[TypicalGirls] Two Large Cents Worth
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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