I bought textbooks, and now I have no money. Where will I find sick beats for nix? I already had these classic albums in my collection, but they’d be easy to find and come highly recommended. Let’s take a look back at four of the best albums, from the ladies. A retrospective.
Alanis Morissette ‘Jagged Little Pill’ 1995 (Alternative/Grunge)
Ah, Alanis, how I love you. Thank you for representing the quirky girls and getting me through high school. Morissette was part hippie, part punk, and all ace. Including hit singles, ‘You Oughta Know’ and ‘Ironic’, this album was pivotal in showing women that they were allowed in the alternative music scene. Morissette’s voice, flipping from growl to scream and back again, but never out of tune – heralded a new sound. Honest and at times a little cranky, this guitar driven sound still elicits headbanging and triumphant roars from ladies worldwide. One for the grunge lover in your life.
Kate Bush ‘Hounds of Love’ 1985 (ElectroPop)
Before there was Gaga, there was Bush. Performance artist, singer-songwriter, and all round babe, Bush not only rocks a unitard – she can really sing. This album includes classic singles such as ‘Running Up That Hill’ and ‘The Big Sky’, which show off Bush’s extensive vocal range. Synthesisers, drum machines, and wailing string sections come together with layer upon layer of vocal tracks to create the signature Bush sound. This album will make you want to dance in a flash mob, sing out loud to yourself in the supermarket, and learn to cartwheel. Gaga’s got nothing on the Bush.
Patti Smith ‘Horses’ 1975 (Punk)
Dark, reflective, and at times angry, this debut album was instrumental (see what I did there?) in kicking off the punk scene in New York. Smith is raw, combining spoken word and a haunting, rich singing voice in order to convey her poetry. She brings together gentle pianos and edgy guitars to support her trademark lyrics, ‘little sister the sky is falling’, and she don’t care. ‘Horses’ was just the beginning of a career in punk rock for Smith, which continues to this day. Excellent bass hooks and relentless drums also feature underneath Smith’s unmistakable groan. Get it.
The Shangri Las ‘Leader of the Pack’ 1965 (R&B)
Girl groups of the 1960’s were the best. They wore matching outfits, had gigantic hairdos, false lashes, and attitude for miles. These ladies coordinated their dance moves and committed themselves to rhythm and blues. Throw in a little staged conversation between the band members and you have a recipe for success. These classic tunes, including the well-known title track, ‘Maybe’, and of course ‘Twist and Shout’, simply compel you to boogie your darndest until you catch your crush’s eye and maybe – just maybe – they’ll walk you home, kiss you on the lips, and have a million of your babies.
Words by Heather McGinn