Voices: The Wonderful World Of Women In Music
There are some truly talented female performers in the world of music. Some are rockers, and can blow you away with their talent. Others are soft and demure, and lure you in with their more feminine side. I am here to celebrate both, and neither. I just want to listen to those women who are talented in a way that I enjoy listening to. They range from the hard hitting rock of Joan Jett, to the sublime sounds of Jackie Evancho. As I've stated before, I am eclectic when it comes to my musical tastes.
I think we should start this journey off with an eye opening, and ear splitting, sound. Not many better than Joan Jett for this. Beginning with The Runaways, and continuing for the next 30 years or so, Joan continues to leave a mark on Rock with her in your face style. Hard to believe that someone who can melt your face off with a sizzling guitar solo can also sing pretty well.
Joan Jett I Hate Myself For Lovin' You
My wife makes fun of me for liking this song, but it's great! I know, I know they are, or were, primarily a soft sound girls band, but they raised themselves to a new level in my eyes with this remake of a Simon and Garfunkel song. Bet Paul and Art never thought about singing it this way!
The Bangles Hazy Shade Of Winter
Karen Carpenter, the voice of an angel to many; voice of a generation by some. I have now loved that voice for some upper forty years and never tire of it. Never tire of her warmth and compassion that comes out in her songs. Her brother Richard was a master song writer in his own right, but her voice is the key.
If ever a group was built on the power of sisters, it is Heart. Ann and Nancy Wilson are living female rock legends, and no one, I said NO ONE is as great as they were. To emphasize this, I will include a clip of Heart and Barracuda, with Fergie thrown in for (no) good measure. Listen to Ann's voice, and think: she is 58 at the time she is singing here. 58! She still sounds almost as good as she did at 24 when this song was released! Then listen to Fergie try to sing the same notes. Sorry girl; ya just ain't got the pipes! Don't miss Nancy wailing on the guitar, either.
Linda Ronstadt was one of the best of the 70's and 80's. Soulful, blues, country it mattered not. I think she even did some opera at one time. The fact is, this girl could flat out sing! I really like this funkified version of the song. It showcases a little different side of her talent.
Linda Ronstadt You're No Good
Stevie Nicks Edge of Seventeen
Stephanie Lynn Nicks, known worldwide as simply Stevie, has the voice that cannot be duplicated, mimiced, or any other term one uses to describe it. Soft, as in Landslide or Silver Springs; or hard, as in Rhiannon, Stand Back, or Edge of Seventeen, you are mesmirized by that voice. The numbers don't lie: a part of 13 Grammy nominations; 40 Top 50 hits; over 140 million albums sold; and even having this song play a part in "School of Rock"! On top of being a great singer, she writes a lot of her own songs, music and all. A true artist, Stevie Nicks. I watched Fleetwood Mac Live From Boston just last night, from a concert filmed in 2003; and she still, at age 55, sounded great. Some people are just blessed.
Stevie Nicks Edge of Seventeen
I sometimes watch talent shows. A couple of years ago, I was lying in bed resting and preparing to go to sleep, when this little girl came on stage. When she began to sing, I literally came up off the bed, and peered at the screen of my tv, trying to determine is this was a trick; if this was a lip sync in progress. It was not. This woman-child has a voice that 99.999999% of the women in the world cannot match. I am not an opera fan, but I was one that night. This is Jackie singing Ave Maria, which is a beautiful song in its own right; but sung by Jackie, becomes something not of this world.
Jackie Evancho Ave Maria
Loretta Lynn, the coal miners daughter from Butcher Hollow, is a national treasure. Born into poverty, she had a voice that lifted her up and allowed her to walk with the most important people in the world. And to think that when a movie was made about her life, the actress that portrayed her, Sissy Spacek, won a Grammy Award for her version of Coal Miners Daughter. But, to me, there is only one, and Loretta is it. I was fortunate enough to see her in concert one evening, and spent the entire performance standing beside her husband, Moonie. When I saw the movie years later, it was like standing beside him and watching her all over again. She is one of my favorites.
Loretta Lynn Coal Miner's Daughter
I have stated before the Celtic Woman are one of my favorite female groups, both as a group and individually. This haunting rendition was featured in The Lord Of The Rings, and is as wonderful a song as one could ask for. But then again, all of their songs are beautiful and moving in their own way.
Celtic Woman May It Be
The difference between good and great is the voice. Can the voice translate the feeling from the song to you; does it sound as good live as it does on the album; does it carry forward to a realm that few ever reach? If so, then you have achieved greatness. This lady has accomplished all of this, and more. Suzy is not flashy, not twangy, not in your face; but she is great at bringing the song to a place where she hands it off to you to enjoy; it becomes personal. And Aces is the best example of this type of a performer.
Suzy Bogguss Aces
My final woman of music is two. I cannot separate them, so I present to you a duet - a pairing of one of the most powerful voices in Rock, and one of the most powerful voices in Country. All I can say is this is a match made in heaven. Martina McBride and Pat Benetar singing Promises In The Dark.
Martina McBride and Pat Benetar Promises In The Dark
On second thought...
Going back and looking over some of my hubs, and decided to do a little update. Adding in one more song here. Stairway to Heaven performed by Heart. Live. In front of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant. No pressure, right? Only what is considered to be the greatest rock song ever, performed FOR the greatest rock band ever! What do you think? Is this the greatest cover ever?