Welcome to Day Five of our #AlbumsByWomen campaign celebrating the musical achievements of women. We still have plenty to get through, and today features some fine selections, including The Slits, Betty Davis, Kate Tempest and many more. Don’t forget to visit our updated #AlbumsByWomen Spotify playlist.

Chris Greenwood (Louie Louie) : The Slits – Cut

“I was just a bit too young to be a bonafide punk, but still managed to soak up all that musical energy via John Peel on R1, who I listened to religiously & illicitly every night at boarding school. This incredible album produced by the hugely talented Dennis Bovell joined the dots between dub, reggae & punk and the DIY ethic both genres shared. When I was asked to play Brilliant Corners, I couldn’t wait to play “New Town” to hear that sound of a spoon dropping on a table!”

Emily Moxon (Brownswood Recordings) : Betty Davis – Betty Davis

“The first lady of funk – singer, songwriter, arranger, model, muse,  icon and music pioneer. Betty is often credited as the inspiration behind Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew but I feel like this narrative, and the focus on her liberated sexuality overlooks her own role as a musical innovator, and as a woman who operated independently of the established music industry structures. Her hard hitting fusing of rock and soul was ahead of its time and although this debut studio album was not a commercial success on release, its now recognised as an important landmark. Aside from her incredible raw vocal performances, the record was 100% written and arranged by her. I love the fact she has been relatively reclusive – in this age where we know so much intimate detail of people’s lives it makes her story all the more intriguing.”

Andrew Pirie (Melting Pop / Groove Line Records) : Will Powers – Dancing For Mental Health

“Music photographer Lynn Goldsmith creative output turned to producing her own in 1983 with her Will Powers guise. Dancing For Mental Health is certainly a way to achieve “Adventures in Success”!”

Alexander Milas (Twin V) : Diamanda Galas – Plague Mass

“Indescribably brutal, utterly disorientating, brilliantly bonkers – Plague Mass is pure power, pure art, and a masterpiece.”

Maria Panayi (Sony Music) : Solange – A Seat at The Table

“Unapologetically political, Solange delivers the pain and magnificence she’s experienced as a black woman in this record with beautiful truth. A Seat At The Table might be gentle sounding but is the strongest album I’ve ever heard.”

Jon Fawcett (The British Library) : Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

“Kate Tempest is astonishing. She blends the best of British culture; the urban every day and the time honoured; austerity anger and honest beauty; phenomenal beats and melodies; Shakespearean love of language and the intensity of rap.”

Jim Stanton (Horse Meat Disco) : Patti Smith Group – Easter

“Powerful and poetic Patti Smith was always my punk siren for all the forgotten. Spiritually yet always with an undercurrent of despair and anger, she’s taught me a lot about humanity. She also kicks out hard ass rock n’ roll.”

Will Horrocks (Will LV / Worldwide FM) : Les Filles de Illighadad – Eghass Malan

“Here you are! Latest album by Les Filles De Illighadad on the Sahel Sounds label…From Niger, Fatou Seidi Ghali, Alamnou Akrouni, Alamnou Akrouni make up the band and their music is a really mesmeric guitar-led sound that has developed for this second album into a more honed but still really energetic and powerful thing.”

Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group, Producer, Nuggets) : The Shaggs – Philosophy of the World

“Blending the outré and the inner, the sisters Wiggins represent the farthest reaches of music as it bends into time and space, creating its own universe.”

Andy Lineham (curator of popular music The British Library) : M.I.A. – Arular

“Fresh, confident, strident, a fabulous mix of musical styles and cultures on M.I.A.’s emphatic debut album Arular. Still sounds great 13 years on.”

Dean Meredith (Rotation Sound System) : Valerie Carter – Just A Stone’s Throw Away

“My choice is this amazing LP from Valerie carter with a crazy line up of guest players from Maurice White, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Deniece Williams etc.. It has a sublime version of ‘Ooh Child’ on there as well.”

DJ78 (DJ / Photographer) : The Unthanks – Mount The Air

“‘Sublime’ is a lovely word, which perfectly describes Mount the Air the 2015 album by The Unthanks. The tunes and songs, whilst respecting traditional roots, remains completely contemporary and Rachel and Becky’s voices intertwine and express emotion like no others I know. The use of ‘Magpie’ as a musical motif in the last series of ‘Detectorists’ on BBC TV was truly inspired. Considering they record at home and in cupboards, sonically it’s a fabulous sounding record, too!”

Dom Servini (Wah Wahs) – Nina Simone – Right On

“Probably my favourite vocalist of all time, here with an album from 1972 illustrating that Nina didn’t lose any of her fury in middle-age, and featuring the obligatory French language offering, as well as the sublime, percussion fueled live version of the 1964 classic “See-line Woman”.”

Ian Tregoning (Producer/ Remixer) : Denise La Salle – Doin’ It Right

“And not forgetting : Bebel Gilberto, Bobby Gentry, Bonnie Raitt, Carole Kaye, Chaka Khan, Etta James, Fifi Rong, Jacqueline du Pré, Julie London, M.I.A., Mimi Parker, Mo Tucker, Patti Smith, Peggy Lee, Rhonda Smith, Ruth  Underwood, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Vanessa de Mata and the brilliant Jackie Ross (check her version of ‘Summertime’).”

Andy Grove (Audio Note UK) : Anastacia – Anastacia

“I can’t remember which song from Anastacia I heard first, or what motivated me to buy it. Most probably: ‘That sounds alright, I’ll grab a copy’. My kids were small then, and our bedtime ritual included listening to music before story time, and it was in my son’s bedroom where Anastacia got the most airtime, to begin with, anyway. As it grew on me, I read about Anastacia herself, and, discovering her ordeal with cancer, having lost relatives to that illness, unlocked another layer of meaning. Songs would bring a tear (or many tears) to my eye, and still do.

My original copy got played so much the case fell apart, and the itinerant disc found itself recruited for demonstrations at HiFi shows, such as this particular instance: It was quiet day so I was ‘just playing music’, including Anastacia. Suddenly a guy confronted me and started ranting: ‘Females vocals are insufficiently expressive, they cannot properly demonstrate a HiFi system!'”

“You mean Anastacia’s vocals?” At first I tried to justify my music choice…0.3 microseconds later my pressure gauge hit the red zone and I suggested: ‘Why don’t you just f… off” instead. Which was actually more effective I think?”

Leanne Wright (DJ / Worldwide FM) : Love Joys – Reggae Vibes

“Claudette Brown and Sonia Abel were one of the few all female roots reggae groups. Reggae Vibes was written and performed by the cousins from Brixton and was originally released on Florida label, Top Ranking in 1981. It was recorded and produced at the legendary Wackies studio in New York by LLoyd Barnes and has recently been re-released by Basic Channel.  

I can remember the first time I heard this album (a blend of 80’s Lovers and roots); it was  the almost haunting vibrations of heavy roots offerings “All I Can Say”, “Stranger Get Up” and “Jah Light” that resonated. The powerful lyrics and evocative vocals – strong and sweet at the same time – hooked me from the first listen. And while Rastafarian values champion peaceful, conscious living, it’s refreshing to hear such lyrics spoken with a feminine voice.”

Kate Hutchinson (Journalist / Editor / Broadcaster): Bikini Kill – The Singles

“Bikini Kill’s The Singles was the album that taught me as a young girl that women could be uncompromising, brilliant and badass, delivering punk with lasering attitude and sticking two fingers up to the dudes. After my mother, Kathleen Hanna was my next proper hero.”

Aaron Levitt (DJ / Worldwide FM / Waella’s Choice): Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guèbru ‎– Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guèbru

“I’m currently working on a compilation with London pianists for my label Waella’s Choice, so I’m particularly drawn to other keys players at the moment. This is about as piano as it gets: 11 solo compsotions of Ethiopian devotional music. Real emotional stuff, with amazing, gold-plated artwork and comments from Emahoy on each track.  Here’s her words for my favourite on the album ‘Mother’s Love’: “Dedicated to my very dear late mother Emahoy Kasseye Yelemtou and her beloved son Leutenant Meshesha Guebrou, fallen as a victim of the Italian war. Everyone kows how mother’s love is sacrificing itself for the welfare and happiness of all children. Indeed! Mother’s heart is a fortress of love.”

Shannon Woo (Lucky Cloud Sound System) : Eliane Radigue – Trilogie de la mort

“Deep meditation using the feedback of the ARP2500 synth. Cells gently massaged throughout the body. There is no space for “I” in listening. Music flows into a river dream. Lie down. Eyes closed. Enter flow state.”

Check out Day OneDay TwoDay ThreeDay FourDay Five and Day Six featuring submissions by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, The Orb, Princess Julia, The Damned’s Captain Sensible, Robert Wyatt, DJ Marcia Carr, Dimitri from Paris, Classic Album Sundays’ hosts and more.

Listen to our #AlbumsByWomen playlist here.

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