"San Francisco" is a song performed by German eurodance recording group Cascada from their fourth studio album,Original Me. The song serves as the album's official first single (second overall) internationally on June 20, 2011. It was written by Yann Peifer, Manuel Reuter, and Tony Cornelissen, and it was produced by Reuter and Peifer. Musically, "San Francisco" is an uptempo pop song which relies on electropop and dance-pop styles with influences of music from the 1970s. The song's lyrics are an ode to the city of San Francisco in Northern California. The song was officially released in the UK for download on July 4, 2011.
"San Francisco" received criticism for its similarity in sound to Katy Perry's worldwide hit, California Gurls. The song reached the top fifteen in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. Unlike previous singles from the group, it failed to make any impact on the pop charts in the United Kingdom, peaking at number sixty-four. "San Francisco" was also the first debut single from an album that was not certified in the United Kingdom. The song's accompanying music video sees Horler leading a group of dancers dressed as modern-day hippies to an underground party.
Composition and comparison to "California Gurls"
"San Francisco" is an uptempo dance song which derives from the styles of electropop and electronica while backed by a grinding synth beat. The song also has influences from 1970s music - in particular, it makes reference to Scott McKenzie's song by the same name, in one lyric that says, "where you've got flowers in your hair". The song is set in common time, and has a moderate tempo of 126 beats per minute. It is written in the key of D minor and Horler's vocals span from Eb3-C5. The song is lyrically an ode to San Francisco, California. The song's composition has received notability from critics for its similar composition to Katy Perry's song "California Gurls". "San Francisco" is similar to "California Gurls" in its lyrics, as they both pay tribute to the California area and all the good fun that happens there. "San Francisco" and "California Gurls", according to Jon O'Brien of AllMusic Guide, contained the similar floaty synth hook and grinding beats.
"San Francisco" debuted in the Dutch Top 40 charts in the Netherlands at number twenty-seven on the week of July 2, 2011. The song peaked at number eleven seven weeks later, and remained on the charts for seven more weeks after that. The song also debuted and peaked at number thirteen on the Media Control Charts in Germany. The song was also successful in Austria, debuting and peaking at number fourteen on Ö3 Austria Top 75 on the week of June 15, 2011. It lasted eleven weeks on the chart. The single was less successful in other countries, peaking at number sixteen in Bulgaria, number forty in Slovakia, and number sixty-four in the United Kingdom.
Cascada shot the video for the song on March 26th, 2011 along with the video for "Au Revoir". Both videos were directed by Lisa Mann and choreographed by Luther Brown. The video for the song premiered on May 6, one month before its official release. It was shot in Toronto, Canada, and was, according to their YouTube description of the music video, an expensive production.