Nevada is known as The Silver State, and there have been plenty of tracks written about it over the years, especially regarding Las Vegas. We’re going to tell you the 20 best songs about Nevada below, so keep reading to find out which tracks make the cut!
1. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
We can’t talk about Nevada without first mentioning the song Viva Las Vegas by the King himself, Elvis Presley. This track was released in 1964 and was part of his film of the same name. It’s all about the glamor of Las Vegas and everything you see when you’re there, such as women, neon lights, casinos, bars, and more.
While he did not perform this song live, it’s one of his most popular tracks of all time. It went to 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s a song with a longstanding legacy. Presently, it is thought of as a reference in comedy situations as joy or feeling bewildered. You’ll find this track in movies and television songs that talk about or reference Las Vegas such as The Big Lebowski.
2. Sam’s Town – The Killers
Sam’s Town by The Killers is next, which is all about Las Vegas and comes from their 2006 album of the same name. The song title is from Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, which was across from where lead singer Brandon Flowers grew up.
He wanted to show his love and appreciation for Las Vegas, and this track, plus the whole album, is like that, with vivid imagery and detail about the city. It also goes into some detail about their trying to rise into the music business since they are from there and the struggles they faced.
3. Stop in Nevada – Billy Joel
Next on our list is Stop In Nevada by Billy Joel, which is found on Piano Man, his iconic album released in 1973. The song is all about a woman leaving her man and going to California, but she tells this guy that she’s making a stop in Nevada before she makes it to her destination. The state was always seen as the last stop before people made it out to California to start a new life or achieve their dreams.
What’s interesting is that when this track was released, I-80 and I-15 weren’t finished, so it wasn’t as easy of a trip as it would be today. You can tell when you listen to the song she’s telling him it’s over, and she’s just heading out to start a new life, so while it might be a sad story, it’s a great track and very underrated.
4. Nevada’s Grace – Atreyu
Next is Atreyu with Nevada’s Grace, which comes from the 2004 album The Curse. This is a death metal band, and while the state isn’t mentioned specifically beyond the title, it’s easy to tell they are talking about it in the lyrics. There are many landmarks that make Nevada beautiful while Las Vegas is referred to as Sin City and the place where dirt and grime exist. This song gets into there being good and bad and how you can either make it rich or leave broken and a mess, so that sums up what many people think of the state.
5. Nevada – Deer Tick
Deer Tick makes our list with Nevada, which is a play on words and likely means feeling empty. The lyrics are somber and soulful, and you can tell that there is heartbreak and feelings of isolation or loneliness.
There is a character in the song who is compared to the state, which means just empty with feelings of everything seeming so long and void of anything deeper. When you listen to the vocals and that melancholy style, it’s pretty clear to feel sadness and it invokes those more painful moments and memories we’ve all gone through.
6. Home Means Nevada – Rick Pickren
Home Means Nevada is the state song of Nevada, so we’re putting it on our list. It was written and sung by Bertha Rafetto in 1932, and she sings about the pride of being from Nevada and always feeling like she’s at home. When you leave Nevada, you’ll feel differently and always miss your home state, and this track can elicit those feelings and emotions out of you. She does a great job at expressing just what Nevada offers its people, and above is a different version by Rick Pickren.
7. Friend Of The Devil – Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead is next with Friend Of The Devil, which comes from the album American Beauty from 1970. This is a rock song that is all about living a life full of crime and then the consequences and other things that go along with that life. Cops are referenced in the track as they talk about running from them in Reno, Nevada.
It’s one of those songs that is dark yet relatable to many because the spiral downward can happen from alcohol, drugs, gambling, cheating, or almost anything that is seen as negative.
8. Nevada – YoungBoy Never Broke Again
YoungBoy Never Broke Again is next with his song Nevada, which comes from his album Sincerely, Kantrell released in 2021. This is one of the more modern tracks on our list featuring the raps of this artist, and it’s actually a tribute song to his girlfriend. We don’t know what the track title has to do with any of it as it wasn’t explained, but we assume the couple has a connection to the state. It went to 23 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. We think it does feel like Nevada because it’s a very high-energy track.
9. Welcome To Nevada – Jerry Reed
Up next is Jerry Reed with Welcome To Nevada, which came out in 1971 on the album Vanishing Point. This song might not have gotten the attention his signature track East Bound And Down did, but it’s a great song about Nevada and the state’s beauty. His country twang is sure to get you moving and feeling like a trip to Nevada needs to happen ASAP.
10. Sands of Nevada – Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler released Sands Of Nevada in 2000 on the album Sailing To Philadelphia, and if you’re thinking you’ve heard his name before, you’d be right because he was the lead singer for Dire Straits. This song is all about trying to understand people and why we do the things we do, such as the gambler he mentions in the track who just gambles his life away in Las Vegas. It’s a somber song that talks about how empty you feel when you leave the state and head toward the sands of Nevada.
11. Nevada – Riders In The Sky
Next is Riders In The Sky with Nevada, which was released in 1982 on the album Prairie Serenade, and this is a song all about why people love Nevada. There is mention of the mountains and snow, big open skies and stars, and the desert where it’s isolated and a ghost town. It’s a perfect track paying homage to everything that the people in Nevada find endearing about The Silver State.
12. Nighttime In Nevada – Adrian Brannan
Adrian Brannan released Nighttime In Nevada in 2007 on her album Highway 80, and it was one of the biggest songs on this album. Her dad was a real-life cowboy and would sing to her mom when he got home, so she thought this was cute and wrote this track about that.
When she wrote and released her first album, she was only 14, and this song showcases her beautiful voice and charming nature. This track is going to make you feel happy and joyful as you listen to her talk about being with the person you love in Nevada, spending time together under the stars, and enjoying each other’s company.
13. Old Nevada Moon – Patsy Montana
One of the oldest songs on our list is the 1939 track Old Nevada Moon by Patsy Montana, who was nicknamed the Cowboy’s Sweetheart. In this song, she’s thinking of everything beautiful about the state as she’s heading back there because it’s her home. Nevada is simple and she mentions the horses, animals, and plants that inhabit this state and how bright the sun is compared to other places. It’s a track where you can feel the pride and joy when you listen to her sing about the state she loves.
14. All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star) – R.E.M.
In 2001, R.E.M. released the album Reveal, and one song on it is All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star). This track reached number eight on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart. The track is all about how there is a belief that you can become famous just by going to Reno, Nevada.
15. Nevada Mood – Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin is next on the list with Nevada Mood from the 2001 Rush Hour 2 soundtrack. This is an instrumental song that is full of high-energy vibes, and it fits perfectly with the feeling you’ll get when you’re in Las Vegas. There are also a couple of slow parts to this track that give you the empty feeling that is known to people who are leaving the city for the more deserted locations.
16. Reno, Nevada – Fairport Convention
The Fairport Convention is next on the list with Reno, Nevada, which was released in 1968. This song is all about how it’s not worth it to gamble and risk losing everything down in Reno playing at the casinos. It goes into how you’re getting older and you’re hungry and the hassle of going down to the city just isn’t worth the hassle anymore. This track is not as folk as the group would be later on, but it’s still a good song about the warning you shouldn’t head to Reno.
17. Leaving Las Vegas – Sheryl Crow
Next is Sheryl Crow with Leaving Las Vegas, which is from her 1994 album Tuesday Night Music Club. This song went to number eight on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart, 31 on the Mainstream Top 40, and hit 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
When you watch the video, it’s fun because you can see the iconic Vegas strip with dancers and lights lighting the streets. On a highway, Elvis Presley impersonators are seen, and she talks about leaving the city. She sings this while strumming her guitar, and it’s a classic Sheryl Crow track filled with a mix of pop, rock, and country.
18. Hell Before Reno – Big in Japan
In 2001, Big In Japan released the song Hell Before Reno, which was on the album Destroy The New Rock. This track is all about a guy who left his woman and is talking about how he doesn’t care anymore and isn’t going to beg her to care. He says he lives so close to Hell that he can see the sparks, so it seems it’s hot and very dry in the desert outside of Reno.
19. Elko – Railroad Earth
Railroad Earth released the song Elko in 2006, which comes from the live album of the same name. It is all about Nevada and the things you’ll see when you travel to this state, which includes the casinos where gamblers spend their time and money, the hookers and strippers, and the booze that fills the bars every night. The guy in the song is a gambler and he’s hoping for a winning hand, talking about how he’s all alone, and there’s a lot of talk about being on the desert road feeling isolated.
20. Nevada Fighter – Michael Nesmith
Last on our list is Michael Nesmith with Nevada Fighter, which was released on the 1971 album of the same name. This song landed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 70, and it was the lead single from the record. This tune is one of those classic tracks about feeling helpless and stranded out in the desert, and the vocals are very somber sounding to set the tone for the song.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.