VA – Respect: A Century of Women in Music [5CD Box Set] (1999)

Posted by Green on July 6, 2020as

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Rhino’s five-disc box set Respect: A Century of Women in Music was surely assembled with the best of intentions, but it doesn’t quite work. First of all, any collection that focuses solely on “the female contribution” comes off as a little condescending, no matter how good the intentions are. Still, the concept has enough weight to make for at least an interesting listen. However, any compilation that spans nearly 100 years and every conceivable popular musical genre is bound not only to be incomplete, but too sweeping to be totally effective. The scope is impressive, as are the featured artists — think of any major female musician and they’re likely to be here, unless it’s Joni Mitchell (Kim Gordon and Kim Deal are also missing, as are several other similarly minded post-punk rockers and various pop and folk singer/songwriters, but no omission is as shocking as Mitchell’s) — but the overall effect is somewhat bewildering. Possibly that’s because the post-Beatles selections aren’t always spot-on — Patti Smith is represented by “People Have the Power” instead of any of her classic ’70s work; Liz Phair’s “Polyester Bride” is here instead of anything from Exile in Guyville; Fleetwood Mac is represented by Christine McVie rather than Stevie Nicks; and “Legs” is an odd choice for PJ Harvey — but Respect is ultimately undone because it bites off way more than it can chew. The first couple of discs work because, in a weird way, they’re working within their limitations — there’s a fairly distinct canon and not as many recordings to sample — but toward the end of disc two, the omissions, strange choices, and weird genre juxtapositions start to make themselves noticed. Make no mistake, there’s plenty of great music here, and for complete novices it will function as an introduction to some wonderful musicians. But as a historical document, Respect is too scattershot to instruct, and as a listening experience it’s too exhausting to absorb.

 

Disc 1: Broadway, Blues and Truth
1. Ada Jones – By the Light of the Silvery Moon (02:20)
2. Sophie Tucker – Some of These Days (04:14)
3. Alma Gluck – Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (04:45)
4. Anna Chandler – She’s Good Enough to be Your Baby’s Mother and She’s Good Enough to Vote with You (03:24)
5. Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds – Crazy Blues (03:24)
6. Marion Harris – I’m a Jazz Vampire (03:11)
7. Fanny Brice – My Man (Mon homme) (03:37)
8. Roba Stanley – Devilish Mary (03:01)
9. Marian Anderson – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (02:35)
10. Ma Rainey – See See Rider Blues (03:14)
11. Alberta Hunter – Beale Street Blues (03:16)
12. The Carter Family – Single Girl, Married Girl (02:46)
13. Helen Kane – I Wanna Be Loved by You (02:53)
14. Joan Crawford and MGM Studio Chorus – Gotta Feelin’ for You (02:41)
15. Ruth Etting – Love Me or Leave Me (03:21)
16. Bessie Smith – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (03:02)
17. Ethel Waters – Am I Blue? (03:19)
18. Adelyne Hood and Vernon Dalhart – Calamity Jane (From the West) (03:16)
19. Aunt Molly Jackson – Kentucky Miner’s Wife (Ragged Hungry Blues), Parts 1 & 2 (05:33)
20. The Girls of the Golden West – Bucking Broncho (My Love Is a Rider) (02:33)
21. Kate Smith – When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain (04:19)
22. Mae West – I Like a Guy What Takes His Time (02:47)
23. Ethel Merman – You’re the Top (02:54)

Disc 2: Torch, Twang, and Swing
1. Patsy Montana with The Prairie Ramblers – I Wanna Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart (03:09)
2. The Coon Creek Girls – Pretty Polly (02:50)
3. Judy Garland – Over the Rainbow (02:48)
4. Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb – A-Tisket, A-Tasket (03:17)
5. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit (03:13)
6. Memphis Minnie – Me and My Chauffeur Blues (02:46)
7. The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen and His Orchestra – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (03:06)
8. Gene Krupa and His Orchestra with Anita O’Day and Roy Eldridge – Let Me Off Uptown (03:03)
9. Lena Horne with Lou Bring and His Orchestra – Stormy Weather (03:23)
10. Doris Day with Les Brown and His Orchestra – Sentimental Journey (03:44)
11. Mahalia Jackson – Move on Up a Little Higher (03:00)
12. Carmen Miranda – Cuanto le gusta (02:09)
13. Dinah Shore and Her Happy Valley Boys – Buttons and Bows (02:04)
14. Maddox Brothers & Rose – Philadelphia Lawyer (03:12)
15. Sarah Vaughan – Black Coffee (03:18)
16. Martha Carson – Satisfied (02:37)
17. Patti Page with Jack Rael and Orchestra – The Tennessee Waltz (03:25)
18. Rosemary Clooney – Come on-a My House (02:00)
19. Kitty Wells – It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (02:32)
20. Ruth Brown – (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean (02:58)
21. Teresa Brewer – Ricochet (Rick-O-Shay) (02:42)
22. Debbie Reynolds with Orchestra directed by Joseph Gershenson – Tammy (03:08)
23. Dinah Washington – Big Long Slidin’ Thing (02:58)
24. LaVern Baker – Tweedlee Dee (03:10)
25. Etta James and The Peaches – The Wallflower (02:59)
26. Janis Martin – My Boy Elvis (02:08)
27. Patsy Cline – Walkin’ After Midnight (02:34)

Disc 3: Shoop-Shoop, Motown, Get Down, Sister
1. The Chantels – Maybe (02:54)
2. Peggy Lee with Jack Marshall’s Music – Fever (03:45)
3. Wanda Jackson – Funnel of Love (02:08)
4. The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (02:43)
5. Brenda Lee – Sweet Nothin’s (03:16)
6. Martha and The Vandellas – (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave (02:47)
7. Barbara Lewis – Hello Stranger (02:42)
8. Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me (02:31)
9. Buffy Sainte-Marie – The Universal Soldier (02:18)
10. Mary Wells – My Guy (02:50)
11. The Shangri‐Las – Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand) (02:20)
12. The Marvelettes – Too Many Fish in the Sea (02:29)
13. Aretha Franklin – Respect (02:24)
14. Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man (02:31)
15. Diana Ross & The Supremes – Love Child (03:03)
16. Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love (02:59)
17. Laura Nyro – Stoned Soul Picnic (04:19)
18. Judy Collins – Both Sides Now (03:16)
19. Nina Simone – To Be Young, Gifted and Black (02:50)
20. Ike & Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister (02:39)
21. Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman (02:47)
22. Sylvia – Pillow Talk (04:55)
23. The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There (03:17)
24. Carly Simon – You’re So Vain (04:20)
25. Carole King – So Far Away (04:35)
26. Dolly Parton – I Will Always Love You (02:54)

Disc 4: Rock to Electric Shock
1. Janis Joplin – Move Over (03:41)
2. Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good (03:42)
3. Gladys Knight & The Pips – I’ve Got to Use My Imagination (03:48)
4. Loretta Lynn – The Pill (02:37)
5. Emmylou Harris – Boulder to Birmingham (live) (03:27)
6. Joan Baez – Diamonds & Rust (05:15)
7. Heart – Crazy on You (04:17)
8. The Runaways – I Love Playin’ with Fire (03:44)
9. Blondie – X Offender (03:12)
10. Fleetwood Mac – You Make Loving Fun (03:35)
11. Cheryl Lynn – Got to Be Real (03:44)
12. Donna Summer – She Works Hard for the Money (04:12)
13. Rickie Lee Jones – We Belong Together (05:03)
14. Joan Armatrading – Show Some Emotion (03:32)
15. The Slits – Typical Girls (03:44)
16. Laurie Anderson – It Tango (03:00)
17. Yoko Ono – Walking on Thin Ice (06:00)
18. The Go‐Go’s – Our Lips Are Sealed (02:46)
19. X‐Ray Spex – Identity (02:23)
20. The Pretenders – Precious (03:36)

Disc 5: Hip-Hop, Pop, and Passion
1. Bangles – Hero Takes a Fall (02:54)
2. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (05:00)
3. Cyndi Lauper – She Bop (03:43)
4. Roxanne Shanté – Roxanne’s Revenge (street version) (04:22)
5. Salt‐N‐Pepa – Tramp (03:33)
6. Queen Latifah feat. Monie Love – Ladies First (04:28)
7. Patti Smith – People Have the Power (05:09)
8. Bonnie Raitt – Thing Called Love (03:50)
9. Lucinda Williams – Passionate Kisses (02:39)
10. Sinéad O’Connor – The Emperor’s New Clothes (06:08)
11. Tori Amos – Silent All These Years (04:13)
12. k.d. lang – Constant Craving (04:38)
13. Rosanne Cash – The Wheel (04:21)
14. Sarah McLachlan – Possession (04:40)
15. PJ Harvey – Legs (04:44)
16. Ani DiFranco – 32 Flavors (06:10)
17. Paula Cole – Where Have All the Cowboys Gone (04:27)
18. Liz Phair – Polyester Bride (04:05)

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