A Road-Trip Through The Coolest Music Video Locations of All Time

Roadtrips and Playlists
4 min readAug 25, 2021

Music videos have always been an incredibly important element to the release of a song, with the aim of boosting its sales, getting people talking, and helping the track soar to the top of the charts. In recent years, these music videos have higher production value and, most of all, better locations, meaning they are visually more appealing and memorable to the viewer. The list below takes you on the perfect road trip to revisit some of those iconic music video locations.

SEATTLE

A city perhaps best known for a classic romance film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, many music videos have been filmed in this iconic place. One of the more recent music videos to be filmed here was “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. The video shows the British singer falling in love with a boxer in the city while there isn’t much of a strong storyline, the Seattle setting matches the theme well. Another famous artist to record in the city is none other than the iconic duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The pair shut down a diner to film part of their “White Walls” music video, as well as filming in various other areas of Washington State.

SAN FRANCISCO

Train’s “Save Me, San Francisco” is easily the most iconic music video to start off this section. The majority of the video was filmed on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, linking the song title to the location nicely. Train aren’t the only ones to use this iconic city in a music video though. “We Built This City” by Jefferson Starship, “One Way Ticket” by Leanne Rimes, and “The Motto” by Drake were all filmed in San Francisco as well, among the many other well known music videos.

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles, AKA ‘The city of Angels’, is world-famous for its film and music scene, as the go-to location for rising musicians and actors. When you combine these two factors, it’s no surprise that many music videos have been filmed in this iconic location. One of the most notable videos is the music video for “Under The Bridge” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This song even mentions ‘The City of Angels’ and shows clips of Los Angeles throughout the video. U2, Michael Jackson, and Tom Petty are other artists who have all filmed in LA, using the city as the perfect backdrop to boost recognition of their tracks.

NEW YORK CITY

Arguably one of the best songs to ever come out of the city, “Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z Feat. Alicia Keys dives deep into the day-to-day life of any New Yorker, as well as highlighting all the best places and traditions in the concrete jungle. The music video continues this theme, showing different pictures of iconic locations in the city, along with Alicia Keys playing the piano in the middle of Times Square. Other notable music videos that have been filmed here include Michael Jackson’s “Bad”, and New Radical’s 1998 hit “You Get What You Give,” filmed in the Staten Island Mall.

PHILADELPHIA

Similar to the other road trip locations on this list, the city of Philadelphia has played host to many different music videos. Rudimental’s 2014 hit “Feel The Love” is no exception to this, with the accompanying music video being shot in Philadelphia. Other music videos that have been filmed in this location include “Freakin’ It” by Will Smith and “whywhywhy” by MisterWives, capturing the different elements the city has to offer.

Contributor: Hannah Youds

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Roadtrips and Playlists

Roadtrips and Playlists is a music and travel blog sponsored by Tenth House Agency. We travel the world uncovering the coolest rising artists and hottest venues