On the long and lonely drive to work this morning, I listened to a CD that contained a lot of songs (albeit unintentionally) by bands with female vocalists and found myself mulling over the best – or at least my favourite – female singer. Obviously there are so many types of music, so many types of singer and the choice is going to be subjective enough to change pretty much every day of the week depending on my mood (which is usually “grumpy” at 5:30am).
From times gone by, I love people like Judith Durham of The Seekers, France Gall and Mama Cass Elliott – the last-named was the stronger of the female singers in the Mamas and the Papas, but it would unfair not to mention Michelle Phillips who was as stunningly attractive as Mama Cass had a great voice. My guilty pleasure, France Gall’s “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” was on the CD, but the rest of the songs were more up-to-date... well from the 1980s and beyond.
If I were to choose between a solo singer or a band vocalist, my musical taste would normally lean towards the latter, but probably a sound that was softer than rock... if that makes sense. At the “rocky” end of the scale, Jenn Cherene of The Karma Heart has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard –quite how the band aren’t better known is a mystery to me. Adalita Srsen of the Aussie band Magic Dirt would be high up on my list too as would Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries – very reminiscent of Bo Bruce... or should that be vice versa?
I’ve been listening to a load of oldies by The Go-Go’s recently and I like Belinda Carlisle’s voice, but the cheesy solo pop hits rule her out of contention for any award – even if the “award” is such is both intangible and meaningless in the scheme of things. That said, “Head Over Heels” is a belting tune. And if you liked The Primitives towards the end of the 80s, then please try and listen to a song or two by The Flatmates – Debbie Haynes’ band were less commercial perhaps, but better for it and their brilliant single “Shimmer” was also on the CD.
But today, out of so many worthy candidates, the winner should actually read “winners” because the ladies concerned are Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson from the band Lush (it’s them in the picture). I downloaded an acoustic version of “Kiss Chase” over the weekend and their combined voices have almost a dreamy, ethereal quality to them – perfect for the sleep I wish I’d been having as the clock struck six...
All my own work... almost.