28 Best Songs about Downtown, Inner City

Downtown (the word is used predominantly in North America for city center) is the pulsating center of a city. The heart of the city is noisier compared to the suburbs. In the morning, many people, if they do not already live in the center, flock to work in the city center, where the stores, offices and banks are. During the day, more people are drawn to downtown to shop, sightsee, or just meet up with other people in a café. And at night people meet there in bars and pubs and turn night into day.
In this list I have compiled for you the best songs about downtown, inner city.

1. Downtown - Petula Clark

Let's start with Downtown by Petula Clark, the most popular and also the oldest song in this list. The single was released in November 1964.

The song describes the exquisite characteristics of city nightlife. Also, the song is an invitation to go downtown, enjoy the nightlife and leave all your worries behind.

2. Downtown - Macklemore & Rian Lewis

This Macklemore & Rian Lewis song is simply about moped riding downtown.

3. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) - Marvin Gaye

This Marvin Gaye song is about the darker side of inner city life, financial worries, rising crime, prejudice.

4. Downtown Train - Tom Waits

In the next song on this list, Tom Waits sings about how he hopes to see a beloved in a downtown train.

5. The Downtown Lights - The Blue Nile

And it continues with a 1989 track by Scottish band The Blue Nile. In this song the singer sings about love for someone and describes downtown at night.

6. Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City - Bobby "Blue" Bland

The American music magazine SoulTracks wrote about the song Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City by Bobby "Blue" Bland:
"(...) the great Bobby “Blue” Bland came at the topic from still another angle, namely the emptiness of the big city when the one you love is gone."[1]

7. Downtown - SWV

It continues in this list with a song in which the singer (R&B vocal trio SWV) asks her lover to come to her downtown, as she is eagerly waiting for him.

8. Heart Of Downtown - Calexico feat. Bombino

With Heart Of Downtown, Calexico together with Bombino have created a refreshing and by no means shallow song that conveys a mood of departure and change with the help of the song's lyrics, especially the lyric passage '... and ready for change for everyone'.

9. A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton

Right at the beginning of A Thousand Miles, Vanessa Carlton describes how she sets off on her way towards downtown. The lyrics also tell us that she is longing for her beloved.

10. Downtown Life - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Now we continue in our music list with Daryl Hall & John Oates, who created with their song a tribute to downtown, especially the nightlife. In the official music video for the song, you'll see Daryl Hall & John Oates perform their song in a music bar in front of a dancing couple. In between scenes from the nightlife of a city are faded in.

11. Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love) - JAY-Z

Simply obvious that the title of this JAY-Z song is almost identical to Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City by Bobby "Blue" Bland. Since a sample of the 70s soul track is an essential part of Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love) by JAY-Z.

12. Downtown - Lloyd Cole

13. Heart Of The City - Nick Lowe

14. Downtown - Foster The People

15. Downtown - Destroyer

16. Downtown - Neil Young

17. Inner City - Arrested Development

18. Uptight Downtown - La Roux

19. Downtown Rockers - Tom Tom Club

20. Minutes to Downtown - Jackson Browne

21. Downtown (Akron) - Pretenders

22. Downtown - Throwing Muses

23. Downtown - The Raveonettes

24. Downtown - Still Corners

25. Downtown Fred - Albert Hammond Jr

26. Downtown L.A. - J. J. Cale

27. The Downtown Talent Scout - Frank Zappa

28. Central City - Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band


[1] Patryk, R. (2016, May 27). SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. https://www.soultracks.com/flashback-soul-bobby-blue-bland-aint-no-love-in-the-heart-of-the-city

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