Yes, it's back. Part 3 (parts 1 and 2 ) of my list of 99 albums you should own by female artists/fronted bands.
21.Shelby Lynne – I am Shelby Lynne. Seriously, how GOOD is this record? I remember first hearing it and being totally bowled over by her voice and the range of songs on it. Your Lies, Easier, Black Light Blue, Leavin, Why Can't You Be ... Not a dud on the whole record. Would feature in a list of the best 25 albums ever made for me. A true classic.
22. Veruca Salt – American Thighs. Back in the days when Nina Gordon and Louise Post were still on speaking terms. A nice nod to AC/DC in the album title, and this was indeed a straight ahead rock album. I listened to this again recently and was amazed how well it stands up. Get Back, All Hail Me, Number one Blind, Victrola, and the marvellous Seether all mean this album rocks.
23. Nina Gordon - Tonight and the Rest of My Life, Somehow seemed right to follow up VS with one of Nina's solo albums. More pop/rock as a solo artist, she is never the less still a joy to listen too.
24. Debbie Harry – Rockbird. The best of Deborah's solo albums. This was packed full of joyous pop - Free to Fall, French Kissing in the USA - of the type that you'd expect from the singer of Blondie
25. Juliana Hatfield – Only Everything. An underrated artist is our Juliana, especially amongst those who only know her as Evan Dando's one time squeeze. This is my favourite album of hers. Lost track of how many compilation CDs I've done with Dying Proof and Universal Heart-Beat on them.
26. 10,000 Maniacs – In my Tribe. The moment I heard the song 'Cherry Tree' – I truly great song about not being able to read - I fell in love with this band and Nathalie Merchant. Add to this songs like 'Don't Talk', Like The Weather, Hey Jack Kerouac, What's The Matter Here? Listened to this on Vinyl a few weeks ago, and still sounded as good as the day I bought it.
27. Mary Chapin Carpenter – A Place in the World. Hard to pick a MCC album for this list as I love all of them, but the balance of this album means it gets the nod, and the title track is truly beautiful.
28. Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas. Ethereal music with Elizabeth Fraser making up her own language to deliver the songs in. What's not to like. I like all the albums but again, this is the one which hangs together best, and the title track is one of my favourite songs from the band.
29. Amy Grant – Lead me On. Only make me love Jesus more. Well, quite. I'm an atheist, but I still bellow out this line every time. Why? Because it's a bloody fine track (Saved by Love) off a quite outstanding album packed full of praising the lord. Great voice, well crafted songs. Another classic
30. Rasputina – How we quit the Forrest. I Think it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduced me to this band. Weird, creepy, Cello rock.
31. Voice of the Beehive – Let it Bee. Take Madness' drummer, and two mad sisters from the US of A and you had VOTB. It really is all about the songs again. They made two really great albums but the first is still the best. I Say Nothing, Just a City, Beat of Love, Don't Call Me Baby, I Walk the Earth, There's A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car (co-written by Zodiac Mindwarp )
32. Fuzzbox - Big Bang. I actually liked this band when they were called We've got a Fuzzbox, and we're Gonna use it. They were a bit less polished back then. By the time the name had been shortened they had got very polished. This could have been bad, but writing a song about Thunderbirds was genius. Add in the fun of Pink Sunshine, Self and the Lovely ballad, Irish Bride, and you had a great little album.
33. Portishead – Dummy. Almost immediately hailed as a classic by UK critics, it was an musically inventive album that more than deserved all the plaudits. Glory Box sounds as fresh now as it did back in 1994. Sour Times remains the best 'never' James Bond theme.
34. Lone Justice - Shelter . I always had a small crush on MM. Belfy, I found Love, Shelter.
35. The Bangles – All over the Place. Their often overlooked debut album is still full of hidden gems: Hero take a fall, Going down to Liverpool, James, Dover Beach. I was also in love with Sussana Hoffs. Actually, I may still be in love with Sussana Hoffs.
36. Matraca Berg – Sunday Morning to Saturday Night. The very talented and underrated Miss Berg's most enjoyable record. A fine example of the best pop/country crossover – check out That Train Don't Run. The song 'Back when were Beautiful' is, in my mind, one of the most beautiful and touching songs ever written. One of the few songs to ever make me shed a tear.
37. Rosy Vista - You Better Believe It. A mini album by a bunch of German rockers. Good luck trying to get hold of a copy. Showed a lot of promise with sounds like 'Tables are Turned' and Until I'm Satisfied.
38. Trisha Yearwood – Thinkin' About You. One of the finest voices on the planet. Was tempted to pick her second album Hearts in Armor,, but I was listening to this one recently and I'm a sucker for XXX's and OOO's
39. Sleeper – The It Girl Yet another girl I was in love with. Louise Wener. Quit and became a novelist although think she still plays occasionally. "What Do I Do Now?", "Lie Detector", "Sale of the Century" – marvelous.
40. Elastica - Elastica Justine Frischmann. There was something strangely attractive about her , and Donna Matthews wasn't too shabby either. The album was brash and songs like, Line Up, meant you either loved or hated them. Still a strong record – second album was a big disappointment. One of their best songs – Waking Up, blatantly ripped off the Strangler's 'No More Heroes' – which eventually cost the band royalties.Frischmann eventually returned to her first love architecture and then art and now lives in the US.