Girl Power Playlist: Guess The Top Songs

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Here’s A Power Boost

For all the women in our lives who need a power boost of encouragement, this Girl Power Album Playlist is for you!

It’s for smart and courageous young ladies like my nieces (Ivy & Eden) and my daughters (Alice & Quinn). It also goes for the ladies like Jim’s daughter Julie.  Julie and my nieces are breaking down barriers in traditionally masculine fields. Julie is now a practicing law for the  VA in Washington, DC.   Ivy and Eden are enrolled in honors pharmaceutical and law programs where girls are outnumbered four to one (as they often are in science, technology, engineering, and math).   Alice & Quinn are too young to demonstrate their intellectual prowess, but nevertheless, every day they demonstrate that they are gritty as well as pretty.

This is a list of the top 10 Girl Power Albums in alphabetical order.

Pick your favorite top 3 and guess what 3 National Public Radio selected as the greatest albums.  The answers are below, but pick you favorite first.  You can email it to ati@aticourses.com.  We will post your votes.

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black (Island, 2006)

Aretha Franklin
I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You (Atlantic, 1967)

Beyoncé
Lemonade (Parkwood/Columbia, 2016)

Carole King

  1. Tapestry(Ode, 1971)

Janis Joplin
Pearl (Columbia, 1971)

Joni Mitchell
Blue (Reprise, 1971)

 Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1998)

 Missy Elliott
Supa Dupa Fly (The Goldmind/Elektra, 1997)

Nina Simone
I Put A Spell on You (Philips, 1965)

Patti Smith
Horses (Arista, 1975)

Lastly, this female empowerment playlist is a shout-out to women like my mother and sister-in-law who have assumed care giving roles.  Unless you’ve walked in those shoes or witnessed the work that goes into such care taking, it’s hard to truly appreciate the investment of time, resources, and emotional energy.

Why not make a custom album list to encourage the special women in your life — or yourself — to keep being brave, strong, and fighting

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the good fight?

 


10. Carole King
Tapestry (Ode, 1971)

With Tapestry, Carole King cemented her place as one of the key architects of 20th-century popular music. Here, she fully claims the spotlight, not only as a top-notch composer, but as a deeply soulful lyricist and singer.


9. Amy Winehouse
Back To Black (Island, 2006)

The late ’00s saw an explosive, cross-genre revival of retro-sounding soul music that continues to shape the pop landscape to this day. Arguably, that trend’s catalyst was Amy Winehouse‘s earth-shaking final album.


8. Janis Joplin
Pearl (Columbia, 1971)

One of rock’s most misunderstood artists, Janis Joplinwas often portrayed as victim, a dysfunctional mess who only fronted a band, who didn’t have the power to call the shots. Until Pearl. In 1971, with Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and Festival Express behind her, the vision of blues, rock and soul coming together with a band that could follow her was realized. It was her high point, and tragically, she didn’t live to see it. Janis had put the band together — saying “it’s my band, it’s finally my band” — and approved all the songs. (It was unusual at the time for a female artist to actually have that control, the very reason we need this list.)


7. Patti Smith
Horses (Arista, 1975)

The very nature of Patti Smith‘s debut album Horsesrails against what many other “best of” albums are celebrated for — broad appeal, sonically pleasing aesthetics and hits. Horses is confrontational, defiant and completely unafraid of the ugly.


6. Beyoncé
Lemonade (Parkwood/Columbia, 2016)

One of the most recent projects to be part of our new canon, Lemonade is a masterful excursion through terrains at once visually fantastical and emotionally all too real, exploring shattered trust in a broken relationship; the singular pain borne by the mothers of men like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown; the battering down of black women throughout history; the scars of all of these kinds of trauma; white-hot rage and hopeful, though not blind, reconciliation.


5. Missy Elliott
Supa Dupa Fly (The Goldmind/Elektra, 1997)

This album dismantled the hip-hop boy’s club. For the first time in history a woman rapped, sang, wrote and produced every song on a major rap release. Within the first sounds that we hear, Missy Elliott invites you to become engulfed with the undeniable Virginia-based funk, a region that’s equally Southern and Eastern, through aquatic synth sounds paired with earthy drum patterns.


4. Aretha Franklin
I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You (Atlantic, 1967)

In the universe of popular music, this album exploded like a brand new sun. It took Aretha Franklin eleven songs to shift the canon of AM radio away from the realm of girlish glee to the cataclysms of womanly love. I Never Loved a Man connected with black and white audiences and became the biggest commercial success of her building career.


3. Nina Simone
I Put A Spell on You (Philips, 1965)

Nina Simone knew her own power. Not only did she cover the song “I Put A Spell on You,” but she also used it as the title of her autobiography. The song, originally released in 1956 by Jay Hawkins, cemented his “Screamin” moniker. But in Simone’s hands, it became something more, a kind of simmering sorcery.


2. Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1998)

The Fugees struck gold in the late 1990s with albums like The Score, a feat that also made their resident wordsmith, Lauryn Hill, a household nameBut when Hill went out on her own two years later and dropped her debut, the neo-soul masterpiece The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she schooled everyone all over again in new and necessary ways.


1. Joni Mitchell
Blue (Reprise, 1971)

After nearly fifty years, Blue remains the clearest and most animated musical map to the new world that women traced, sometimes invisibly, within their daily lives in the aftermath of the utopian, dream-crushing 1960s. It is a record full of love songs, of sad songs; but more than that, it is a compendium of reasonable demands that too many men in too many women’s lives heard, in 1971, as pipe dreams or outrageous follies.

List of top in count-down order.

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