The San Francisco 100: The Best 'Baghdad by the Bay' Songs, Ever
Otis Redding's 'Dock ...'? Oh, Yes.
By David Downs
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Over the next 30 days, the SF Weekly culture blog All Shook Down will assemble and publish the definitive list of the Top 100 Songs of San Francisco.
To qualify a song must be either by San Franciscans or about San Francisco, or must have been recorded here or released on a local label. To qualify as a local artist, an artist must have spent at least five of their formative years here. And when we mean "here" we mean the general Bay Area, since all the Concord kids say they're from "San Francisco" when they travel anyway.
I've got a list of about 60, but I need suggestions and why. We have so many great bands here, it should be very hard to whittle it down to the Top 100. We do have some help, as there is a short Wikipedia Page on 'Songs about San Francisco'. Needless to say, we'll lengthen that page considerably when we finish the all-time Top 100 list.
Some early contenders for the Top 100 include:
"Don't Gimme No Bammer Weed" by RBL Posse
"Frisco Blues" by John Lee Hooker
"I Left My Heart in ...
San Francisco" performed by Tony Bennett
"Mission in the Rain" by Jerry Garcia Band
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" performed by Scott McKenzie
"San Francisco Fat" by NOFX
"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
"We Built This City on Rock and Roll" by Jefferson Starship
As you can see, many of these songs are about San Francisco, by San Franciscans who record in San Francisco. That's like, three points. Hard to beat that.
Please send in your suggestions in comments. Thanks.