Sydney, 29 January 2015: With the 57th annual Grammy awards fast approaching, the travel experts at Hotels.com dusted off their record collection to find the top 10 songs that have a hotel theme or feature a hotel name in the title. With tunes from Elvis to The Sugarhill Gang, hotels have always been a popular theme for artists from all generations and genres.
- Hotel California – The Eagles
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”
Arguably the most famous song about a hotel, and what many consider to be one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Hotel California was released in 1976 and is often described as a metaphor for America’s decline into materialism.
- Chelsea Hotel – Leonard Cohen
“I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel, you were famous, your heart was a legend”
The Chelsea Hotel in New York City was Cohen’s home away from home. The song is about an evening he spent with fellow musician Janis Joplin. He later regretted admitting the song was about Joplin, due to the nature of the lyrics.
- Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
“Just take a walk down lonely street to Heartbreak Hotel”
Heartbreak Hotel was the King’s first US number one pop single and it was the most successful song of 1956. Written by Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden, the lyrics are based on a newspaper article about a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window.
- Memory Motel – The Rolling Stones
“We spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel, it’s on the ocean, I guess you know it well”
Memory Motel features on the Rolling Stones’ 1976 album Black and Blue. The ballad is significant as it features both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sharing lead vocals. It is widely speculated that the ‘Hannah baby’ referred to in the song is Carly Simon.
- Hotel Yorba – The White Stripes
“At the Hotel Yorba, I’ll be glad to see you later, all they got inside is vacancy”
Hotel Yorba is the lead song from the album ‘White Blood Cells’ by The White Stripes. The single was recorded in room 206 of the former Hotel Yorba, built in 1926 in southwest Detroit, which is now used as government-subsidised housing. It is rumoured that the duo have since been banned from the building.
- Suspense Hotel – Fool’s Gold
“You built a surprise hotel and left me on the stage”
Sung in Hebrew, this catchy pop tune by Fool’s Gold was released in 2009. The video depicts a ‘typical day’ for the Los Angeles collective and shows the musicians enjoying a fun day in the sun.
- Fugitive Motel – Elbow
“I blow you a kiss, it should reach you tomorrow, as it flies from the other side of the world, from my room in my fugitive motel”
English band Elbow sing about the loneliness of being in a hotel room on the other side of the world missing a loved one. The track was released in 2003 from the album ‘Cast of Thousands’.
- Rapper’s Delight – The Sugarhill Gang
“Everybody go, hotel, motel, Holiday Inn”
Considered to be the song that popularised Hip Hop in the United States and across the world, Rapper’s Delight is the 1979 hit from The Sugarhill Gang. The shout-out to hotels and motels has been quoted in many Hip Hop songs since.
- Blue Hotel – Chris Isaak
“Blue Hotel, on a lonely highway, Blue Hotel, life don’t work out my way”
Blue Hotel is a song from American musician Chris Isaak, who is most famous for his 1989 song Wicked Game.
- There’s a Small Hotel – Ella Fitzgerald
“We’ll creep into our little shell, and we will thank the small hotel together”
There’s a Small Hotel was composed by Richard Rodgers in 1936, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart, recorded by Ella Fitzgerald in 1949. The biography of Lorenz Hart claims the song is about the Stockton Inn in New Jersey, although another claimant says it was written about the Montecito Inn in Santa Barbara, California.