Happy 4th July folks! You may be wondering why a British based website is celebrating Independence Day, and to that we'd say "because we want to!". We have loads of American Friends from San Francisco, Austin, Baltimore, New York, Las Vegas, LA, yeah we're pretty well connected in the good old US of A.
So we wanted to celebrate the best way we know how, with a rundown of our very favourite songs that have something American about them. Turn up your speakers and enjoy!
10. American Pie - Don McLean
You can't get much more American that apple pie, except of course with an American Pie. When you've spent a good portion of your life watching live music, you've heard this song covered by plenty of different singers. And you can be sure the audience will be singing along too!
9. Empire State of Mind - Alicia Keys
It's almost as if the mayor of Manhattan went to Alicia Keys and said "write a song that will make everyone in the world want to visit here." As much of a love letter to a place as a piece of music, Empire State of Mind makes you believe anything is possible in the Big Apple.
8. Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
A truly beautiful and moving song, in which Ray Charles recounts the place of his childhood, which was the only place he truly saw before he lost his sight. You can feel his nostalgia and a sense of yearning in the lyrics. It's a song that not only tells of a place in the USA, but makes us all think of home.
7. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
One of the most instantly recognisable guitar riffs of all time, and a true summer anthem. Whether you're taking a long road trip, or whiling away a sunny day at the beach, you can put this on and feel happy. Turns out Americans love singing about where they are from. Patriotic bunch these guys!
6. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen
When 'The Boss' penned this song, he didn't have patriotism in mind, but protest. Born in the USA is commonly mistaken for a rousing anthem, when in truth its lyrics recount the story of a working class man sent to fight in a phoney war. Heavy stuff. But whether or not you understand the true implications of the song, it's got one heck of a chorus!
5. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
Originally released by The Guess Who, this stomping, riff driven rock song was perfected when covered by the coolest guitar player on Earth, Lenny Kravitz. For all you budding guitarists out there, it's also very easy to learn, so you can rock around your bedroom like a pro!
4. American Idiot - Green Day
Like Springsteen, the Green Day boys were channelling anger, not national pride, when they penned American Idiot. But the playful nature of the music only elevates the seriousness of the message. And it rocks!
3. Kim Wilde - Kids in America
We love a bit of synth driven pop here at Stage Invaders HQ (actually we like a lot of it). This 80s pop classic makes you feel like hitting a California beach, or riding a BMX bike through Michigan suburbia before going off on some awesome adventure.
2. California Dreamin' - Mamas and Papas
You can almost feel the heat coming off this song as it plays. Close your eyes and you're there, on a hazy day in LA, walking along Venice Beach and feeling like the king of the world. The harmonies are truly inspired and the mix of male and female vocals gives the song a unique, diverse sound that propelled the song to classic status.
1. Living in America - James Brown
Who but the Godfather of Soul could sit at the top of this list? This song is more of an audio holiday brochure, even listing the names of some of the most popular tourist destinations. It was also the title track of Rocky IV, and what better story of the american dream is there than Rocky Balboa's fight from nothing to world champion? Yeah this one has it all.
We hope you enjoyed our list. If we missed any off then let us know in the comments below. Otherwise enjoy July 4th!