Rolling Stone magazine is very fond of making lists of things and this month, they have compiled what they consider the Top 50 Albums from Women Who Rock. In the magazine’s introduction to the feature, they don’t really explain exactly what quantifies a “woman in rock” … instead, they give a laundry list of music genres (and personal titles) from whence comes their collection of Women Who Rock. As usual, I do not agree with this RS list entirely (either by selection or rank) but, of course, I do agree with some of their selections. Click below to learn more about this Rolling Stone list of Top Albums from Women Who Rock and see which of their selected albums are my faves.
From Blondie to Beyonce, from Aretha to Adele, these are just 50 of the fiercest albums that female rock & rollers have given the world. There are plenty more where these came from – but these are all essential musical statements. Including, but not limited to: girl-group glamazons, guitar warriors, blues wailers, country cowgirls, disco queens, rappers, folkies, gold dust women, sweethearts of the rodeo, funky divas, punks and poets and pop stars. A little toot toot. A lot of beep beep.
Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967): The greatest rock, pop or soul singer ever steps to the mike and clears her throat. Franklin was shocking in 1967, and still is: Nobody has ever sung with more intensity, more swagger, more soul. Essential moment: “Respect,” which never stops kicking your ass.
Madonna, Like A Prayer (1989): Such a nice quiet Catholic girl, at least for the first 30 seconds. Then she starts getting out of hand. Madonna’s best album has her brightest pop along with her most cathartic confessions. Essential moment: The title song, when she gets down on her knees to feel the power in the midnight hour.
Liz Phair, Exile In Guyville (1993): A smartass indie-rock rebel grabs her guitar and cooks up a perfect debut album of wisecracks, obscenities, tortured love songs and freewheeling sex songs. She’s never topped it, but who has? Essential moment: “Fuck and Run,” in which the ironic ice queen breaks down and admits to a sentimental streak. Of course, she takes it all back in the next song.
The Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat (1981): SoCal vixens-next-door fuse punk attitude with pop exuberance, full of garage-band overdrive, get-up-and-go handclaps and classicist melody. Essential moment: Gina Schock’s drums on the chorus of “How Much More” demand some kind of Nobel Prize in Awesome.
Siouxsie and the Banshees, Once Upon A Time (1981): Somebody needed to create the ultimate goth archetype. But only one woman had the style, the pretensions, and the demon-queen voice for the job, and she spelled her name with an X. Essential moment: “Spellbound,” a psychedelic guitar meltdown.
Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill (1995): The jagged little Canadian with the jagged little voice manages to make sensuality and rage act like kissing cousins. So give her a hug. She’s not angry at you. And her record is hook-y as hell. Essential moment: From “You Oughta Know”: “Will she go down on you in a theater?”
The albums I list are are not only among my fave albums of all time but they are, IMHO, some of the most essential albums of all time. I would absolutely rank Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Go-Go’s much higher (and I have no comment on Lady Gaga’s placement at #11) but I do see what Rolling Stone is trying to do with this list. I’m very pleased to see The Breeders on the list (even if they are placed at #49) and am impressed that both Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige made the list. Undoubtedly, these sorts of list only serve to spark conversation and debate … they can never be taken as gospel. You can see the full list of Top 50 Albums of Women Who Rock HERE. Did your fave female rockers make the list? Are they ranked high enough for you? Do you see any glaring omissions?