As I worked on some travel destination articles and listening to the radio I suddenly realised that many places have famous music tracks written about them and so started to compile a top ten of classic destination tunes.
The remit was that the song had to have the destination in the title, be relatively well-known and a destination somewhere worth visiting. As always with these things the choices are going to prove contentious and there are bound to be tracks of which I am either not aware or forgot
(or hate with a passion, remember music ended in 1995 when the likes of idol, X Factor and Talent poluted the music scene) but please feel free to post me your suggestions.
10) China Girl – David Bowie 1983
While Chinese tourism is a relatively new concept, the country has thrown itself headlong into embracing visitors. New theme parks, golf courses and regular colourful festivals and tours of ancient temples are the norm nowadays in this enigmatic and still relatively unknown country.
9) California Dreamin – Mamma’s & Papa’s 1965
The summer of 68’ and everyone’s ideal of taking a holiday in California. From surfing to skiing you can have the time of your life in Cali. There are the sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, San Diego Zoo or a trip around the studios of Hollywood. Wherever you decide to spend your time on the west coast state you are guaranteed gorgeous weather and beautiful people.
8) Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkle 1966
Taken from a traditional English Folk ballad the song perfectly summarises the gentle rolling Yorkshire countryside. The town itself has an old ruined Norman castle, quaint church and sandy beach to stroll along. Scarborough provides a holiday of simple pleasures, ice cream, tea and cake and a colourful tea towel but sadly no longer a fair.
7) Woman from Tokyo – Deep Purple 1973
This pounding rock beat, bounces around like the neon lights of its title city. Tokyo is a wild fast paced city with a techno pulse, but it also has its serene, quiet moments such as the many stunning Japanese gardens and temple sites. Tomorrow’s World junkies will love the crazy, zany aspects of this strange, yet familiar capital.
6) Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl 1987
Shopping, skyscrapers and yellow taxis are probably the strangers view point of New York but a city this size is bound to appeal to all. Plenty of museums and galleries to wonder around, singular attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, while view from the top of the Empire State Building is spectacular.
5) Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto 1964
Chic, stylish and very 60’s sound to the seaside resort on the southern side of Rio de Janeiro. Rio is most famous for its lively carnival and a sexy samba on streets, its Sugarloaf Mountain and statue of Christ are synonymous with the city too. It also has massive tropical jungle parkland in the centre of its urban sprawl that is well worth exploring.
4) Parisienne Walkways – Gary Moore 1979
Haunting classic that begs you to sit outside a Paris corner café in the Champs Elyses. The Notra Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, drifting down the River Seine or manically negotiating Le Arc de Triomph as all well documented Parisian pursuits. The romantic, surprising moments though are to be found in the little streets, the quiet plazas and the small boutique stores.
3) Night Boat to Cairo – Madness 1979
Cairo like the song is a crazy, wild place, full of people milling around, busy bazaars and strange dark stalls. The Pyramids on the outskirts are probably the most popular of Egypt’s attractions with Nile cruises not far away.
2) Vienna – Ultravox 1981
Mysterious narrow cobbled streets and cosy café bars make Vienna and ideal destination for a romantic weekend away. Most of the video was filmed in London but the grave shown is of Carl Schweighofer, a notorious piano maker buried in Vienna.
1) London Calling – The Clash 1979
While the Clash portrays a side of London most people never wish to see, the less anarchic image of the Tate, St Paul’s and Buckingham Palace is the more normal requirement. However you could let your hair down enjoying a pie and a pint in a lunchtime pub or walk the streets eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper.
Here are some other of the many notable classics that just missed out because I had to draw the line somewhere were:-
Vegas Two Times – Stereophonics
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
Breakfast in America – Supertramp
Guns of Brixton – The Clash
LA Woman – The Doors
Harlem Shuffle – The Rolling Stones
Kingtson Town – UB40
Don’t Cry for me Argentina – Julie Covington
Lost in France – Bonnie Tyler
Copacabana – Barry Manilow
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynard Skynard
Is this the way to Amarillo – Tony Christie
Africa – Toto