Here are my top 10 albums by women or fronted by women. I'm only doing one per artist because Patti Smith made eleven studio albums so that wouldn't be fair to anyone else. Nevertheless, I begin with my favourite Patti Smith album. The links are to tracks from each album but not necessarily the version on the album.
1) Gone Again - Patti Smith.
Choosing my favourite Patti Smith album is an herculean task. Do I pick the first one I ever owned? (Easter) How about the one that was on rotation on my mp3 player in the days when I had no choice but to take a daily 2 hour bus journey to and another from work? (Radio Ethiopia) Or the one with my favourite track on it? (Close fight between Horse - Land; Gone Again - Summer Cannibals; Gung Ho - Glitter in their Eyes) Or maybe the most personal one? (Dream of Life). In the end, I let my subconscious (whose name, as many of you know, is Emily) choose.
2) Cut - The Slits
Time was, if I wanted to eat, I'd have to go visit my friend Tom who was a cook. Whenever I did, there were three artists he would play over and over again. One was an obscure poet from Plymouth whose name I've forgotten. One was the Birthday Party and the other, the greatest of the three was the Slits. This album is part of my musical DNA.
3) Mambo Nassau - Lizzy Mercier Descloux
You know me. You know there will be foreign stuff, don't you. But did you expect this?
4) Germfree Adolescents - X-Ray Spex
I may have mentioned this before. I saw X-Ray Spex at Cambridge Corn Exchange when they were promoting it.
5) Feast - The Creatures
It was hard to decide which of Siouxsie's albums to choose. It could be several both by the Creatures and by the Banshees. In the end, this one shades it for sheer quantity of jaw-dropping awesomeness.
6) Def, Dumb and Blonde - Deborah Harry
On the other hand, I didn't find it even a little hard to choose my favourite Deborah Harry Album. I admit there are great tracks on most of Blondie's but as an album... well this is it.
7) Trøllabundin - Eivør
Another foreign one. Eivør Pálsdóttir is just amazing and the song Trollabundin, where she sings, growls and plays a frame-drum still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. This is not the version on the album. On the album, she was accompanied by the Danish Radio Orchestra.
8) Ya Nass - Yasmine Hamdane
It was a tossup between the last Soap Kills album, Enta Fen or this, and given this is about female albums and much of what makes Soap Kills special is the keyboard work of Zeid Hamdane (no relation).
9) Fleshwounds - Skin
As in many cases the question is, how do I choose between Skunk Anansie/Skin albums. I have no idea how, but I played this until the CD wore out so yannow, this is it.
10) Beautiful Garbage - Garbage.
Shirley Manson... what can I say, she's awesome..
And it hurts hurts HURTS to leave out, Imogen Heap, Bjork, Ute Lemper, Nouvelle Vague, Kate Bush, Peaches, Anais, Sandra Nasic/Guano Apes, Joan Jett, Nico, Julie Fowlis, Sinead O'Connor, Hazel O'Connor, Tatu, Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Mahalia Jackson, Grace Jones, Fatal Microbes, Poison Girls not to mention some personal friends such as Phoenix Chroi, Sleaze Asylum, Yur Mum and GUTTFULL.