Though rock music has been hugely a man's world there are some great women artists who have the made the scene colourful with their voice, music and attire, this week's 7 consist of such voices which have enthralled me, and I am not tired of listening to even now. Here is my list for this week, to listen in a loop.
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
This one I heard when it was nominated the grammy's. I saw that on Doordarshan, predates the cable era, in 1987. She performed on stage with an acoustic guitar, I just got so hooked to that song. My dad then used to run this music store, along with his friend, and I borrowed the tape from him. I remember listening to it over, and over again, to write down the lyrics. At that time I thought it was more about a car, but later I realized the song is more about relationship than about a car.
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
The first time I listened to this song was as part of the soundtrack to the movie Two Weeks Notice. Not the music, but the lyrics are so striking and simple, yet comical, sung by Counting Crows, which at that time I thought was the original. When I bought the Joni Mitchell Hits album did I realize the song was originally hers, and not Counting Crows'. I would not want to steal away what Joni had to say about this song.
I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart... this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song.
But listen on, its a great number, also listen to the Counting Crows' version too, they have done justice as well.
Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
You give Joan Baez any paragraph and a guitar, and she can make a song of it. Not just any song but a song that will live on forever, such was her rendering, and her voice. Though her relationship with Bob Dylan were strained by the time this song came out, this song is about asking Dylan to come back into her life. Joan Baez has been the voice to many of Dylan's lyrics, and this one too, but I personally think this was penned by Joan. Joan Baez was famous for her acts in woodstock, but for me she is just the voice of my life.
Ironic - Alanis Morissette
Second year of my undergraduate degree, and to like anything but a pure male rock was kinda taboo, but this one took every guy on campus by surprise. Nothing could be more ironic than that. The entire album was a breath fresh air for people starved of women voices in the rock scene. The song is so fresh still, and is also one my wife's favourite.
Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
There are some songs I really love because of the video, and this is such song. The frame of the video is fixed, and everything that is relevant to the lyrics is expressed in that frame, which was very unique at that time. This is again about strained relationships, and Natalie just captures the moment so well in the video, thanks to her history in acting.
Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac
This is a haunting song written and sung by Stevie Nicks, of Fleetwood Mac. I do not remember how I chanced upon this song about a Welsh witch by the same name(Rhiannon). I think it was at Pecos one of those evening before making our way to a rock show. This is an evergreen number for me, you too get haunted.
I will survive - Gloria Gaynor
This one is dedicated to all the women out there. I could not choose a better one those standing ground, those standing in front, and those standing behind. Women, your so many avatars is a true mystique, which this song strengthens even further. This is just not about surviving, but about standing up, fighting, and yet loving.
March had been a women's month, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed bring it to you. Women, please March on.