[TypicalGirls] Two Large Cents Worth

TnA sasscer1 at bellsouth.net
Tue Jun 5 13:32:16 EDT 2007

Two women primarily known heretofore as 'girlfriends who sing' enter a 
new decade on their own terms

Yoko Ono Walking on Thin Ice  (originally a 1981 single, available on 
cd reissue of Double Fantasy) Although known in some circles as a 
daring conceptual artist since the early 60's, Ono was catapulted into 
the mainstream media through her association with John Lennon.  Mostly 
reviled or ignored by the media throughout the 70's, she in fact 
followed her muse to places even artists are wary of, and in the 
process inspired men and women with ears and hearts to go boldly forth. 
  On this song, however, the harrowing emotional exorcisms that she had 
previously explored in avant-garde territory was enveloped in the 
commercial form of a rock song, and coupled with the worldwide shock of 
her husbands' death meant that many people were exposed to the music, 
and finally 'got it'.  As far as the mainstream media was concerned, 
Yoko Ono was henceforth a 'legitimate' artist.  As for the song, it is 
fucking great.  I still remember the resonance of this song at Live 
Aid, several years after its release, as a glimmer of 'truth' on that 
long day of earnestness.

Marianne Faithfull Broken English (1979 ISLAND) I was just as surprised 
as most people when this record came out, but I loved it immediately.  
Like ONO, there is a tinge of avant-reggae in some of the songs here, 
and of course there is the superb Lennon cover of Working Class Hero, 
but ultimately this is the sound of a woman expressing what she feels 
and how she sees things as a self-realized human, not as a 'pop star' 
or 'ex-girlfiend of'. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan (Shel Silverstein, 
f'crissakes!) and Guilt sound like issues real women have  and can 
relate to, and Broken English and Why D'ya Do It are great modern love 
songs...or at least cool songs about love.

Both of these women made absolutely up-to-the-minute contributions to 
the modern rock canon.  At the time, however, it didn't occur to me 
that they are both women, or that they were both previously known as 
accoutremonts of male rock stars...just that these were great pieces of 
music.  And that is one of the many things about TYPICAL music that I 
have always loved...how women were integrated into bands on their own 
terms, for their own reasons...and then letting the music speak for 


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