I’ve only just caught up with The Daily Telegraph’s list of the 60 greatest female singer-songwriters of all time (well, if they will publish in December when there’s so much else going on…) There’s nothing like a list for stirring up controversy but this time, with Joni Mitchell headlining and Kate Bush in second place, there’s not much for me to argue with.
Okay, on my list, Joan Armatrading would have been number 3 with Tracey Chapman, Sade and KT Tunstall ranked much, much higher than they are. But that’s nitpicking
Just reading down the names, I’m reminded of how all these women have said something so important, so memorable, so gut-wrenchingly appropriate about what it is like to be female that any one of them deserves a place in literary, as well as musical, history. These women are the poets of our time and if ever I came to write an autobiography, every bit of it could be framed within their phrasing.
By the way, I’m blown away to see that this March in my old hometown (Wellington, New Zealand) Joni Mitchell songs feature in what sounds like a fabulous homage: Both Sides Now – part of the 2016 New Zealand Festival.