Saturday, February 28, 2009

WTIT Top 15 Female Rockers

Today the WTIT Tape Radio Blog we present, formally, our first feature of A DJ’s Take. Today, we will share with you our picks for the Top 15 Female Rock Vocalists of the rock era. Check out our other Top Artist & Songs features in our sidebar. We will give you the artist and out favorite song of theirs. Let’s cue up the first A DJ's Take!

15. CARLY SIMON. In the 70’s she was as good as there was. The mystery about who she was singing about in “You’re So Vain” still creates conversation. She auctions the answer (on the condition of the secret staying, well secret) and raised a lot of money for charity with that bit. Before, during and after her marriage to James Taylor, she wrote and performed a lot of rock classics. Who could forget “The Wives Are in Connecticut”? Okay then, who can remember it?

Our favorite: “You’re So Vain”. (Sorry, it’s still a great song). And Warren Beattie is the our best guess to the question.

14. MAMA CASS ELLIOTT. Another great voice silenced too young. Cass both with The Mamas and the Papas and solo, could belt out a tune. A sad life, being in love with Denny, only to have Michelle leave John (The late John Phillips, The Mamas and Papas' leader.) and go to Denny. As good a song writer John Phillips was, without Cass there would have been no band.

Our Favorite: The first. “California Dreaming”.

13. CHER. She’s been of favorite of ours since “I Got You Babe”. As an actress she was brilliant in “Moonstruck” and “The Mask”. Her work with ex-husband, the late Sonny Bono, was classic. Her hit in the 90’s “Believe” is one of the most popular dance songs of all time. Cher is unique. And that’s why we love her.

Our Favorite: “Walking in Memphis”.

12. CAROLE KING. Just the hits she wrote with her ex-husband in the early sixties showed how amazingly talented Carole is. When she released “Tapestry” WTIT was still counting down the Top 100 albums on a Tape Radio Show. (We did it yearly from 1967 to 1974. Then we stopped. In 1989, we counted down the top 100 songs of the decade and did it once again in 1999. I’m already looking forward to the 2009 version.) She was number one that year and still in the Top 100 a year later.

Our Favorite: “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”.

11. SARAH MCLACHLIN. Sarah has a beautiful quality to her vocals. While cut from the same cloth as a lot of 90’s singers (see: Alanis.) she is very distinctive because of the depth of her vocals and her range. She was the first artist I saw on “Launch” which is a rock video site from I believe Yahoo. Just she and her piano. It was magic.

Our Favorite: “Adia”.
10. JEWEL. She was another 90’s artist that came out while we were still in alternative rock radio. She would appear anywhere to open for any decent rock act. We were suppose to meet one night, but something came up (with me) and it didn’t happen. What the fuck was I thinking? She is just a terrific writer and singer.

Our favorite: “You Were Meant for Me”.

9. GRACIE SLICK was as good a rock singer as there ever was. Her work with Jefferson Airplane is amazing. It was just unfortunately that she stayed with the various incarnations of Jefferson Starship after they became Starship and became totally irrelevant. Give me “Somebody to Love” not “We Built This City”. We saw an interview with her recently and boy did she not age well. She looked 95. I thinking…drugs…maybe?

Our Favorite: “White Rabbit”.

8. SHERYL CROW. She was fun right from the start from that first hit, “All I Wanna Do” when she met a guy named “Bud” at a bar. She is such a force. The album “C’mon C’mon” was on our Top 50 of all time. She will be around a LONG time. She should be number one, really. If it weren’t for the others, we mean.

Our Favorite: “Strong Enough”.

7. STEVIE NICKS. When WTIT was offered $$$$ to write comedy for the American Comedy Network (we passed on the offer BTW) they played us a parody of Stevie called the “What the Hell is She Saying” album. It’s true her lyrics are cryptic and she at times IS tough to understand. But we could listen to her music whether in Buckingham/Nicks, Fleetwood Mac or solo for days.

Our Favorite: “Edge of Seventeen”.
6. ALANIS MORRISETTE. She truly changed the sound of a female rocker in the 90’s. Even to this day whether it’s Pink or Natalie Merchant, the style was originally Alanis. We were working at an alternative rock station when she came along. She wrote great lyrics and what an edge! To have a HUGE hit that the censors edited twice is something. Every guy wanted to take her to a movie, that is for sure.

Our Favorite: “You Ought to Know”

5. LINDA RONSTADT. Linda can sing anything. She might have the best pure voice on our list. She was just as talent on her collaboration with Nelson Riddle and the standards as she was belting out rock ‘n roll. She did put on the pounds over the years, didn’t she?

Our Favorite: “When We I Be Loved” The Everly Brother’s cover.

4. MELISSA ETHERIDGE. Yes she is. That great a rock vocalist, that is. When she burst on in the late 80’s/early 90’s you only had to hear her once to know she’d be around for a while. There is only one thing we never understood. Who would want David Crosby to father their baby and why?

Our Favorite: “I’m the Only One”

3. PAT BENATAR. This woman can sing. We cannot think of a more powerful rock vocalists in her heyday, the 1980’s. The ONLY problem we ever had were sometimes with her song’s lyrics. Most were written by men (read: boyfriends in the band) and often didn’t ring true. Example: What guy could ever use “Sex as a Weapon”? We are good, but not that good.

Our Favorite: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

2. JANIS JOPLIN. Janis Joplin was The Queen of Rock, the same way Aretha is The Queen of Soul. Her tortured life made her the ultimate blues singer. And as far as belting out a rock song goes nobody has ever done it better. As good, but never better. She made her start with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Her laugh was infectious. It was such a waste that she spun out of control and died so young.
Our Favorite: "Down on Me" studio version.
1. BONNIE RAITT. This was an easy choice for me. While I would agree that Janis was the Queen of Rock, I can’t ignore Bonnie’s longevity and incredible range of styles both vocally and musically. Besides, she is the only lady on this list that once kissed Bud Weiser. I did promise not to kiss and tell, but shit, that was a LONG time ago. Many think Bonnie started in the late eighties because that is when she becaume a superstar. She started record in 1972 and I own every one of her albums.

Our favorite: "I Can't Make You Love Me."

That's it for a Thursday
at the WTIT Tape Radio Studio.
We hope you liked this feature,
if you do let us know.
Perhaps we will do it again.
Join us tomorrow for
Dating Profiles on The WTIT Tape Radio Blog.
Same time. Same blog.