I was driving in the car with my wife yesterday when a song from Paramore came on. She seemed surprised to learn that I not only knew who they were, but that I really like rock groups with female leads. I didn’t think that was an odd thing, as there are a lot of those around, right?
Then it hit me; there aren’t anymore!
Bare with me here, because I’m not an expert on the rock music scene.
I came of age in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Sure, everyone talks about Nirvana and Foo Fighters, but during that time we also had some awesome female acts. They didn’t even have to be all female, they just had a female vocal.
- Letters to Cleo
- 4 Non Blondes
- Veruca Salt
- The Cranberries
- No Doubt (I know, not technically rock)
- Liz Phair
- The Breeders
- Meredith Brooks
- Fiona Apple
This isn’t even all of them (obviously), and it’s not that they were better than the male led bands of the time either. You were just simply more likely to turn on the radio and hear a female voice on than you are today. Taking a rather unscientific poll known as my own nostalgia, I’d say the ratio was close to 50/50 for male to female led rock groups back then.
Here’s the funny thing though, some of those groups are still playing. They’ve also been joined by The Dollyrots, Paramore, and . . . I dunno. Anyone else? I ask only because I’m not hearing them anymore on the radio. Seriously, I’m not hearing any of the female vocal powerhouses I’m used to. Morning Wood was out for a brief time, but now their lead singer has gone solo and I haven’t heard her since!
It’s not like I expect a single band to still be around after 20 years. That’d be great, but it’s not always realistic; people move on, interests change, tastes in the industry change, etc. But I guess what I want to know is why there haven’t been more acts to come up and make it big. We used to have a full concert tour known as the Lilith Fair. Yes, it was all girls. Yes, some men found that distasteful/funny/scary. But did the music scene change so much that the only music that makes it on the radio anymore is a whiny teenage girl or a whiny man-child? I’m not trying to sound like I’m against the men here, or that I think the “female movement” needs my help in the slightest.
But when did the music scene become so one-sided and dull? Bring the women back; at least they knew how to rock!