A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story
July 24, 2017 3:24 AM   Subscribe

NPR offers a list of 150 albums by women that make up a new music canon. And they elucidate on the matter.
posted by hippybear (116 comments total) 74 users marked this as a favorite
 
I disagree with a lot of things about that list (Sleater-Kinney should be in the top 10, Post is nobody sensible's choice for best Björk album, if Nina Simone gets two albums other artists should... actually I have nothing against Nina Simone getting special treatment) but I'm so happy that the aforementioned are my beefs, and not: "Why are there only three women on that list, two of whom are bass players for the Smashing Pumpkins?"
posted by Kattullus at 4:05 AM on July 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


The list is so broad and encompassing that at the lower numbers it is breathtaking in what it is willing to bring in. As it gets closer to the top it begins to center in on albums that you nod and say "yes of course, that is a Major Release by a Major Artist".

What I appreciate about it is that it feels like the numbering of the albums feels less important than the albums being noted.
posted by hippybear at 4:14 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


What I took away from that excellent list is that I own a good many of those, LPs & CDs, mostly LPs. For the next couple of weeks when I play records, it's going to be the ladies.

When you own a large music collection, you forget what you have. And that's a sin.
posted by james33 at 4:39 AM on July 24, 2017


Lots of fantastic stuff here!

Some artists I'd consider including (that I didn't see listed): Judee Sill, Fever Ray, St. Vincent, Suzanne Ciani, Linda Perhacs, Carly Rae Jepsen, Broadcast (Trish Keenan), Stereolab (Laetitia Sadier), Juana Molina, Annie, Miharu Koshi, Francoise Hardy, Belly, Throwing Muses, that dog., Luscious Jackson, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Grouper, Bat For Lashes, Daphne Oram, Tujiko Noriko, Team Dresch
posted by naju at 4:42 AM on July 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


Poor ol' Girlschool, never gonna get their due.
posted by NoMich at 4:44 AM on July 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


(Not enough people have heard Team Dresch and that is a crime. Here you go)
posted by naju at 4:45 AM on July 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised at L7 not getting a mention (150 albums and no space for Hungry For Stink??), but there is a lot of good stuff there.
posted by Dysk at 4:45 AM on July 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


i have a lot of opinions about this list, but speaking as a guy, imma shut up about 'em
posted by entropicamericana at 4:47 AM on July 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Joni Mitchell is on the list twice and for the right albums. This is a pretty good list.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:03 AM on July 24, 2017


And the list does indeed get stronger as you go along. I have 51 of these if I counted right. And there's only a few that I've never heard of.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:07 AM on July 24, 2017


Very international, very cross-genre and multi-generational... this is a really satisfying list.
posted by box at 5:08 AM on July 24, 2017


very cross-genre

I was going to say, looks like all rock and R&B to me, but hey, Alice Coltrane
posted by thelonius at 5:15 AM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's a good list but I am deeply saddened that neither of Neko Case's most recent releases are included.

I need to dig through again and fill in some of my collection & this list is a good guide.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:16 AM on July 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


I try to make a habit of regularly checking out new-to-me music...to take deep dives into the work of musicians I'm not familiar with, or only superficially familiar with. This is frankly an attempt to avoid falling into a rut as I approach old age. Even with that as a priority, though, it's still possible to fall into very well-worn ruts. So I made a resolution at the beginning of 2016 that I was only going to approach new music (or not-new-but-previously-unfamiliar-to-me music) by people who were either not male or not white or both.

Unlike most New Year's resolutions, this one turned out to be very easy to stick with...so much so that it's now August 2017 and I haven't quit yet. And even in that context, I find that I'm familiar enough to know my own opinions about maybe 30% of the albums on this list. Which is awesome, because I can probably fuel another couple of years with the remaining entries.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:24 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


A sign of a good list is one where, no matter which alternative favorite you might have as your own, you can't really find any decent excuse to kick off one of the choices they made in its place. This list pretty much passes that test. So as much as I'd love to see Nenah Cherry, The Boswell Sisters, Grimes, Garbage, and especially Throwing Muses eponymous album on the list, there's no denying their choices, so I'll just use this as an excuse to mention those other ones I like without complaint.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:25 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


It's a good list, but it's got a large Suzanne-Vega-shaped hole.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:33 AM on July 24, 2017 [15 favorites]


A couple of people mentioned that Throwing Muses is missing from the list, and dammit, they're right. Not only were they a great band, but there is an importance to them: they were the first American band to sign to 4AD, which in my mind, makes them kind of a big deal. There was a time when you would buy a record by a band that you've never heard of just because of the record label they were on and 4AD was definitely on that list. Surely, one of those three Madonna albums could could be set aside to make room for Throwing Muses.
posted by NoMich at 5:43 AM on July 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


I could quibble with some of the choices, but there's a ton of great music on this list and they got #1 exactly right.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:56 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Did I miss Janelle Monae on the list?
posted by kokaku at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2017 [13 favorites]


I would have taken off Britney and added Janelle.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Seems like a pretty good list to me but I'm so the NPR demographic that it's not surprising that our tastes sync.
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 AM on July 24, 2017


Definitely needs some Throwing Muses, Suzanne Vega, and Janelle Monae. And I'd slip some Aimee Mann in there, too, somewhere, but I recognize that may be a minority opinion.

I am pleased they included as much rap as they did, and more international acts, too.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:29 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


No Joan Osborne's Relish?
posted by chillmost at 6:35 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


I find the absence of St Vincent very strange, considering how massive her solo output has been so far. Would not be surprised if she had released something recently, any of her albums would have broken the top 20 or even higher, but recency bias is usually a big problem with listicles.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:59 AM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Nice to see Meredith Monk and ESG on there.
+ Bush Tetras.
+ Tom Tom Club.
+ Yazoo.
+ Feist.
+ Madredeus.
+ Joan Armatrading.
+ Wendy O. Williams?

Nthing Monae, Garbage, St. Vincent; and is Suzanne Vega an oversight, or what?
posted by progosk at 7:12 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


This is a really good list.
posted by putzface_dickman at 7:18 AM on July 24, 2017


As much as I liked the list, the article explaining it makes it even better by looking at the process with such clarity and sense of definition.

Really worth reading. Here's just one quote to sort of illustrate their awareness here:

Lists have their limitations. It's arguable, in fact, that beyond getting the groceries, lists are fundamentally lies. They reflect unconscious biases and whispered compromises; they solidify beliefs that may seem relevant in the moment, but become incomprehensible to the next generation. They are also arguably anti-feminist. As Robin Morgan wrote in the anthology that helped define feminism's Second Wave, 1970's Sisterhood is Powerful, "The women's movement is a non-hierarchical one. It does things collectively and experimentally."

Their explanation of making their choices with this in mind helps explain the result to an even more satisfying end.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:19 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


It's not a bad list as internet lists go, tho you could quibble with individual choices. And there is a little effort to make it inclusive beyond Anglo/English-speaking rock and r&b. But entirely neglected is the whole genre of Indian playback singers. Lata Mangeshkar or Asha Bhosle—appealing as they have to a sizable chunk of the world's population—might've gotten a nod somewhere. (For that matter there's no representative of the Canto/Mandopop etc scenes, either.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:35 AM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Good list. Needs more country.
posted by signal at 7:42 AM on July 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


unfortunately the pre-album era means that people like bessie smith get left out

she's a legend and needed to be on this list

no billie holiday? come on ...

and although i kind of understand why bollywood playback music wouldn't be on their radar, they left off asha bhosle and that's a mistake
posted by pyramid termite at 7:49 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'd kinda prefer to see more "Yay @ these amazing artists, and here's a few more for consideration!" rather than "The list blows because these were left out" especially given the context carefully laid out by NPR, but that's just me...
posted by naju at 8:07 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Specifically: "A list says no to the possibility that any other list on the same subject might be valid. It forces authority. Or does it? Another way to look at a list is as the beginning of new conversation. One is still needed when it comes to women's place in music history, despite decades of efforts by feminist historians, critics, activists and musicians themselves."
posted by naju at 8:10 AM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


they left off asha bhosle and that's a mistake

She got herself a great tribute song by Cornershop, though.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:14 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Why is it a multi-page list?! ::grinds teeth::
posted by Faintdreams at 8:21 AM on July 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Ella Fitzgerald should be on the list more than once (and all the way back at 42 at that).
posted by blucevalo at 8:48 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Serious question: I know Lauryn Hill's album was/is A Big Deal, but is it generally thought of as a Second-Best Album Ever Recorded by a Woman (Like, Ahead of Aretha) Big Deal or is NPR being deliberately provocative / pleading a case for its greatness by ranking it so high? The blurb is a little frustrating — makes a strong case for the lyrics but doesn't mention the music at all.
posted by Mothlight at 9:04 AM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I know Lauryn Hill's album was/is A Big Deal, but is it generally thought of as a Second-Best Album Ever Recorded by a Woman (Like, Ahead of Aretha) Big Deal or is NPR being deliberately provocative / pleading a case for its greatness by ranking it so high?

It's inarguably in the proverbial conversation. This isn't a deliberately provocative or hipsterish choice at all.
posted by Etrigan at 9:10 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Seconding that the omission of Neko Case is pretty glaring. I mean, I get that this is a list by NPR and there's going to have a certain smart/progressive but mostly resolutely accessible bent to the list. I knew I probably wouldn't see Diamanda Galas or Lydia Lunch. But how there's no room for Neko freaking Case, I do not understand.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


The Neko Case thing is glaring precisely because of NPR's typical bent. The first time I ever heard Case was during an interview she did on NPR, for goodness sake. If you're wondering exactly how to precisely locate the outer limits of the "accessible" pool that NPR swims around in, they are defined by Neko Case at one end and Bjork at the other.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:25 AM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


They do have Galas on the list. The list defiantly stretches beyond "NPR music" as a cliche, but that's been true of the NPR music website for quite a while now.
posted by bendybendy at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Neko Case really seemed like the kind of artist who'd clean up within their sphere. Very weird she's completely shut out.

For my money, she's a titan of a talent in terms of singer-songwriters, a blazing iconoclast among genre-bending musicians, and no kidding around, one of the very finest singing voices in the entire sphere of popular music.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:47 AM on July 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Mothlight: "Serious question: I know Lauryn Hill's album was/is A Big Deal, but is it generally thought of as a Second-Best Album Ever Recorded by a Woman (Like, Ahead of Aretha) Big Deal or is NPR being deliberately provocative / pleading a case for its greatness by ranking it so high?"

I'd say it's ranked so high not just on intrinsic artistic merit, but also on relevance in terms of busting open realms that were previously off limits to women, and to black women, and (like they say in the accompanying article) based on its impact on certain generations.
posted by signal at 9:47 AM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


unfortunately the pre-album era means that people like bessie smith get left out

Yes, it's definitely heavy on the post-1960 album-oriented artists. So it's missing historically popular or significant artists like Bessie Smith or Lucille Bogan or Rosemary Clooney or Delia Derbyshire, all of whom would seem to belong in any canon of women musicians. It's flaw as a list is it doesn't know if it wants to be list of great albums or a list of great women musicians.

And looking at it again, I am surprised not to see Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill or anything by Yma Sumac (Carolina Miranda had a good piece on Sumac in the LA Times earlier this year). I'm not surprised not to see anything by Sainkho Namtchylak or Doro Pesch but they def belong there. (I was surprised to see Diamanda Galás, but Plague Mass seems like the go-to album there.)
posted by octobersurprise at 9:58 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'd say it's ranked so high not just on intrinsic artistic merit, but also on relevance in terms of busting open realms that were previously off limits to women, and to black women, and (like they say in the accompanying article) based on its impact on certain generations.

Yeah, that article by Ann Powers is on point. I often disagree with her, but she's a great critic.

Artists I would like to have seen on the list: Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Angelique Kidjo, Roxanne Shanté, Kimya Dawson/Moldy Peaches. Merrill Garbus/Tune-Yards.
posted by Mothlight at 10:02 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is there a version of this anywhere that's only one page? It's a nag to have to click through 15 pages each time I want to see if someone else made the list. (Related: did I miss Vashti Bunyan?)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:03 AM on July 24, 2017


Also also, while Oumou Sangare, Ofra Haza, and Umm Kulthum all make the cut, Googoosh is notable by her absence. (Ok, ima stop here.)
posted by octobersurprise at 10:16 AM on July 24, 2017


Sister Rosetta Tharpe is missing!

Well, knock me down. I guess she never made an album that stood out so much as her singles.

I grew up hearing "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music in the Air" and "Precious Memories," and I'm not even as old as all that. She influenced so many early rock 'n' rollers, and I'm sad she's not represented.
posted by droplet at 10:20 AM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


I know the list is divided into pages of 10 list selections each but at least it's not a bunch of pages all full of advertising. It's a simple honest list that isn't playing the click-through game for revenue. I appreciate that.
posted by hippybear at 10:32 AM on July 24, 2017


A good list, but missing many ladies.

Corinne Bailey Rae Steady as She Goes

Eva Cassidy What A Wonderful World

Joan Osborne Man In The Long Black Coat

Marcia Ball I'd Rather Go Blind

and many more..........
posted by bjgeiger at 10:39 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I can't really argue about who made it on the list, but it's definitely missing Phranc. (To be fair, most things would be better with more Phranc.)
posted by Room 641-A at 10:40 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


In an ideal world someone would take all the "these are missing" mentions from this thread and make a new list that is MeFi's Women In Music side post because there are a lot of great things listed in here that are equally worthy but that didn't land in NPR's radar.
posted by hippybear at 10:47 AM on July 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


In an ideal world someone would take all the "these are missing" mentions from this thread and make a new list that is MeFi's Women In Music side post because there are a lot of great things listed in here that are equally worthy but that didn't land in NPR's radar.

What I want to see is the longer list of "more than 500" nominees, along with (preferably) the individual ballots submitted by everyone who was polled for this story. I'm sure Ann Powers did a great job of curating, but that longer list is going to have some gems, too, and I'd get a kick out of seeing who was in spot #151, for example.
posted by Mothlight at 11:03 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Chelsea Girls as Nico's best album is them trolling us right?
posted by Automocar at 11:16 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Chelsea Girls as Nico's best album is them trolling us right?
I WAS NAMED FOR THAT ALBUM

...I can see why that would be selected, even if I don't entirely agree with it. It's the most accessible of her albums and has the songs most people know ("These Days", "The Fairest of the Seasons").
posted by pxe2000 at 11:19 AM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


1. Joni Mitchell, Blue (1971)
2. Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
3. Nina Simone, I Put A Spell on You (1965)
4. Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man The Way I Loved You (1967)
5. Missy Elliott, Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
6. Beyoncé, Lemonade (2016)
7. Patti Smith, Horses (1975)
8. Janis Joplin, Pearl (1971)
9. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (2006)
10. Carole King, Tapestry (1971)
11. Dolly Parton, Coat Of Many Colors (1971)
12. Erykah Badu, Baduizm (1997)
13. Madonna, Like a Prayer (1989)
14. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (1985)
15. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Where Did Our Love Go (1964)
16. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (1977)
17. Janet Jackson, Control (1986)
18. Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (1998)
19. Selena, Amor Prohibido (1994)
20. The Ronettes, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (1964)
21. PJ Harvey, Rid Of Me (1993)
22. Sade, Diamond Life (1984)
23. Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace (1972)
24. Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner's Daughter (1970)
25. Ani Difranco, Little Plastic Castle (1998)
26. TLC, CrazySexyCool (1994)
27. Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes (1992)
28. Nina Simone, Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967)
29. Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill (1995)
30. Adele, 21 (2011)
31. Liz Phair, Exile In Guyville (1993)
32. Björk, Post (1995)
33. Queen Latifah, All Hail The Queen (1989)
34. Tina Turner, Private Dancer (1984)
35. Blondie, Parallel Lines (1978)
36. Grace Jones, Nightclubbing (1981)
37. Kate Bush, Hounds Of Love (1985)
38. Odetta, It's a Mighty World (1964)
39. Gillian Welch, Time (2001)
40. The Staple Singers, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (1972)
41. Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman (1988)
42. Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Song Book (1964)
43. M.I.A., Kala (2007)
44. Heart, Dreamboat Annie (1976)
45. Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis (1969)
46. Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball (1995)
47. Celia Cruz, Son con Guaguanco (1966)
48. Etta James, Rocks The House (1964)
49. Rickie Lee Jones, Pirates (1981)
50. Hole, Live Through This (1994)
51. Sarah Vaughan, Sassy Swings Again (1967)
52. Bonnie Raitt, Nick Of Time (1989)
53. Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like A Wheel (1974)
54. Nico, Chelsea Girl (1967)
55. The Go-Gos, Beauty And The Beat (1981)
56. X-Ray Spex, Germfree Adolescents (1978)
57. Mary J. Blige, What's the 411? (1992)
58. Labelle, Nightbirds (1974)
59. Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls (1989)
60. The Pretenders, Pretenders (1980)
61. Destiny's Child, The Writing's on the Wall (1999)
62. Dixie Chicks, Wide Open Spaces (1998)
63. Madonna, Like a Virgin (1984)
64. Spice Girls, Spice (1996)
65. Cassandra Wilson, Blue Light 'Til Dawn (1993)
66. Miriam Makeba, Pata Pata (1967)
67. Sinead O'Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (1990)
68. Rosanne Cash, King's Record Shop (1987)
69. Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual (1983)
70. Stevie Nicks, Bella Donna (1981)
71. Salt-N-Pepa, Blacks' Magic (1990)
72. The Runaways, The Runaways (1976)
73. Astrud Gilberto, The Astrud Gilberto Albu (1965)
74. The Raincoats, The Raincoats (1979)
75. Donna Summer, Bad Girls (1979)
76. Tammy Wynette, Stand By Your Man (1969)
77. Aaliyah, Aaliyah (2001)
78. The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Choir, Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares (1987)
79. Portishead, Dummy (1994)
80. Laurie Anderson, Big Science (1982)
81. Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out (1997)
82. Laura Nyro, New York Tendaberry (1969)
83. Bobbie Gentry, Ode To Billie Joe (1967)
84. Roberta Flack, First Take (1969)
85. Joan Baez, Diamonds & Rust (1975)
86. Alice Coltrane, Journey in Satchidananda (1971)
87. X, Los Angeles (1980)
88. k. d. lang, Ingénue (1992)
89. Shania Twain, Come On Over (1997)
90. Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl, Broadway Cast Album (1964)
91. Alison Krauss And Union Station, New Favorite (2001)
92. Meshell Ndegeocello, Peace Beyond Passion (1996)
93. Britney Spears, ...Baby One More Time (1999)
94. Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music Club (1993)
95. Shakira, ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998)
96. Lil' Kim, Hard Core (1996)
97. Mariah Carey, Daydream (1995)
98. Bikini Kill, Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah (1993)
99. Taylor Swift, Fearless (2008)
100. Buffy Sainte-Marie, It's My Way! (1964)
101. Eurythmics, Touch (1983)
102. Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color (2015)
103. Umm Kulthum, Enta Omri (1964)
104. ESG, Come Away With ESG (1983)
105. Sheila E., The Glamorous Life (1984)
106. No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom (1995)
107. The Shangri-Las, Leader of the Pack (1965)
108. Gladys Knight and the Pips, Imagination (1973)
109. Against Me!, Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014)
110. Miranda Lambert, Platinum (2014)
111. Diamanda Galás, The Litanies of Satan (1982)
112. Mercedes Sosa, Mercedes Sosa en Argentina (1982)
113. Aretha Franklin, Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
114. Reba McEntire, Rumor Has It (1990)
115. La Lupe & Tito Puente, La Pareja (1978)
116. Macy Gray, On How Life Is (1999)
117. Joan Jett, I Love Rock 'n' Roll (1981)
118. Chaka Khan, I Feel for You (1984)
119. The Slits, Cut (1979)
120. Anita Baker, Rapture (1986)
121. Joni Mitchell, Hejira (1976)
122. Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Scream (1978)
123. Cris Williamson, The Changer and the Changed: A Record of the Times (1975)
124. Carly Simon, No Secrets (1972)
125. Fiona Apple, Tidal (1996)
126. The Carpenters, A Song for You (1972)
127. Sonic Youth, Sister (1987)
128. Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis, Deep Listening (1989)
129. Marianne Faithfull, Broken English (1979)
130. Teena Marie, Wild and Peaceful (1979)
131. Shirley Horn, I Thought About You — Live At Vine St. (1987)
132. Shelby Lynne, I Am Shelby Lynne (2000)
133. Fanny, Fanny Hill (1972)
134. Solange, A Seat at the Table (2016)
135. The B-52's, The B-52's (1979)
136. Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
137. Ofra Haza, 50 Gates Of Wisdom (1987)
138. Cocteau Twins, Heaven or Las Vegas (1990)
139. The Bangles, All Over the Place (1984)
140. Norah Jones, Come Away with Me (2002)
141. Joanna Newsom, Ys (2006)
142. Iris DeMent, My Life (1993)
143. Robyn, Body Talk (2010)
144. The Breeders, Last Splash (1993)
145. Oumou Sangare, Moussolou (1989)
146. Patty Griffin, Flaming Red (1998)
147. Meredith Monk, Dolmen Music (1981)
148. Terri Lyne Carrington, The Mosaic Project (2011)
149. Alicia Keys, Songs In A Minor (2001)
150. The Roches, The Roches (1979)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:31 AM on July 24, 2017 [28 favorites]




That Lauryn Hill is Sgt Pepper huge for a lot of people, as in "pushing Anita Baker to #120" huge.
posted by rhizome at 11:49 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


ctrl-f Geraldine Fibbers = 0

What?
posted by philip-random at 11:51 AM on July 24, 2017


I would definitely put something from Wye Oak on the list.
posted by Pendragon at 11:57 AM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


A few of my thoughts about this list (past the starting thought that it's a great idea, long past due, and in general a pretty good list):

It's so very close to a one-album-per-artist list that I wish they had just made that the rule. It's pretty clear that they think highly of the artists they gave multiple albums on the list, since they comprise three of the top four, plus #13 Madonna, but there are lots of other artists that could have used those five extra spots.

It seems clear that my generation, X, is finally taking power from the boomers, with a canon list where there are more albums from 78-82 or 93-97 than from 64-68. The current era in music seems really poorly represented; the last fifteen years of music has less than one album per year (the entire remainder of the eligible timeframe averages over 3.6 albums per year), including runs from 2003-2005 and 2012-2013 with apparently no women worth mentioning on this list. And it seems a lot of the more glaring omissions (Neko Case, St. Vincent, Janelle Monae) are from this era.

Not yet mentioned: Cat Power, Nicki Minaj, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Gossip, Le Tigre, Faith Hill, Kate Tempest, Tegan & Sara, Screaming Females, Bratmobile.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:14 PM on July 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Chelsea Girls as Nico's best album is them trolling us right?

I wondered the same thing. Not because I don't love Chelsea Girls—I do!—but because the stated focus of the list is women as makers, not be-ers, and Nico made a lot more of The Marble Index and Desertshore than she did Chelsea Girls.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Wondering: should Enya be on here? I think Kate Bush should, no? (On review - oops, Kate's there!)
posted by progosk at 12:27 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wondered the same thing. Not because I don't love Chelsea Girls—I do!—but because the stated focus of the list is women as makers, not be-ers, and Nico made a lot more of The Marble Index and Desertshore than she did Chelsea Girls.

Yeah! Exactly what I meant. Especially when their write-up for it was basically "lol Nico hated the fact that men changed everything about the album"
posted by Automocar at 12:44 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Add me to the "missing Throwing Muses" chorus. It's a good list, but given that it doesn't shy away from '90's 'alternative' rock, that feels like a significant oversight.
posted by the painkiller at 12:52 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


This gets so close to country, and so super churlish. But it got the wrong Loretta, and the wrong Dolly, and the wrong Tammy. But Jewly Hight writing on Miranda, is just jaw dropping, and it includes Bobbie Gentry, and a wonderful essay on Reba, and it includes Taylor---that it includes more than a few token country albums is a joy. So, I don't want to be an asshole, but I wish that it had White Limozeen over Coat, plus Womanhood over almost anything (bc is there a better album about gender and expectaitons and country music of that time and plce) and I am not convinced of that Loretta (But it has to have a Loretta, and which else to choose....?)_
posted by PinkMoose at 1:03 PM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


The map canon is not the territory.
posted by rhizome at 1:14 PM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


I hope fans of Marble Index and Desertshore have come across the Catherine Ribiero + Alps album Paix.
posted by bendybendy at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (2006)

I get sad just seeing her name. Sometimes it feels like she was the last singer.
posted by srboisvert at 1:35 PM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Seconding no Plasmarics/Wendy O Williams, and also, what the hell, no Grace Slick?!?
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:39 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


+ Nina Hagen
+ Flying Lizards
(+ Lene Lovich? Too few songs, I guess.)
+ Eartha Kitt
+ Camille
+ Aimee Mann
+ Wendy Carlos
(+ Fairground Attraction?)
posted by progosk at 2:04 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


1. Not convinced that Spice Girls should have been ranked ahead of The Runaways.

2. Damn, Young, Gifted, and Black is such an awesome name for an album by Aretha Franklin.
posted by 4ster at 2:08 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yep. List seems about right. You can quibble about the order, or the particular album selected -- both a matter of personal taste, though I'd say they mostly nailed the latter with few exceptions cough cough Cocteau Twins cough -- but I don't think anyone could reasonably say any one of those acts doesn't belong there. Sticking to just one Joni Mitchell and one Nina Simone would free up two entries, though, and, well, this list could easily use a few thousand more.

Nice to see Canada pretty well represented, almost to mandatory CanCon levels, albeit with some glaring omissions known to everybody (Celine Dion! Anne Murray! Admittedly, both are just singers rather than singer-songwriters, which might be fair enough viz finite entries, but whither Sarah McLachlan? She's both, and invented Lilith Fair, ffs!). FWIW, any all-Canadian list that would dare to omit Jann Arden, Jane Siberry, Lillian Allen, Rough Trade, Martha and the Muffins, Julie Doiron, Jale, or Michie Mee, among many, many others, would be inexcusably negligent.

Now, setting aside the maple leaf for a moment to remember some unsung nineties notables...
1. Just go and buy any Cake Like album you can find. Very mid-nineties post-Sonic Youth amazingness that, if remembered at all, is usually only as a footnote to Kerri Kenney-Silver's comedy career. Know it! Own it! Tell your friends!
2. Not to make it a competition, but if your list of all-female grunge bands with the numeral 7 in their name lists L7 before 7 Year Bitch for anything but chronologial reasons, please recalibrate.
3. Go watch every live performance of Divinyls. Here's as good a place to start as any. Chrissy Amphlett absolutely belongs on this list and all others. One of the greatest rock'n'roll frontpersons of all time, and the source of the dangerous-femininity aesthetic employed a decade later by Babes in Toyland and associates.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:19 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


To nitpick a bit, the two token latinas are Shakira and Selena? There US-centrism is showing.
posted by signal at 2:24 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I was glad to see Mercedes Sosa on the list, though it made me expect Cesaria Evora as well.

They have some duets, so I'd think there'd be room for The Civil Wars. On the country side I was surprised by no Michelle Shocked, even though she has apparently turned into a vile old lady. And I was surprised Natalie Merchant +/- 10,000 Maniacs didn't get a shout.

And for the last decade or so, Hurray for the Riff Raff are pretty vital, especially with Alynda Segarra's recent move into explicitly political Latinx music (e.g.). And Tanya Tagaq is the frontline of Indigenous American music.

But anyway, overall a great list.
posted by Rumple at 2:40 PM on July 24, 2017


+ Lily Allen
posted by progosk at 2:56 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


+ Bananarama
posted by progosk at 3:08 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm going to argue against Bananarama. What did they ever do that was actually remarkable? They had some hits, but they didn't really contribute anything to music, did they?
posted by hippybear at 3:27 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


+ Julieta Venegas
+ Aterciopelados
+ Ana Tijoux
+ Dead Sara
posted by signal at 3:29 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


Cher.

To nitpick a bit, the two token latinas are Shakira and Selena? There US-centrism is showing.

I was surprised that Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine wasn't somewhere on the list.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:54 PM on July 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm going to argue against Bananarama. What did they ever do that was actually remarkable? They had some hits, but they didn't really contribute anything to music, did they?

They were the real deal (until SAW got their paws on them). Their influence is perhaps more in terms of style (Madonna?) than strictly musical, but it was when music became club-culture, and in terms of that, I find they're still pretty unforgettable.
posted by progosk at 3:54 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


+ Martha and the Muffins.
+ CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy).
posted by progosk at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think 1964 is an odd choice for a starting point for a pop list. Powers cites the Beatles' arrival in America, but idea of the vocalist as the main artist in popular song really hit its stride in the 50s and coincided with the popularity of the LP.

So there should be some Julie London on that list.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:03 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Once I ascertained that Laura Nyro was there, I was at peace with the rest. She was amazingly talented and influential. If you don't know her work, check out Gonna Take a Miracle, or Christmas and the Beads of Sweat.
posted by tizzie at 5:25 PM on July 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


No Pizzicato Five, especially in their last and most successful incarnation with Maki Nomiya as their lead singer? They virtually defined the Shibuya-kei sound/look. I'm such a sucker for a female lead singer and a horn section.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:31 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Really sad that Helen Reddy isn't on the list.

(Linda Rondstat is also a Latina, btw.)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:43 PM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


Hellen Reddy! I hadn't even though to her, but damn, I have a cassette by her that helped shape the definition of my childhood in the 70s.

Also, Linda Rondstadt is a goddess and I worship her in all her incarnations.
posted by hippybear at 5:54 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here's a great intro to Laura Nyro's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler.
posted by tizzie at 6:00 PM on July 24, 2017


++ Brody Dalle ++
posted by signal at 6:20 PM on July 24, 2017


Also, Linda Rondstadt is a goddess and I worship her in all her incarnations.

Canciones de mi Padre has been just blowing my mind lately. Quiero aprender mas Español, pronto.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:56 PM on July 24, 2017


If you don't know her work, check out Gonna Take a Miracle, or Christmas and the Beads of Sweat.

no, eli and the 13th confession and new york tendaberry - then of course, everything else - and yes, that means her severely underrated later stuff and live albums too

she was an angel ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 PM on July 24, 2017


Also, Linda Rondstadt is a goddess and I worship her in all her incarnations.

You and Philip K. Dick. (Which given the moment is probably the man to invoke here.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


From my perspective as a reader, it's important to keep in mind that a canon isn't simply a "greatest" list or an example of connoisseurship in finding exceptional works, but a teaching tool where the purpose is defined by the compilation and the qualifications discussed around its making. Exceptionalism alone can lead to lauding singular works of sometimes minimal direct influence. Great albums that few listened to, but which appeal greatly to a select few.

Here, the guiding concept was the centrality of women to the history of popular music since 1964 and in initiating a new conversation about that role in ways that better equate this music to that of their male counterparts, which has been lacking. So the measure too is one where influence, exceptionalism, and cultural significance are all attempting to be placed in reasonable balance to suggest the breadth and heights of the contribution in the same arena, so to speak, as male popular music.

As an conversation starter, pushing towards the furthest boundaries of eclecticism in merit can be less useful than placing the focus from the center outwards. The conversation they are seeking is not only about the importance of women in popular music, but the importance to women of popular music. This also suggests reasons for their chosen boundaries that can come from the more standard hierarchical "greatest" lists built around some notion of competition between the works, something they wanted to largely avoid.

As a teaching tool, it is important to engage one's students in a understandable manner to best make one's point, so the added focus on artists known to NPR readers/listeners makes sense in this instance, even as there will obviously be many omissions that could also have been included had they not sought to limit their choices to a set number or had made their focus something broader.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:40 PM on July 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


I've spent a long afternoon doing other things and agonizing over this and I shall speak my mind: Jagged Little Pill was bad. Not in the throwaway pop sense of passively bad but in the actively set Important Things back Bad. I know picking on Alanis is a hip and ironic thing (see! I did that!) but that album is not what I would point to out of her career full of things that were occasionally actually interesting and good. That album was the lame quasi-feminist version of Blood On the Tracks, and that is not a compliment. I am picking this molehill to pitch my battle line on because, I, as a proud Gen-Xer will not let my generation go down the path of anointing so much over-rated pablum that we saw the boomers wander endlessly down. Just because it was popular, at a certain point in our existence, does not make it earth-shattering and amazing. Alanis, I'm sorry, I love you, but you had to take this bullet, it was you or No Doubt, and today you lost so that the scales could fall from the eyes of so many post-flannel wearing, otherwise well-meaning folks, and we can all hold hands and acknowledge this truth: that Jagged Little Pill was Bad. Thank you, and Good Night.

But: Yay! The Roches! That made me happy.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:01 PM on July 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


I admit I was a little disappointed to see Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris here without even a mention of their collaboration album, Trio. It's the only country album I own.

That being said, the vocal music I listen to these days is almost exclusively female, and this is a great list. How did I miss Nina Simone for so long?
posted by lhauser at 8:29 PM on July 24, 2017


This is a good list, and I am not going to nitpick.

Haha, who am I kidding. Hounds of Love should be higher up.

Or, we should find a way to let the top-75 share the top-10 spots. It's a really good list.

posted by schmod at 9:41 PM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also, Linda Rondstadt is a goddess and I worship her in all her incarnations.
Even the one who removed the S&M verse from "Poor Pitiful Me"?

Metafilter: I don't want to talk about it
posted by thelonius at 5:30 AM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


signal, what are you talking about? Including Lusophones:
  • 19. Selena, Amor Prohibido (1994): Hispanic, in Spanish
  • 26. TLC, CrazySexyCool (1994): One member is half-Brazilian
  • 47. Celia Cruz, Son con Guaguanco (1966): Hispanic, in Spanish
  • 73. Astrud Gilberto, The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965): Brazilian, in Portuguese and English
  • 74. The Raincoats, The Raincoats (1979): Co-founder (Ana da Silva) is Portuguese
  • 95. Shakira, ¿Dónde están los ladrones? (1998): Hispanic, in Spanish
  • 104. ESG, Come Away With ESG (1983): Co-founded by a Hispanic (Tito Libran), uses congas
  • 112. Mercedes Sosa, Mercedes Sosa en Argentina (1982): Hispanic, in Spanish
  • 115. La Lupe & Tito Puente, La pareja (1978): Hispanic, in Spanish
  • 128. Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis, Deep Listening (1989): Hispanic heritage
A majority of the non-English albums on the list are Hispanic.*

Of course, you could include more Hispanic artists but the target audience is Americans, who mostly speak English and who are roughly 15% Hispanic (just like the list). There are a lot of things inevitably not on this list but calling these two women the token Hispanics is wrong in several ways.

*The others are:
  • 66. Miriam Makeba, Pata Pata (1967): Xhosa
  • 78. The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Choir, Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares (1987): Bulgarian
  • 103. Umm Kulthum, Enta Omri (1964): Arabic
  • 105. Sheila E., The Glamorous Life (1984): Hispanic
  • 137. Ofra Haza, 50 Gates of Wisdom (1987): Hebrew with some Arabic
  • 145. Oumou Sangaré, Moussolou (1989): Wassoulou
posted by koavf at 10:47 AM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


This sure is a textbook example of the futility of trying to create a "canon" of anything, rather than a hodgepodge collection of things various people like. It's especially informative to look at what kinds of picks the various contributors made. For example, Meredith Monk, Alice Coltrane, and Pauline Oliveros were all selected by Geeta Dayal. I want to see what her full list would look like!
posted by speicus at 12:40 PM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


WHERE THE FUCK IS SHARON JONES
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by zeusianfog at 2:51 PM on July 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


you can't really find any decent excuse to kick off one of the choices

Bye, Taylor Swift! Hello, Janelle Monae!
posted by zeusianfog at 2:55 PM on July 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to be the token music snob (I know Mefi hates those) and say that Britney and Spice Girls have no goddamn business being above Siouxsie Sioux and Marianne Faithfull, among others.

And if commercial success is a marker, then where was Cher? She wasn't any sillier than Britney and she was equally the commercial and cultural force. And then why not Pat Benatar? She sold a lot of records and made it in the macho world of rock when not a lot of women were doing that, save Heart and Joan Jett/Runaways. She also had serious vocal chops.

And Kate Bush, Bjork, Breeders, Pretenders and Hole should've been much higher.

Props though for Galas, Oliveros and Monk. I wasn't expecting them to be on the same list as Whitney.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 5:01 PM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Pat Benatar

Excellent call.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:13 PM on July 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's as good enough a list as these kind of things ever are, I suppose, but no love for Annette Peacock nor Joan LaBarbara?! Merde!
posted by On the Corner at 3:48 AM on July 26, 2017


Mod note: A few comments deleted. Don't post deliberately trolly stuff; it creates a big distraction from the actual thread.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2017


On the topic of women in jazz, Esperanza Spalding hired by Harvard
posted by thelonius at 2:38 PM on July 26, 2017


Does anyone read the comments all the way down here? Anyway, I really like this supplementary list from a music site I'd never heard of before, No Recess! — so much good stuff like Pylon, Grimes, Yo La Tengo ... and yeah, what happened to Jefferson Airplane on NPR's list, anyway?

50 Great Albums By Women That NPR Forgot
posted by Mothlight at 9:46 PM on July 29, 2017 [4 favorites]


+ Regina Spektor
+ Mary Margaret O'Hara
+ Betty Davis
+ Victoria Williams
posted by Lyme Drop at 10:35 PM on July 29, 2017


50 Great Albums By Women That NPR Forgot

Heh. Now I'll be looking forward to the list of women both No Recess and NPR forgot.

Where's Everything but the Girl's Eden? What about Lone Justice? No love for Yaz?
The No Recess list is a nice set of additions, even if I'm not all concerned they were missed in place of the other choices.

I'm somewhat disappointed though that there hasn't been more attempts to look at the questions posed by the NPR article over the evaluation of women vs men in music. Not so much in a competitive sense of who deserves more praise exactly, but in how the manner of appraisal has seemed to favor certain more male centered perspectives and how we might adjust for that. Adding more women critics to the forefront of the profession obviously is a necessary step, but I'm also interested in how their evaluative methods will differ from that of the professions past history which has favored certain kinds of more male centered music at its core and how that difference might be expressed in appraisals.

I'm sure there must be feminist music writers who've thought about such things, just as there is quite a bit of really good feminist film writing, but as music criticism hasn't been a primary focus of mine, I haven't seen much on it other than writing about specific bands or performers. I was hoping for some more discussion of the critical process in addition to that.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:59 AM on July 30, 2017


What about Lone Justice?

Funny, for the first time in thirty years, Lone Juatice is the band that jumped out at me after seeing the second list. But the new list is still missing Phranc, and if you're not going to put the voice of an angel on your list, what's the point?

And really, The Cramps were as much Poison Ivy's band as it was Lux Interior's.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:50 AM on July 30, 2017


Mod note: One deleted. The "worst albums by men" thing has been deleted a couple of times already since (among other things) it's a surefire way to make this discussion about women in music all about men in music.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:03 AM on July 30, 2017 [4 favorites]


50 Great Albums By Women That NPR Forgot
This one kinda covers the kinda alt/indie-shaped hole the NPR list had, but I could still add at least some more since the 90s alone, and since I don't feel like doing anything today other than browse MP3s:

Deee-Lite - World Clique; My Bloody Valentine - Loveless; Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha; Throwing Muses - The Real Ramona; Curve - Doppelganger; Medicine - Shot Forth Self Living, Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See, Slowdive - Souvlaki, Lush - Split, Beth Orton - Trailer Park, Ivy - Apartment Life, Catatonia - International Velvet, Emiliana Torrini - Love In The Time Of Science, Mira Callix - One on One, Ladytron - Light & Magic, Asobi Seksu - Citrus, Alela Diane - To Be Still, Glass Candy - BEATBOX, School of Seven Bells - look, just take your pick, Chairlift - Something, The Sounds - Crossing the Rubicon, The xx - xx, Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be, Austra - Feel It Break, Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan - Uzu, Chromatics - Kill For Love, Postiljonen - Skyer, A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Sea When Absent, Eaux - Plastics, Snowbird - Moon, The Dø - Shake Shook Shaken, Warpaint - Warpaint, Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass, Stealing Sheep - Not Real, Kristin Kontrol - X-Communicate


Some are bands where there's a women' lead singer and could arguably not be considered a "album by women", but I still find them and integral part of the album and the artist herself. Also, since there's no way of quickly finding if some artist is on the original list, might be repeating someone, although I doubt it. It's also possible I thought I saw it there, and didn't mention it. A lot of it is indie pop or dreampop, but those are genres who are fairly women-dominated.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:04 AM on July 30, 2017


The xx - xx

Time will tell as to its influence (external and internal), but The xx have all said that I See You is the most heavily Madley Croftian album they've made so far.
posted by Etrigan at 9:54 AM on July 30, 2017


I don't think they'll ever put any record comparable to xx in terms of influence or impact. In less than a year they went from a indie act to selling out a 1200-capacity venue here with tickets at €30 (which was a lot for a indie band with one album) in a morning. As a comparison, a ticket for YLT earlier that year in the same room was €23 (and had a few empty seats), and Arcade Fire's Funeral got them a mid-card booking in an small festival in 2005.

It was a freak wildfire of an album. One moment they were just a blip in the indie radar, the next it felt like they were around since the post-britpop years.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:06 AM on July 30, 2017


(on that gig, on how crazy people got for The xx in 2010: I got my ticket thanks to a friend of a friend in the box office, and apparently they were forbidden to do that because it was expected to be one of the fastest selling gigs there, so they sneaked in one purchase for the back rows, and as predicted sold out that morning five whole months before the date, and until the gig they were being traded for full festival passes, and I was offered twice face value + a ticket to any other gig I wanted. This is what I used to call a Radiohead level proposal. /derail

Also: and this kids, is how I have a autographed album and ticket).
posted by lmfsilva at 11:29 AM on July 30, 2017


I just recalled this Neko Case post where she expands upon her thinking about the whole "Woman in ________" trope, that she wrote after a brief twitter tirade aimed at Playboy a couple years ago, during which she stated "I'M NOT A FUCKING WOMAN IN MUSIC I'M A FUCKING MUSICIAN IN MUSIC." It's a pretty valid point, & maybe the authors of the NPR list recalled that moment.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:23 PM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]


Even More Great Albums By Women Outside Of The Top 150 (July 30, 2017) -- NPR Music recently released a top-ranking list of 150 albums by women. NPR's Noel King chats with Jill Sternheimer of the Lincoln Center and NPR's Paula Mejia who had some of tough decisions.
  • Sister Nancy's "One Two," a seminal reggae album from 1982 (and referenced FADER article/interview with Sister Nancy)
  • Dionne Warwick - "Here Where There Is Love"
  • Diana Ross's "Diana" ('I mean, "I'm Coming Out," the quintessential gay anthem is on that album. How's that not on this list?'), and Twitter mentions:
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Francoise Hardy
  • Nancy Sinatra
Not a lot of names there, sadly, but a few more interesting items brought up:
KING: This is fairly inspiring. I mean, it sounds like what you've motivated people to do is say, no, I think you're wrong, but let me tell you what's right. And that's probably a pretty good feeling.

STERNHEIMER: It is a very good feeling. And I feel like we've woken people up to look at things that are in their daily musical life and see them in a different way. I think that sometimes girl singers got marginalized as, oh, that's the girl singer with this incredible producer and these amazing musicians and songwriters. Well, we've had a few conversations about voice as a form of authorship.

KING: Paula, NPR Music is working on a Shocking Omissions project. What can you tell us about that?

MEJIA: The Shocking Omissions project is going to be part of this editorial sort of vertical that we're doing with Turning the Tables along with the list, where we have different writers coming together and talking about albums that they not only wish would have made the list but have a rightful place in this canon that we're building.
So more music and discussions to come.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on July 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


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