese Rumba’s most recognisable names. We doubt it, but it definitely is the most obvious.

In its Kiswahili reincarnation (Twende Nairobi) she shouts out the former president of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi, who then lifted a ban he had placed on foreign music being played on Kenyan radio.

Josh Jones. Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest. This - this - is what a UK party is. To be in the park with someone you love under a benign sky is to feel that “today London loves us only”. The film’s only redeeming feature was a stunning soundtrack composed by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic. This grungey, raucous, brat of a song doesn’t sound like Blur and never will, but that’s a big part of its enduring appeal. However, their Top 10 1978 debut album marked a seminal moment in British reggae. Whether it’s at 6am or 7pm, this song goes down better than a glass of olive oil.

A single snare hit kicks it all in before a constant barrage of incessant funk guitars and deliciously sexy falsetto vocals take you on a groovy trip around the bedroom. With one of the catchiest choruses in the history of catchy choruses, the only ‘why’ worth asking is ‘why does it have to stop?’ We suggest putting on the 12-inch edit and letting everyone get their groove on for as long as possible. PO, The title of the former Auteur’s 2007 single suggests a homage to Leeds United FC, but is actually a blackly comic reminiscence about the bleak, David Peace-type environment he remembers from the 1970s: a city of swift pints in red light areas, terraced houses, clapped-out Ford Cortinas, Jimmy Savile and Peter Sutcliffe. Throw this one on about three quarters of the way through your bash, when you need a surefire, hands-in-the-air worldbeater. Don’t bother: this Chrysler’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail. DL, The gangsta rap pioneer plays with his own reputation as the driving force behind NWA’s high-drama Straight Outta Compton by narrating a perfect day in South Central Los Angeles while DJ Pooh’s amiable beat epitomises the thick, warm funk that defined the city in the early 90s. Once it starts to spin, you really feel like you could party until the end of time. We’re not entirely convinced MJ himself quite knew what enough was; otherwise he might have stopped, eh? “Put your make-up on, put your hair up pretty,” he begs, hoarse and a little wild, “and meet me tonight in Atlantic City.” LB, This solemn account of a brief, amorous encounter (rumoured to have been with Janis Joplin) at a legendary New York hotel, suggests the way that a city can press people together, a desire for human contact amid all the concrete and downcast eyes. Tin whistles, mate, that’s what.

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