Girls Like Us: The Women of the 70s Rate (TONIGHT, 10PM BST) | Page 6 | The Popjustice Forum

Girls Like Us: The Women of the 70s Rate (TONIGHT, 10PM BST)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Lila, Jun 10, 2019.


Which is your favourite album here?

  1. Blue - Joni Mitchell

    9 vote(s)
  2. Between the Lines - Janis Ian

    2 vote(s)
  3. New York Tendaberry - Laura Nyro

    1 vote(s)
  4. Tapestry - Carole King

    9 vote(s)
  1. Good news, I sacrificed the P!nk Rate so that I can give this my proper attention. Will try to catch up on the writeups this weekend.
  2. I almost include some Rickie Lee Jones here but decided not too because it feels more of the next generation of women, who were influenced by Joni etc. She will be featured in my next “The Women Who Didn’t Make It” post though! I hope you’ll vote to support Blue.

    You know how happy I am to have you!
  3. Oh she’d roast you for that comment. Rickie and Joni have exchanged a few barbs over the years. Usually instigated by Rickie to be fair.
    Trouble in Paradise and Lila like this.
  4. I’m not actually a big fan of Rickie so I didn’t know that! I meant it more abstractedly in the sense that the generation of Joni/Carole/Laura etc broke down a lot of doors to enable Rickie/Bonnie Raitt and so on in the 80s.
    soratami and Trouble in Paradise like this.
  5. @Lila will there be more "the ones who didn't make it"-interludes?

    I have plenty of incredible artists within this genre I want to recommend in this thread, but also don't want to be presumptuous and steal them away from you if you have anything planned!
  6. I have one more planned but I’d be so happy to have you do one!! Send me a PM and we can talk about it.
    soratami and Trouble in Paradise like this.
  7. Interesting write-up! I really know very little about them, so this great.
  8. Their debut album, which both of their tracks here are from, is absolutely stunning. They were in my top 50 for Ultimate Popstars but just missed out.
    soratami and pop3blow2 like this.
  9. Will give this one a shot.
    soratami, Maki and Lila like this.
  10. I’m unexpectedly doing an extra week at work from the 15th, so you may all get an early extension to at least the 19th and possibly the 21st.
  11. Good gawd, it's so easy to take Tapestry for granted for a lot of reasons (popularity, airplay, etc) , but listening to it this morning & still remained floored.

    I would've gotten in my scores before the first deadline, but this extension helps me not feel so rushed for sure... and lets me add some more commentary!
  12. Tapestry is an interesting one for me because it has some of my favourite songs here but also two of the only songs I don’t really care for. I’m curious to see how they fare overall.
    soratami and Maki like this.
  13. Both "Tapestry" and "Blue" have grown on me since the initial few listens, but I'm still disappointed that they aren't for me.
    "Tapestry" has highs and lows and is pretty inconsistent. "Blue", on the other hand, is much more cohesive, but lacks highlights that "Tapestry" has.

    Can't wait to hear "Between the Lines", the description of the album and my intuition suggest that it's going to be my favorite album out of the four.
    soratami and Lila like this.
  14. I've officially extended the deadline to July 21st, so you all have an extra nine days to get your vote in!
  15. I will 100% be voting but will also 99% be sending in scores on July 21st!
  16. I’m in GMT so really you have until I wake up on the 22nd!
  17. Not anymore! I really loved that album. Not only are the lyrics beautiful, but I love how warm and rich the music sounds. Parts of it really reminded me a lot of ABBA's more melancholic moments.

    Your write-ups continue to be fantastic by the way. I should still send my ballot this week.
    Music Is Life, Filippa, Lila and 2 others like this.
  18. That’s such an interesting comparison! The title track in particular would probably slot in really well on The Visitors.

    I’ve got a little behind on the write ups but I’m going to try and get two out tomorrow, since they’re a bit shorter now.
  19. Should have a Judee Sill post up tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest! In the meantime, here are some selections from my record collection by artists who are either in the rate or who I’ve mentioned so far.

  20. Better late than never?

    FYC #6


    Judee Sill

    Songs in the rate:
    Jesus Was A Cross Maker
    The Kiss

    Judee Sill only recorded two albums in her lifetime. That’s a somewhat surprising fact considering the prestige that surrounded her music – she was David Geffen’s personal prodigy, the first artist he signed to Asylum when he established it in 1971. She was there even before Joni, who is maybe the artist in this rate most associated with Geffen (largely thanks to Free Man in Paris). Her music was also critically acclaimed, especially Heart Food, which was released in 1973. There is no doubt that her albums are folk records, but they’re imbued with a Christian sensibility and constructed using techniques she learned from gospel music – her use of vocal layering to create a choral effect gives all of her songs a unique sensuality and a closeness unlike anything else being produced at the time. In songs like The Donor, an incredibly dour 8 minute mini-masterpiece, encompassing prayers, the 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley and Rosicrucianism, she was doing things no one else has dared try since – namely staring an abyss in the face and calling for redemption anyway. When she played it for a BBC Radio audience in 1972, she prefaced it with this statement:

    “Most of my songs, I always try to write them so they’ll make people feel better, or make them feel that their warm, human spirit is affirmed… but I thought one day when I was depressed, you know when you’re real depressed and you see everything comes to nothing, well, I thought, maybe I ought to take a different approach, and write a song that, instead of directed at people, would somehow musically induce God into giving us all a break, cause I was getting a little fed up by this point. So I put some combinations of notes in there that I worked on a long time hoping it would work… since that time I’ve decided that I shouldn’t get any more breaks, cause I already squandered them in weird places. But I’d like to sing this song for you in the hope that you’ll get a break.”

    Despite Geffen’s favour (at least for a time…) and the incredible nature of her talent, she had no commercial success and this, combined with the problems of her personal life, led to her having almost completely abandoned music by the time she died at 35 in 1979. At that point, she was living in such total obscurity that many of her friends and acquaintances did not know she had died until years later.

    Judee Sill had a tumultuous childhood, not unlike Dory Previn. Her father died when she was small, and her mother remarried an abusive alcoholic who owned a bar, where she first learned to play the piano. In protest of her step-father’s treatment of her, she left home at 15 and fell in love with a thief with whom she began to undertake a series of Bonnie and Clyde-esque robberies of small businesses. Much of the stolen money went to fund her burgeoning heroin habit. Upon being caught, she was sent to a reform school in 1963 where she learnt to play the organ, became familiar with gospel music and found Christ. Judee’s religion is an interesting topic – there are songs on her albums that are explicitly religious, such as The Lamb Ran Away with the Crown, but she never made ‘Christian rock’ as such and, in her own words, Jesus was “my vision of my animus”, an elusive lover she never met. After leaving the reform school, her heroin addiction resurfaced and she ultimately turned to prostitution, leading to a stint in jail where, through withdrawal, she managed to get clean.

    It was at this point that she met David Geffen. Geffen was still a relatively small agent whose biggest success had been in Laura Nyro’s early pop hits. He was also gay, although still closeted. Judee herself was bisexual and had relationships with men and women throughout her life – the advance Geffen gave her for her first album went towards a house, which became a hub for her gay female fans. There are many stories about people visiting Judee in this first flush of success and finding themselves surrounded by naked women sunbathing, whilst Judee gave interviews to Rolling Stone by a pool (what a way to live!). Her relationship with David was interesting – she saw him as her knight in shining armour and was, in all likelihood, in love with him. The fact she was the first person he signed made her feel special and it was the fact that she felt their connection so deeply that made the commercial failure of her records, and what she perceived as his lack of interest in her work, more difficult. She referred to him as a “ruthless businessman” in her 1972 Rolling Stone interview, and, after the release of Heart Food, effectively outed him in a radio interview out of frustration with his treatment of her. He dropped her from the label and never spoke to her again, effectively ending her career. What Judee did to David was unforgivable, and there is no way to dispute that (the actual remark that she made was a slur). However, she had begun to take heroin again, and her behaviour at large had become increasingly erratic. It’s not an excuse for what she said, of course, but it’s important context for the moment in her life at which it occurred. David came out publicly in 1992, by which point Judee had been dead for 13 years.

    No one really knows what Judee did for the rest of the 1970s. By some accounts, she became more and more obsessed with the occult and freemasonry. Her drug use increased, some have said as a result of what she did to David. She became a victim of sexual assault whilst living in a trailer park. She had a multitude of car accidents, which she was unable to get legal painkillers for because of her criminal record. It’s even unknown whether her death was a suicide or not. I included Judee in this rate because her music is phenomenally beautiful, but also because too many people have still never heard of her. Her records were reissued in 2005, but she remains obscure, never having got the credit received by later Asylum Records signings. She was not a perfect person, but she had an enormous amount of empathy for those who suffered, and her own suffering made her perhaps more adept than anyone to reach out to them. Her albums are beautiful and like nothing else from the period; I can't wait to give her songs the spotlight they're due in their own write-ups.

    Further Listening/Viewing

    The live performance of The Donor where she said the explanation I included above

    Lady-O, which was originally recorded by The Turtles in 1969 during her short stint as a songwriter for hire

    A last minute cut from the rate

    Mama Cass sings Jesus Was A Cross Maker
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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