The 75 Albums Every Woman Should Own

By Michelle Tilley

Yesterday Esquire published a list of 75 Albums Every Man Should Own. Now, I’m fond of a good listicle as much as the next person, but this list kind of bugged me. It was pejorative and dull and almost entirely devoid of female artists. Which, around here anyway, is just not on.

I sent out an email to all the BitchBuzz bloggers asking for suggestions for an article that was to be entitled “Albums Every Woman Should Own” - a list that celebrated female artists, reflected female tastes and included albums people actually listen to rather than buying only to have them sit in a box in the attic gathering dust or to congratulate themselves when list like these are published in magazines.

We hit a bit of a (transatlantic) roadblock.

Should it be all female artists? Should it be classic, genre-shaping tracks by the industry most talented stars? Should we acknowledge the record breakers? Or should it just be stuff we like?

I decided our list would be all of the above and more.

It would celebrate female talent. It would celebrate female taste. It would acknowledge the mainstream and the eclectic. It would be include albums to dance to, to cry to, to….y’know to. It would be the music that is the soundtrack to our lives, that we actually listen to and that we think is good.

And so, without any further ado, here it is:

BitchBuzz's List of the 75 Albums Every Woman Should Own:

Fink - Biscuits For Breakfast

Portishead - Dummy

Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland

Kosheen - Resist

Basement Jaxx - Rooty

Bloc Party - Intimacy

Stereophonics - Language. Sex. Violence. Other

KOL - Only By The Night

Roisin Murphy - Overpowered

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication

Lily Allen - Alright Still

Amy Winehosue - Back to Black

Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself

Britney Spears - Baby One More Time

Hole - Live Through This

Sleeper - Sale of The Century

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Ani DiFranco - Dilate

Fiona Apple - When The Pawn...

Lauren Hill - The Miseducation of Lauren Hill

Goldfrapp - Black Cherry

Indigo Girls - Rites of Passage or Swamp Ophelia

Sleater Kinney - All Hands on The Bad One

Bikini Kill - Reject All American

The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control

Joan Jett - Bad Reputation

Le Tigre - This Island

Helen Reddy - I Am Woman

The Clash - London Calling

Madonna - The Immaculate Collection

David Bowie - Changes

The Ramones - End of the Century

The Pixies - Doolittle

The Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

Annie Lennox - Songs of Mass Destruction

Aretha Franklin - The Very Best of Aretha Franklin

Alanis Morissette - Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

Laura Marling - Alas, I Cannot Swim

Joni Mitchell - Blu

Eels - Beautiful Freak

Pearl Jam - No Code

Stephanie Dosen - Lily of the Spectre

PJ Harvey - White Chalk

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Beck - Sea Change

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

Laura Viers - Year of Meteors

Cat Stevens - Teaser and the Firecat

Suzanne Vega - Standing Solitude

Etta James - The Best of Etta James: The Chess Singles

Nick Cave - The Boatman's Call

Kate Bush - Lionheart

Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold

Spice Girls - Spiceworld

Christina Aguilera - Stripped

The Smiths- The Queen Is Dead

R.E.M.- Murmur

U2- The Joshua Tree

Gram Parsons- Grievous Angel

The Byrds- Fifth Dimension

The Replacements- Tim

Erykah Badu's Baduizm

Missy Elliot - Miss E….So Addictive

John Legend -  Get Lifted

Tina Turner - Best Of…..

Beyoncé - Dangerously in Love

Tori Amos - Strange Little Girls

Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way

No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom

Bjork - Vespertine

I’m almost afraid to ask - but can you think of any we’ve missed?

Tue, 10 Mar 2009 16:00 (GMT+00)
10 Responses

Sarah McLachlan...Fumbling Towards Ecstasy??

Tue, 10-Mar-2009 17:36 GMT

Amy Winehouse - Frank

Tue, 10-Mar-2009 20:34 GMT

Great list, I know this was discussed, but deffinately think there should be room for Alanis - Jagged Little Pill, I know its an obvious choice, but then again so is spiceworld.

Tue, 10-Mar-2009 21:56 GMT

Fucking fantastic list! Well done.

Also...Cake Like - Goodbye, So What?

rosina rubylips
Wed, 11-Mar-2009 02:39 GMT


Hanson - The Middle of Nowhere

Nsync - Celebrity

Garth Brooks - Rope in the Wind

...KIDDING. KIDDING. (Although these would be on my own personal list because I'm awful.)

Wed, 11-Mar-2009 09:54 GMT

Love the list. I think it may inspire some new purchases... and I'll be adding No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom to my iPod nano when I get home :-)

Lori Smith
Wed, 11-Mar-2009 10:52 GMT

Great list, except i don't understand the pick for Tori Amos. Strange Little Girls?? Really? Its one of her worst albums; it lacks so much of the creativity, originality, and pure grrl power of some of her others. Obviously, they are cover songs, after all. Def. Boys for Pele or Little Earthquakes is a better pick for its influence and inspiration to women!!

Thu, 12-Mar-2009 19:25 GMT

Thank you for not excluding the boys from your list! I feel like this really is a comprehensive list of good music, not just "for the girls" OR "for the guys". Thanks!

Sat, 14-Mar-2009 23:29 GMT

Some shockers on that list I have to say and bit too much pop from the last few years at the expense of some good stuff. I prefer Empire's list to be honest - more varied in terms of genre and chronology and somewhat better taste. And I really cannot believe you left Patti Smith out. That's shameful, imo!

Mon, 16-Mar-2009 21:48 GMT

patti smyth, april march, the shangri-las.

Sun, 28-Mar-2010 17:09 GMT

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