Top Five Girl Bands

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

First off, and to define terms, I am not talking about girl groups (like The Crystals, The Ronettes and The Spice Girls) nor about female centric or female fronted groups (like The B-52’s, Heart or The Dixie Chicks).  I am talking about bands where all the  music is made by women.  Second, strange how it is okay to reference “girl bands” but not okay to refer to the individual band members as “girls”, unless of course they actually are girls.

The girl band was initially popular in the 1930’s and more or less faded away until the 1960’s.  Interesting that they are still somewhat unusual, since neither music in general nor rock in particular have proven to be an exclusive male domain, at least from a performer’s point of view.

My list is an eclectic one, both in terms of timeline and style.  I hope you find something here you like.

Next week:  Top Five Singing Drummers

1. The Pleasure Seekers

The Pleasure Seekers were formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1964 by sisters Patti and Suzi Quattro, who were 15 and 17 respectively.  The Pleasure Seekers morphed into Cradle, which had a far harder sound.  Suzi attained far greater success as a solo act, particularly in Europe.  She also made her mark in television playing Pinky Tuscadero in “Happy Days”.  I saw Suzi once, in the mid 1970’s, opening for Alice Cooper.  I was 18 and I liked it, to paraphrase Alice.

2. The’s

The’s are a rock/punk/surf band formed by another pair of sisters, Sachika and Yoshima “Ronnie” Fujiyama.  Created in Japan in about 1986, their first real commercial introduction to North America was when they appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 “Kill Bill Vol. 1”, performing “I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield”.  The clip is from the film and is guaranteed to make you tap your toes and smile.  So don’t resist.

3. The Go-Go’s

I recently acquired some 600 albums from a friend who was divesting himself of his vinyl collection.  Included were a couple albums from The Go-Go’s, whom I will confess have not been in heavy rotation at La Casa di Tweedy.  I have been missing out.  Power pop so pure Nick Lowe should be receiving credit in the liner notes.  This gem is from 1981.  Enjoy yourself and thank me later.

4. Vixen

Although from St. Paul Minnesota, Vixen are more often associated with 80’s LA glam metal.  The list of personnel who has played in this band over the years runs the length of an NFL roster, and they still seem to resurrect from time to time.  This clip was a legitimate hit for them so get out your Bics.  Just don’t get to close to the hair.

5. The Runaways

Formed in 1975 by drummer Sandy West and guitarist Joan Jett, this band was another which enjoyed much greater success abroad, primarily in Japan where they became chart leaders.  Joan Jett of course went on to front the Blackhearts and even had a Gibson signature guitar, but this is where she started, before the band dissolved in a sea of acrimony.

  1. Eleri Glass says:

    hey Mark! this is an awesome website. will have to peruse more when i have time and ponder such excellent questions! Eleri

  2. Eleri Glass says:

    thinking of seeing beth orton at the venue but scared that the venue is a suck ass granville pimp/ho bar….mixed reports!

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