Drinking in L.A.

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"Drinking in L.A."
Single by Bran Van 3000
from the album Glee
Released Canada February 1997
United Kingdom August 1999
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Alternative rock, alternative hip hop, electronica, trip hop
Length 3:56
Songwriter(s) James Di Salvio, Norman Larson, Haig Vartzbedian
Bran Van 3000 singles chronology
"Drinking in L.A."
"Couch Surfer"
"Drinking in L.A."
"Couch Surfer"

"Drinking in L.A." is a song by Canadian electronica collective Bran Van 3000, released as the band's first single; in the U.S. "Drinking in L.A." failed to generate interest from Alternative stations, yet in the UK and Canada it continues to generate airplay. Some vocals were done by Stéphane Moraille.[1]

The song was covered specially for BBC Radio 1 by English indie rock Band The Twang in 2007, and featured on the album Radio 1 Established 1967. The song is also featured on the MuchMusic compilation album, Big Shiny Tunes 2. It was also featured in television commercials for Rolling Rock beer in the United Kingdom, which contributed to chart success in that region, peaking at number 3 (having only reached number 34 a year earlier when originally released). The song is also the title song for the film Playing by Heart.[2] In the music video for "Drinking in LA" a copy of a Toronto album is clearly visible in several shots.


"Drinking in L.A." was the last song to be recorded for the record Glee. It has been described by one music reviewer as a "fuzzy dew of guitars, gorgeous harmonies and a knock-out hook". Of the song, James Di Salvio has said "It was almost like one of those movies where an animated blue bird swings by over the real live footage. It's cheesy, but I knew in my heart it was a hit."[3]

On its origin, Di Salvio was quoted on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders as saying: "It's about me being in LA trying to make a movie and getting really bored with it and going out clubbing and DJ-ing, eventually taking the jump into making the record. It's kind of like falling out of love with one medium into the next. When you impose things in your life you have to do things because of your ego, you have to accomplish so much at a certain age and you want to do something else and you have to take the plunge and do it."[this quote needs a citation]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Adam Courneya and premiered in April 1998.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997-1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 79
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 40
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[6] 35
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 14
Italy (FIMI)[8] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 46
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 30
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 7
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 3

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Album
2007 The Twang Push the Ghosts EP
2011 The Xcerts Stairs to Noise