NPR logo Where Are The Women, Esquire?

Where Are The Women, Esquire?

Oh, Esquire. We have such a love-hate relationship, and right now, things are rocky with us. Today I clicked on your list, "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." As I scrolled through the covers and description, I nodded, made a few notes, and somewhere around #20, I started to wonder.

Where are the women?

In 75 albums, you feature only one by a woman: Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville. Of course, I wholeheartedly support its inclusion — if CDs wore out like tapes, I'd be on my second or third copy of Guyville by now. But seriously? Other than that, you've got Ike & Tina Turner, and a Luna record with a bonus track that features Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier. Not good enough, Esquire. So what are you really saying with this list? Either, that women aren't making much of anything you deem essential, or that men can't handle music written and/or performed by women. Maybe there's another reading and I'm just too riled up to see it, but rather than continue to excoriate Esquire, let's move forward: What albums by women would you put on a list of 75 essential albums? I'll get the ball rolling with Patsy Cline's Showcase, Nina Simone Sings the Blues, and Feist's The Reminder. Which women would make your list?

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