I Love Livin' in the City

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"I Love Livin' in the City"
Single by Fear
B-side "Now Your Dead"
Released 1978
Recorded 1977
Genre Punk rock
Length 3:54
Label Criminal Records
Songwriter(s) Lee Ving
Producer(s) Fear
Fear singles chronology
"I Love Livin' in the City"
"'Fuck Christmas'"

I Love Livin' in the City
Fuck Christmas

"I Love Livin' in the City" is the first single by the punk rock band Fear. It was originally released in 1978 on the Los Angeles-based Criminal Records.


"I Love Livin' in the City" was re-recorded twice: once during the group's unreleased 1979 sessions, and again for its debut album, The Record. The song exaggeratedly describes a stereotypical, turbulent life one may face in Los Angeles, where blood and corpses litter the street. The B-side, "Now Your Dead", details John F. Kennedy's assassination and the resulting conspiracy theories.

In popular culture[edit]

"I Love Livin' in the City" was featured in the 1998 movie SLC Punk! as well as two video game soundtracks, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (2004) and The Warriors (2005).


University of Southern California film professor David E. James has cited this song as a paradigm of punk's "style that would always be in the process of pushing itself over into self-parody", and he compared its imagery to the work of Charles Bukowski.[1] Oregon State University film studies professor Jon Lewis said the lyrics exemplified punk's perception of "the aesthetics of ugliness that characterize downtown LA".[2] A 2001 Spin magazine retrospective about the L.A. punk scene found it to be "a virtual prototype for the reality-of-my-surroundings gangsta rap of the late '80s."[3] In a 2016 list of "best love songs inspired by NYC", Village Voice critic Kim Kelly described the song as "a shit-stained love letter to the filthy beating heart of the city itself" and as Fear's "magnum opus and an instantly recognizable battle cry for anyone who calls this big, beautiful bastard city home."[4]

Track listing[edit]

A) "I Love Livin' in the City" (1:54)
B) "Now You're Dead" (2:00)



  1. ^ David E. James, "Poetry/Punk/Production: Some Postmodern Writing in L.A.", in David E. James (1996). Power Misses: Essays Across (un)popular Culture. Verso. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-85984-101-3.
  2. ^ Jon Lewis, "City/Cinema/Dream", in Caws, Mary Ann (26 November 2013). City Images: Perspectives from Literature, Philosophy and Film. Taylor & Francis. pp. 245–. ISBN 978-1-134-29605-7.
  3. ^ Brendan Mullen and Marc Spitz, "Sit on My Face, Stevie Nicks: The Germs, Darby Crash, and the Biorth of SoCal Punk", Spin, May 2001, p. 101, 106.
  4. ^ "Here Are the Best Love Songs Inspired by NYC", The Village Voice, February 11, 2016.

External links[edit]