USA: Playlist For The Pacific Highway And Beyond, California

USA: Playlist For The Pacific Highway And Beyond, California

We love music, even though we have slightly different tastes, but I suppose the 10 year age gap has something to do with that. We do like some of the same bands and we are both open to listening to the others playlists every now and then. We have the rule ‘my car, my music’ which seems fair enough, doesn’t it? However, when we hire a car and take a road trip we have the rule ‘our car, our music’.

Therefore, before we head out on any road trip adventure we sit down and compose the perfect playlist depending on where we are heading of course. I personally think we put together a kick ass playlist for Iceland which we happily sang along to as we witnessed some of the most stunning scenery that we have ever seen. We did try to put together a playlist for our recent road trip to and through Wales but barring the odd Tom Jones classic and a couple of songs off the first Stereophonics album we really struggled, so didn’t bother in the end.

However, putting together our California playlist was a lot easier. The first version did, worryingly, contain primarily gangster rap songs, so when revising we toned it down A LOT. We are hiring a convertible car and I personally had visions of taking a wrong turn and ending up in a dodgy area blasting out how much of a crazy motherf*cker Ice Cube was! Not ideal really! (it’s a line out of Straight Outta Compton by NWA if you didn’t get the reference). I’m already panicking about driving the car without drawing unnecessary attention to us.

We are starting our road trip in San Francisco next week before heading to Yosemite National Park then back across to Monterey and down The Pacific Highway through Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, Pismo Beach, Solvang, Santa Barbara (and everywhere in between) before arriving in Santa Monica to drop the car off. Therefore, the rules for our playlist were:

  • Songs relating to specific places in California
  • Songs relating to California itself

Here is what we came up with:

  1. Bel Air – Lana Del Rey
  2. Beverly Hills – Weezer
  3. Big Sur – The Thrills
  4. California – Joni Mitchell
  5. California – Phantom Planet
  6. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and The Papas
  7. California Love – 2Pac
  8. California Soul – Marlena Shaw
  9. California Waiting – Kings of Leon
  10. Californication – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  11. Fake Tales of San Francisco – Arctic Monkeys
  12. Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
  13. Hotel California – The Eagles
  14. I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
  15. L.A. – The Fall
  16. L.A. Woman – The Doors
  17. San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
  18. Take California – The Propellerheads
  19. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  20. To Live and Die in L.A. – Makaveli

So based on our rules, can you think of any more we could add to our playlist? Let’s try to stay away from utter dross like Katy Perry’s California Gurls please 🙂 We will after all be on the road on and off for a week and may get bored with repeating this playlist over and over so if we can pad it out so it lasts longer than that would be great. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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  1. May 23, 2017 / 8:30 am

    There’s also Dani California by the Chilli Peppers too!

    For Iceland, I would go for Icelandic bands such as Sigur Ros and Solstafir. They are quite tranquil and don’t really fit into any genre I don’t think.

  2. May 23, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Surprised you haven’t got any Beach Boys tracks in there as they are classic California. Good list though.

  3. May 23, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    For No 13, don’t ever get to leave California? LOL

  4. May 24, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    Some great choices! Whats a road trip without an amazing playlist to accompany it?

    I recently did a similar trip visiting many of the same places! Monterey and Cambria are definitely underrated – both beautiful! My favourite stop was Yosemite however!
    You’re going to have an amazing time!! Check out my road trip posts if you’re interested 🙂