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LA’s Rich Music History

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Los Angeles boasts a rich and diverse music history that spans multiple genres and eras. From its roots in jazz and blues on Central Avenue to the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll and pop on the Sunset Strip and in Laurel Canyon, the city has been a breeding ground for musical innovation. It played a pivotal role in the rise of punk rock with iconic venues like The Masque and the Whisky a Go Go. Los Angeles also became a major center for hip-hop and rap in the 1980s and 1990s, with artists like N.W.A., Dr. Dre, and Tupac Shakur shaping the West Coast sound. The city’s Latin music scene in East Los Angeles and its contributions to electronic music further underscore its musical diversity. Additionally, Los Angeles has been a hub for film scores and soundtracks, thanks to its ties to the Hollywood film industry. Overall, the city’s vibrant music history continues to influence and inspire artists worldwide.

Los Angeles, California, has been a breeding ground for numerous iconic musicians across various genres. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, and Tupac Shakur, a legendary rapper, both called Los Angeles home and left indelible marks on the music world. Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg are emblematic figures of West Coast hip-hop, each contributing to the genre’s evolution and prominence. Gwen Stefani, as the lead singer of No Doubt and a solo artist, has been a prominent figure in rock and pop music. Bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the eclectic composer Frank Zappa further showcase the city’s diverse musical landscape. Additionally, the Beach Boys, originating from Hawthorne, and jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, who spent much of her career in LA, are emblematic of the city’s rich musical heritage, solidifying Los Angeles as a global music capital.

Record Labels Established in LA

Los Angeles has been a hub for the music industry for decades, giving rise to numerous influential record labels. Some original record labels that started in Los Angeles include:

  1. Capitol Records: Founded in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs, Capitol Records became one of the major players in the music industry, signing artists like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and The Beach Boys.
  2. A&M Records: Founded in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, A&M Records grew to become one of the largest independent record labels in the world, with artists such as The Carpenters, Sting, and Janet Jackson.
  3. Elektra Records: Founded in 1950 by Jac Holzman, Elektra Records started as a folk music label and later expanded its roster to include rock, alternative, and metal acts. Artists signed to Elektra include The Doors, Queen, and Metallica.
  4. Warner Bros. Records: Originally part of the Warner Bros. film studio, Warner Bros. Records was established as a separate entity in 1958. It has signed numerous successful artists over the years, including Fleetwood Mac, Prince, and Madonna.
  5. Rhino Records: Founded in 1973 by Richard Foos, Harold Bronson, and others, Rhino Records initially focused on reissuing out-of-print and rare recordings. It later expanded into new releases and became known for its compilation albums and box sets.

These original record labels played pivotal roles in shaping the music industry and contributed significantly to the development of various genres and artists.

Popular Music Videos Shot in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has been a popular location for filming music videos due to its iconic landmarks, diverse neighborhoods, and vibrant atmosphere. Here are some famous music videos that were filmed in Los Angeles:

  1. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” (1983): Directed by John Landis, this iconic video features Jackson and a horde of zombies dancing through the streets of Los Angeles, including the Palace Theatre and various locations in the city.
  2. Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain” (1992): This epic ballad was accompanied by a lavish music video featuring scenes shot at the iconic St. Brendan Catholic Church in Los Angeles, as well as the desert near Los Angeles.
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under the Bridge” (1992): The video for this song captures the band performing on a rooftop overlooking downtown Los Angeles, as well as scenes of the city streets.
  4. Tupac Shakur – “California Love” (1996): Directed by Hype Williams, this video features Tupac and Dr. Dre in a Mad Max-inspired post-apocalyptic Los Angeles setting, complete with explosions and car chases.
  5. Britney Spears – “…Baby One More Time” (1998): This iconic debut single from Britney Spears features scenes shot at Venice High School in Los Angeles, where Spears dances in the school’s hallways and gym.
  6. BeyoncĂ© – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (2008): This visually striking video features BeyoncĂ© and her backup dancers performing intricate choreography in a minimalist studio setting in Los Angeles.
  7. Katy Perry – “California Gurls” (2010): This colorful and whimsical video showcases Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg in a candy-coated California dreamland, featuring iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Sign.
  8. Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.” (2017): Directed by Dave Meyers, this visually stunning video was shot in various locations around Los Angeles, including the Bradbury Building and the iconic Los Angeles River.

These are just a few examples, but there are countless other music videos that have been filmed in Los Angeles, showcasing the city’s diverse landscapes and urban culture.