[TypicalGirls] List (current draft) + Need blurbs that explain why these albums are must-haves + (NO BLURB=DELETION)

Dina Hornreich dina.hornreich at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 20:53:18 EDT 2007

The Typical Girls Listserv Presents: 
Must-Have CDs for Girl Rockers!
(Compiled by the List Moderator, Dina Hornreich)

Action Pact!: "Punk Singles Collection" (Captain Oi) 
>From no brain singalong pogopunk (London Bouncers) to more thought through goth/post punk. (Smurf)

The Adverts: "Anthology" (Devil's Jukebox) 2CD with singles, demos and live material
They had Gaye Advert on bass, an icon that would influence dozens of female bass players in the future if you ask me. (Smurf)

.like the Talking Heads, there was a woman bass player in [the] band, and it was no big deal.  They just rocked. (Theresa Meire)

Altered Images: "I Could Be Happy: The Best of Altered Images" collection (SONY)

Laurie Anderson: "Big Science" 1982 album reissue (Warner Brothers)

Au Pairs: "Stepping Out of Line" 2CD anthology (Castle)

The Avengers: "Died for Your Sins" live, demos, oddities, and out of print tracks (Lookout!)
The Avengers lead singer and songwriter Penelope Houston blasted a white-hot streak of articulate energy fronting this San Francisco-based punk band. The Avengers opened for the original Sex Pistols' last show, which was in San Francisco. The Avengers have re-formed with Houston and original guitarist Greg Ingraham and according to people who saw them both then and now, they're as great as ever. (Larry Bob Roberts)

The B-52's: self-titled 1979 debut album reissued (Reprise)

Bangles: "All Over the Place" 1984 debut album reissue (SONY)
Their first full-length, and an absolutely terrific power-pop album with touches of the "paisley underground" psychedelic vibe.  Notable feature: all four of them wrote songs and sang leads (and harmonies), although all the hits they're remembered for were sung by Susanna Hoffs, and almost all of them were covers. I put "James" on a mix CD a few years ago, and half a dozen people emailed me to ask "were the Bangles always that awesome?" (Douglas Wolk)

Toni Basil: "Oh Mickey" import collection (Generic)

Belle Stars: "Belle-Issima!: Sweet Memories..." 2CD collection (Edsel UK)

Blondie: "Parallel Lines" 1978 album reissue (Capitol)

Bush Tetras: "Boom in the Night" collection of demos and EPs 1980-83 (ROIR)

Danielle Dax: ?

Delta 5: "Singles and Sessions 1979-81" (Kill Rock Stars)
A funky, feminist-minded group.With two bass players and songs like the often-covered "Mind Your Own Business" and "You", Delta 5 stand out as one of the best from a scene that featured several female-friendly bands. (Bob Moore)

Lizzy Mercier Descloux:  "Press Color" 1980 album reissue import (ZE)

Essential Logic: "Fanfare in the Garden" 2CD retrospective (Kill Rock Stars)
Lora Logic was in X-Ray Spex - that's her playing sax on "Oh Bondage! Up Yours" - but was supposedly kicked out for getting too much praise in a review.  Still a teenager, she picked herself up with a new band, and recorded a set of material really unlike anything else I've ever heard. Early tracks like "Aerosol Burns" and "Popcorn Boy" feature neckbreaking changes in tempo and mood, with Lora's self-assured vocals and presence making it all seem easy.  It's the sound of a recent high-school graduate wondering if her entire childhood and teenage life was a sham.  Later tracks went for a more straight-ahead dance beat and a more spiritual approach, but are no less fascinating.  Sounds like nothing before or since.  (Mike Appelstein)

ESG: "A South Bronx Story" retrospective (Universal Sound)
The Scroggins sisters often speak of their childhoods in the '70s Bronx housing projects, where they'd hear James Brown and the earliest rap records wafting through the air at neighborhood block parties.  Their own music mixed the most elemental, natural rhythms of funk (some songs are just bass and drums) with hopscotch chants and adventurous production from Ed Bahlman and Joy Division producer Martin Hannett.  A huge influence on everyone from hip-hop producers to The Gossip, whose Standing In The Way of Control features huge chunks of the ESG sound.  When Renee Scroggins invites you to "Dance" or "Come Away," you really have no choice in the matter.  (Mike Appelstein)

Marianne Faithfull: "Broken English" 1979 album reissue (Island) 
I was just as surprised as most people when this record came out, but I loved it immediately.  Like Yoko 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. (Tim Sasscer)

Girlschool: "Screaming Blue Murder" 1982 album reissue import (Castle)
If I had heard them, I would've picked up an instrument a lot earlier. Much more than the "female Motorhead" (Theresa Meire)

Go-Go's: "Beauty and the Beat" 1981 debut album reissue (A&M)
>From singles like "Our Lips are Sealed", which was co-written by former Specials member Terry Hall, to the fantastic b-side "How Much More?" this album features some happy, upbeat music. A song doesn't have to be angry or political to be functional, right? Plus, how many other bands had three great songwriters? (Bob Moore)

The Gymslips: "Rockin' with Renees: The Punk Collection" import

Nina Hagen: "Nunsexmonkrock/Nina Hagen Band" 1982 album reissue (SONY)  
       Essential.  Really.  She is f*cking insane and beautiful and inspiring.  I still listen to that
last song "UFO", because she says "You are not alone" over and over and it is like some magical fairy godmother making everything okay. (Kendra Hadlock)

LiLiPUT: (formerly named Kleenex) self-titled 2CD complete collection (Kill Rock Stars)
This two-disc set covers the 1978-83 oeuvre of LiLiPUT, Swiss riot godmothers who began life as Kleenex before a lawsuit occasioned a name change. Rather than blindly speeding forward, Kleenex/LiLiPUT pasted together sections of energy rush for some of the wildest sound collages of all-time. A battalion of squeaky toys, whistles, and non-words brought them closer to punk's supposed roots in the early 20th century anti-art movement Dada than any other band of the era. This was punk not as an opportunity for expression but as a strange new world to take up residency in. And many have - the original import from Switzerland is the album I have taped most often for seekers of great music. Pick to click: the several-songs-in-one disorder of 1981's eternal "Eisiger Wind." (Kevin John Bozelka)

Look Blue Go Purple: "Compilation" import (Flying Nun)
Jumping in with the second wave of New Zealand post-punk, LBGP were a great quintet that existed from 1983-1988 picking up their instruments and starting from scratch. Inspired by their country's forerunners the Clean and Chills, their lilting strum-pop can be head over a series of EPs compiled onto one CD in the 1990's. Members went on to bands like Chug, Olla, the 3Ds and Ghost Glub. (Brian Turner)

Lene Lovich: "Stateless" 1978 album reissue (Rhino) {IMPORT VERSION IS RECOMMENDED}
If you have the chance to hear the UK mix of the Lene Lovich LP (not sure which is on the Rhino CD) it is radically different --and far superior. (Chuck Warner)

Malaria!: "Compiled 1981-1984" (Moabit)

Manicured Noise: "Northern Stories 1978-1980" import collection (Caroline True)
[They} were a Manchester area band who released two singles on Pre c. 1980, the first of which, "Metronome" b/w "Moscow 1980" is one of my favorite singles, like a speedy, rawer Talking Heads with horns recalling Jamaican music & then bleating free jazz-style. Beyond the singles, the unreleased stuff on the cd gets into slightly slicker Talking Heads territory with touches of surf & straight-up funk, & then some This Heat-damaged stuff which they recorded at Cold Storage (of course) which is growing on me, & some dubby live tracks, one of which may or may not involve a digeridoo. (Ryan Chowdhury)

Marine Girls: "Lazy Ways/Beach Party" 1983+1981 double album reissue on 1 CD (Cooking Vinyl)

Martha and the Muffins: "Far Away in Time" collection (Caroline)
Maximum Joy: "Unlimited 1979-1983" collection (Crippled Dick Hot Wax)
If you can only pick one jazz-influenced post-punk band to listen to, make sure it is Maximum Joy. (Bob Moore)

OH-OK: "The Complete Recordings" (Collectors' Choice)
A perfect example of how you don't need a lot of technical ability to make great music. Beginning girl rockers would definitely be able to relate to the songs from the 7". (Kip Shepherd)

Yoko Ono: "Walking on Thin Ice" compilation (Ryko) 
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 f*cking 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. (Tim Sasscer)

Penetration: "Best of Penetration" collection (Caroline)

Poison Girls: "Their Finest Moments" import collection (Nectar)
...an intro to this anarcho-punk-feminist group fronted by a woman old enough to be today's 12-15 year old girls' great-granny (and, in the time these recording were initially made, would have been the right age to be their mother). (Tim Murphy)

Pretenders: self-titled 1980 debut album 2CD reissue (Rhino)

The Raincoats: self-titled 1979 debut album reissue (Rough Trade)
If I had to pick a favorite band, it would be The Raincoats. Their self-titled debut is a great introduction to a band that was among the best, most clever, artsiest, and at times weirdest of the post-punk bands. From a memorable cover of "Lola" to "The Void", which was later covered by Hole, this is one of the best "girls that rock" albums you are going to find. (Bob Moore)

Singular and lovely.  These women made music in the best way -- uplifting, human, smart, funny, fascinating. (Robin Dunn)

Romeo Void: "Warm, In Your Coat" (SONY)

The Runaways:  self-titled1976 debut album import reissue (Cherry Red UK)
A bunch of teenage girls not only singing but playing and being badass?  Yes please!  Feed me, charge me, teach me the ways of Rock n' Roll. Oh Joan, Lita, Sandy, Jackie and Cherie. (Theresa Meire)

Selecter: "Too Much Pressure" classic 1980 debut album reissue + their best singles

Siouxsie & The Banshees: "The Best Of Siouxsie and the Banshees: Sound + Vision Deluxe" 2CD+DVD (Polydor)
Miz Sioux herself sort of prompted that whole Sex Pistols cursing on television controversy caused by the host's flirting with her.  That was maybe a pivotal moment for punk in general.  And the weird connection of Budgie actually drumming on [The Slits'] "Cut." (Kendra Hadlock)

Skeletal Family: "Burning Oil & Bonus Tracks" 1984 debut album reissue (Anagram Gothic)
Girls can sing in gothic bands too, it doesn't have to be all malecentric like The (Southern Death) Cult or Sisters Of Mercy and proof that it didn't start with Nightwish or Within Temptation. (Smurf)

The Slits: "Cut" 1979 debut album reissue (Island)
These girls are both better musicians and songwriters than the punk elite will admit, and just because there are not a dozen bands that sound just like them does not mean that they are not influential. (Bob Moore)

Patti Smith: "Horses" 2CD 1975 debut album reissue with bonus material (Arista)
Patti is one of the most free performers to ever grace this earth and she is really the original everything in my book! This record goes through every emotion and I know that the first time I heard it made me want to just go out and start a band. Plus, that voice! (Jamie J.)

Patti is nothing but strength and beauty.  Her voice and her words and her form stood out like some kind of lighthouse, a pillar, while she said "Anybody can do what I'm doing.  Anybody can get on a stage and sing." Listening to Patti is like taking your vitamins. (Robin Dunn)

Sonic Youth:  "Confusion Is Sex/Kill Yr Idols" CD (Geffen)
2 definitive 1983 releases reissued on 1 CD (note - I think EVOL is probably a better choice but it didn't come out until 1986) (Sharon Cheslow)

Tracey Thorn: "A Distant Shore" 1982 solo album reissued (Cooking Vinyl)

Tom Tom Club: self-titled 1981 debut album reissue (Sire)
Too long have they been considered a novelty side-project from some Talking Heads. Tina and Chris, Tina's sisters, Sly and Robbie, some of the Talking Heads touring band...they were pioneering in mixing New Wave, Funk and Hip-Hop, had a few chart hits, and created several all-time dance floor classics... People should definitely look past the hits because both albums are filled with gems. I've been DJing "This is a Foxy World" from the second LP lately. If you're not already turned on or think Genius of Love and Wordy Rappinghood is where they stopped, [...then] check out L'Elephant and Lorelei. (Dan Selzer)

Violators: "The No Future Years" (Captain Oi) 

The Waitresses: "The Best of the Waitresses" (Polydor)

X: "Los Angeles" 1980 album reissue (Rhino)
.belong[s] at the top of any list of how to write great songs with your lover.  Only the songs survive... (Chuck Warner)

X-Ray Spex: "Germ-Free Adolescents" 1978 album reissue (Castle)
Germ Free Adolescents might be a bit repetitive with its constant theme of consumerism, but it is to this day one of the most unique sounding albums ever released. (Bob Moore)

Y Pants: 1980 self-titled EP + 1982 "Beat it Down" album reissue (Periodic Document)
Melodic No Wave played exclusively on toy instruments.  The songs are largely about everyday events, only barely hide unsettling and unresolved emotions underneath.  "That's The Way Boys Are," a sweet acapella song that gradually gives way to terrified screaming, is one of the scariest songs I've ever heard.  (Mike Appelstein)

DIY at it's best.  I can listen to them on repeat every day and never grow tired of it.  The best girl band of all time! (bold statement, I know) They took me where I wanted the Raincoats to go. (and I adore the Raincoats) but Y Pants is this nearly delicate but fiercely independent and wholly unusual balance of improvised toy instrumentation and catchy girl-singing.  And still under the radar. (and not easy to find!) I stole my copy from my ex-boyfriend. (Kendra Hadlock)

Young Marble Giants: "Colossal Youth and Collected Works" 3CD collection containing 1979 album reissue with bonus material (Domino)
There were only a few ingredients to this Cardiff trio's sound - just a guitar, bass, female vocals and metronomic drum machine.  Yet they made an album that, through its very minimalism and quietness, actually broadened the palette of punk and underground music.  Colossal Youth has never aged, and its legacy has only grown since its original 1980 release.  It's an album that has literally changed lives - it certainly did mine at age 15 - and its latest reissue includes the band's two singles, an entire bonus disc of rarities and demo versions, and (in the early copies), another bonus disc of Peel sessions.  They recently played their first concert since 1981 to celebrate; perhaps the straight world is ready to give them credit after all these years.  (Mike Appelstein)

Various Artists: "No New York" landmark 1978 compilation reissue (Lillith) showcasing Mars, DNA (featuring Ikue Mori), Teenage Jesus & the Jerks (featuring Lydia Lunch), James Chance & The Contortions.
I'm really glad somebody told me about Lydia Lunch when I was 13. She has insane groundbreaking rock roots and has gone on to break into other multiple art forms and continues to stick to her own thing and be true to herself... which sounds really cheesy, but is really important. (Marissa Magic)

Lydia Lunch was pretty much my gateway drug to interesting music.  I got into Hole when they were getting radio play in the early nineties (I a teenager) and in a Hole biography Courtney Love complained that people called her a "Lydia Lunch knockoff" or something so I thought who is this Lydia Lunch?  She coincidentally had done a song with a band I liked (Sonic Youth) on their album Bad Moon Rising.  (Which, time-wise is the tail-end of the TG era, but is my vote as it has my favorite Kim songs.)  Teenage Jesus introduced me to No Wave (!) which forever changed my life for the better.  Ikue Mori's drumming is sublime. "Everything" is relatively easy to get ahold of - but also Lydia Lunch's "Hysterie" is easier, and has the bulk of the TJ songs. (Kendra Hadlock)

The Typical Girls listserv is an e-mail based music dialogue and discussion group for the discovery of (and appreciation for) the unknown legends in women's punk/post-punk/underground music history. Typical Girls ideally focuses on the pre-riot grrrl female innovators in music starting around 1975 and ending around 1984. 

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