We Built This City (4:54)

Cover of Knee Deep in the Hoopla

From Knee Deep in the Hoopla and 282 other releases

“We Built This City” is a song written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf, and originally recorded by the group Starship and released as its debut single on November 10, 1985. The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, best known for his longtime collaboration with Elton John. The song features Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick on lead vocals, and the single version reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 16, 1985, and also number twelve in the United Kingdom. The song was engineered by Grammy-winning producer Bill Bottrell and arranged by Bottrell and Jasun Martz.

The city that the band is singing about in the album version of this song has been generally thought to be San Francisco, California, (the traffic report in the bridge references the Golden Gate Bridge and “The City by the Bay”). However, it also mentions that it is “the city that never sleeps”, which is a nickname more commonly associated with New York City. In Japan it has been sold with Japanese title “Sisuko wa Rokku Sitii” (“‘Cisco, Rock City”). But according to Slick, it was actually written about early-1970s Los Angeles.

Production

MTV executive and former D.J. Les Garland provided the D.J. voice-over during the song’s bridge.[2]

The song was also released without the traffic report and D.J. interaction during the song’s bridge (the B-side of the promotional 45-rpm record). Local stations were encouraged to make local versions. New York City, for example, included a traffic report describing conditions on the George Washington Bridge.

Janice Cruz, later from the Brooklyn-based indie rock trio Dark Room NYC, appears in the first verse of the video.

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Say, "You don't know me or recognize my face"
Say, "You don't care who goes to that kind of place"
Knee deep in the hoopla sinking in your fight
Too many runaways eating up the night

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • j7ndominica

    Sing along in purrrrfect timing :3

    21 Jun 9:08pm Reply
  • hosswr10

    First time I heard this was on an old Cassette tape as a child. Loved it ever sense. Thanks lastfm for bringing back great memories. Peace.

    3 Jun 11:41pm Reply
  • midliferickman

    Hey, guess what? We Jazzercise to this! (One of the best tummy routines ever!) "Knee deep in the poop-la!"

    30 May 6:10pm Reply
  • spacecircus

    We built this city on rock and roll ! How could you deny such an epic line? it totally makes the chorus. Love that over the top 80s feel.

    17 May 7:42am Reply
  • apostolicupci

    another great starship song. peace be with you

    8 May 10:03pm Reply
  • Overdose52

    Lol how could anyone vote this the worst song of the 80s, it's a tune.

    30 Apr 5:26pm Reply
  • RoomForSymmetry

    We built this Schmitty on Tooootsie Rolls!

    13 Apr 4:11pm Reply
  • slushie360

    knee deep in the hoopla.

    11 Feb 3:17am Reply
  • jarrbluesyjazz

    I LIKE THIS SEASON REALLY NICE MUSIC AND LIRICS..........

    14 Aug 2014 Reply
  • rockandrolljoe

    Starship

    21 Apr 2014 Reply
  • nitty_look

    I love this song sooo much! I could listen to it again and again! For me one of the best songs of the 80's!

    18 Apr 2014 Reply
  • exeter232

    I remember when this song came out, and certain cities had their DJ's fill in a voice over about their city. They say it's the worst song of the 80's, but I was there and I never to vote. I wouldn't of voted or this one. Now, Laura Branigan and Gloria....

    18 Apr 2014 Reply
  • UncleDavenage

    I hate that I have to do the backing vocals myself on this version.

    14 Mar 2014 Reply
  • carpentry-anni

    wie kann ich die videofunktion ausschalten???

    25 Feb 2014 Reply
  • ManCalled7Sun

    We built this city, we built this city on rock and rolllllll! Yeah!!

    20 Feb 2014 Reply
  • sidney_adv

    Clássica!

    18 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Puppies_On_Acid

    "We built Chip City on alllll your doooough!!"

    17 Dec 2013 Reply
  • BennoTiger

    :-))

    13 Dec 2013 Reply
  • midnight_angel

    Love this song but it's not the same without Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas.

    8 Dec 2013 Reply
  • tomrud73

    LOVE that '80s hair!

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • All 431 shouts

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