Hollywood is not for the faint of heart, yet the city continues to lure young, starry-eyed hopefuls to its boulevards and backlots, just as it has for over a century. Some people have success there. Most people don't. It's a town based on big dreams and low lows.
Hollywood wears "shady glasses after dark," according to Connie Francis's "Hollywood," the first track on this playlist. It's a dangerous town, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus and Martha's daddy, warns on "Hollywood Hopeful" and RuPaul calls it a "stone cold city," but the Runaways remain undeterred and declare on their own Tinsel Town-inspired track, "Hollywood, it feels so good!"
Madonna of course reminds us that everyone comes to Hollywood, and jazz legend Dr. John lampoons that devotion on a live version of "Hollywood Be Thy Name." Meanwhile Boz Scaggs, the only musician to show up twice on the list, thinks Hollywood is both wonderful and completely dreadful, as you'll hear for yourself.
Hard or fast, optimistic or down and out in Beverly Hills, these 25 tracks capture the bipolar nature of Hollywood life, so whether you're headed to LA this summer, living in the city and want to know the songs it influenced or just want to get a sense of what Hollywoodland is all about, take a listen to this Spotify playlist, "…In Hollywood!" Don't have Spotify? Don't worry. You can download it here. It's simple and free, neither of which are adjectives used to describe Hollywood.