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Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

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Old 10-09-17, 05:12 AM   #1
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"Should women make their own pop music canon?"

Inspired by Dudebro31454's thread, "Male Artist[sic] are more talented overall," I thought I'd link this article in yesterday's New York Times Sunday Magazine by Wesley Morris called "Should Women Make Their Own Pop Music Canon? I listened to only female singers all summer. Here's what I learned."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/m...ef=todayspaper

Morris opens the article by bragging:

Quote:
This summer, I did something I highly recommend. I listened to 150 albums by women in a row. Then I listened to 72 more. (I’m still going.) I did it because I had begun to notice a narrowness in my sonic universe. Just about everywhere I went, it was raining men.
Because I'm a fan of J-pop, I listen to albums by women all the time. It's not inconceivable that the last 150 albums I listened to were all by women. (Usually from playing my iPod at the gym.) Nearly all Japanese (but some Korean and Chinese singers who sing Japanese songs). Pretty much exclusively, the occasional exceptions being soundtrack albums by Ennio Morricone and some Japanese male composers (e.g. Joe Hisaishi). When I do listen to American female singers, they tend to be from the past, like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. Of course, none of these albums would be on Morris's list (which he doesn't include in the article). Of the singers he mentions in the piece, the only ones I actually have any recordings by are Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.

Morris also includes a link to "Turning the Tables," a "ranking of the 150 greatest albums by women from 1964 to the present compiled by dozens of women at NPR and throughout the public-radio system." Here's that link:

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/24/538387...-made-by-women

I have to confess I've hardly heard of any of the albums or performers on that list. But then, my musical tastes are pretty narrow. And always have been. The last era of American pop music I followed with any interest was the Disco era. Just the other day while getting dressed in the locker room at the gym and, thus, with my iPod put away, the in-house playlist included a song by a female singer that sounded vaguely familiar that went "It was only in my dreams." It was kind of sweet and catchy and melodic. Was it from the Disco era, I wondered. I went home and looked it up and found, to my dismay, that it was a Debbie Gibson song from 1987.

Anyway, just curious if anyone cares to read Morris's article and share their thoughts.
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Old 10-09-17, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

As with all such lists, I have my disagreements. But these are glaring omissions:

No Pat Benatar? No (solo) Joan Jett? No ABBA? No Olivia Newton-John?

I'd also add:
Aimee Mann
Dido
Kacey Musgraves
Juliana Hatfield
Beth Orton
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Old 10-10-17, 02:25 AM   #3
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

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Originally Posted by from the article
This means that The Beatles represent modernity instead of Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan stands for poeticism made populist while Mitchell or Franklin only do so secondarily.
I'm just guessing it's because of the popularity of The Beatles and their influence, as opposed to


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It maintains the notion that hip hop's golden era belonged to rappers like Biggie and Tupac instead of Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill.
Maybe it has to do, again, with popularity. Biggie sold 3 million with his first album, second album went diamond, selling 10 million.
2pac sold 2 million, All Eyez On Me eventually sold 9 million, Makaveli sold 3 million, not including Strictly for My N.I.G.G.A.Z., and Thug Life.

Lauren Hill only put out one solo album. It was an amazing album, but again, one album that sold one million is probably not going to be as lauded as much as another that sold 10 million AND is critically acclaimed. But then again, I've always seen Lauren Hill's album mentioned ANY time an article on Hip-Hop in general came out.

Missy Elliot most sold was 2 million.

As far as the notion of hip hops "golden era" that's more fans saying that than critics. They say that because their old and they grew up from that generation.


Anyways, as far as pop music is concerned, I have way more albums by women than I do men.
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Old 10-10-17, 06:53 AM   #4
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

I call BS on that list for not including Pat Benetar's In the Heat of the Night and The Motels' All Four One albums. Pat Benetar and Martha Davis' vocals are both not to be equalled by most female vocalists in existence.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

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Originally Posted by Fist of Doom View Post
As with all such lists, I have my disagreements. But these are glaring omissions:

No Pat Benatar? No (solo) Joan Jett? No ABBA? No Olivia Newton-John?

I'd also add:
Aimee Mann
Dido
Kacey Musgraves
Juliana Hatfield
Beth Orton
Benatar is on there with the Blackhearts and the Runaways which is more than enough recognition considering she sucks.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

That NPR list is goofy. What albums were "made by women" is undefined. At one end of the range is Joni Mitchell or Madonna, whose personal vision drove the entire project. At the other end is Dianna Ross and the Supremes, who were hired to stand in front of a microphone and sing what was on the sheet music.

Should it count as "made by women" when the women are only doing what the producer tells them to do? That question applies both to Motown and J-Pop. So far as I can see, they contribute as much to the project as the guitarist does. They are great singers, but Motown had great guitarists too.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

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Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Benatar is on there with the Blackhearts and the Runaways which is more than enough recognition considering she sucks.
That’s Joan Jett, for fuck’s sake.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

I saw an article on the BBC about Belinda Carlile formerly of the GoGo's and though I cant fact check this per se but it said:
"To this day, Beauty and the Beat is still the only US chart-topper to be written and played by women"
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-41523403
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Old 10-10-17, 12:40 PM   #9
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

Women have had a big impact on the folk and Americana genres with their own contributions. Many of the biggest female pop stars have been the creation of the male producers behind their work.
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Old 10-10-17, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
That’s Joan Jett, for fuck’s sake.
Ohh, you're right. I'm sorry. Had the wires crossed this morning.
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Old 10-11-17, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

This is a mostly respectable list. The only entry that made me cringe was Britney Spears. While I understand that her debut was a huge hit, I have no recollection of anyone considering it actually being a quality product. I'm sure there are other female pop soloists more deserving of mention than Spears. Lately Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe") has been getting critical kudos for her albums; I don't think she was on the list.

Really, Enya deserves to be on the list more than Spears; she created a sound ("Enya-esque") that can only be described by using her name and has remained successful for decades without touring. She has been critically panned at times, but a couple of her albums have gotten favorable reviews.

I was glad to see Kate Bush, Bjork, and Tori Amos get mentions, although Bush's "Hounds of Love" deserved to be much higher on the list and I'd argue that her album "The Dreaming" should've made the list as well.

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Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Many of the biggest female pop stars have been the creation of the male producers behind their work.
This is why I forgive the list for ignoring ABBA. The driving force behind that group's success were the songs themselves, which were written by the two men, followed by the "wall of sound" production, again handled by the men. The women's vocals and harmonies were the third part in the group's formula so they deserve credit for the group's success as well (I do rather wish "The Visitors" was on this list), but really it was the men who did the heavy lifting where ABBA was concerned.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:15 PM   #12
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post

Should it count as "made by women" when the women are only doing what the producer tells them to do? That question applies both to Motown and J-Pop. So far as I can see, they contribute as much to the project as the guitarist does. They are great singers, but Motown had great guitarists too.
I don't get why it wouldn't count any more then Frank Sinatra woud if you were making a list of dude artists as he was also just a vocalist singing off a sheet.

On the flipside of this imo is Karen Carpenter,Pat Benatar. Carpenter's vocal are haunting and if you replaced her with any other singer in the world those well constructed Carpenters song's that her brother and other male Producers worked on would be of the time forgettable basic 70's easy listening instead of thought of as classic. Same thing with Benatar who's power as a vocalist made a band that would have to change their name Generic 80's Cowbell if anyone else was singing. The sporting equivalent would Benatar and Carptenter are mid aughts Lebron on the scrubs Cavs or Westbrook on OKC taking scrubs to the playoffs last year.
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Old 10-11-17, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: "Should women make their own pop music canon?"

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Originally Posted by AaronHernandez View Post
I don't get why it wouldn't count any more then Frank Sinatra woud if you were making a list of dude artists as he was also just a vocalist singing off a sheet.

On the flipside of this imo is Karen Carpenter,Pat Benatar. Carpenter's vocal are haunting and if you replaced her with any other singer in the world those well constructed Carpenters song's that her brother and other male Producers worked on would be of the time forgettable basic 70's easy listening instead of thought of as classic. Same thing with Benatar who's power as a vocalist made a band that would have to change their name Generic 80's Cowbell if anyone else was singing. The sporting equivalent would Benatar and Carptenter are mid aughts Lebron on the scrubs Cavs or Westbrook on OKC taking scrubs to the playoffs last year.
Sinatra as the frontman for Tommy Dorsey, no. Sinatra choosing his songs and singing in front of his musicians, yes. It's that vision thing. Robbie Robertson isn't on these lists, despite his brilliance, because he used his talents to support someone else's vision.
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