Melissa Etheridge was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, the younger of two girls of Elizabeth (Williamson), a computer consultant, and John Etheridge, an American Constitution teacher at Leavenworth High School. She attended David Brewer School, which is still located at 17th and Osage Streets. She graduated in 1979 from Leavenworth High School (LHS) at 10th Avenue and Halderman. Etheridge was a member of the first “Power and Life” musical/dance group at LHS. Her childhood home was at 1902 Miami Street.
Etheridge’s interest in music began early; she picked up her first guitar at 8. She began to play in all-men country music groups throughout her teenage years, until she moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music.
While at Berklee, Etheridge played the club circuit around Boston. After three semesters, Etheridge decided to drop out of Berklee and head to Los Angeles to attempt a career in music. Etheridge was discovered in a bar called Vermie’s in Pasadena, CA. She had made some friends on a women’s soccer team and those new friends came to see her play. One of the women was Karla Leopold, whose husband, Bill Leopold, was a manager in the music business. Karla convinced Bill to see her perform live. He was impressed, and has remained a pivotal part of Etheridge’s career ever since. This, in addition to her gigs in lesbian bars around Los Angeles, led to her discovery by Island Records chief Chris Blackwell. She received a publishing deal to write songs for movies including the 1986 movie Weeds.
In 1985, prior to her signing, Etheridge sent her demo to Olivia Records, a lesbian record label, but was ultimately rejected. She saved the rejection letter, signed by “the women of Olivia”, which was later featured in Intimate Portrait: Melissa Etheridge, the Lifetime Television documentary of her life.
After an unreleased first effort that was rejected by Island Records as being too polished and glossy, she completed her stripped-down self-titled debut in just four days. Her eponymous debut album Melissa Etheridge, released in 1988, was an underground hit, and the single, “Bring Me Some Water”, a turntable hit, was nominated for a Grammy.
At the time of the album’s release, it was not generally known that Etheridge was a lesbian. While on the road promoting the album, she paused in Memphis, Tennessee, to be interviewed for the radio syndication, Pulsebeat—Voice of the Heartland, explaining the intensity of her music by saying: “People think I’m really sad—or really angry. But my songs are written about the conflicts I have…I have no anger toward anyone else.” She invited the radio syndication producer to attend her concert that night. He did and was surprised to find himself one of the few men in attendance. (by wikipedia)
And here´this great debutalbum … :
This was one of the most stunning debut albums of the 1980s. Given the domination of synthesizer pop on the radio, Melissa Etheridge was a breath of fresh air when she burst out of the gate with this roots rock album sung with a sensitive bravado often compared to Janis Joplin. Although the passionate vocal deliveries are similar, the comparisons end there: Etheridge is a Midwesterner who was clearly influenced by classic rock artists such as Bruce Springsteen and John Cougar Mellencamp. The main theme explored is the emotional complexity of relationships, and throughout the album she sings about the hunger for affection, the pain of unrequited love, and the fire of obsessive romance. While the limited scope of the songwriting requires the listener to enter her world and exorcise the demons of relationships past, the album is full of infectious, up-tempo songs that propel the album forward. Etheridge’s true talent, however, is reconciling uncontrollable emotions such as jealousy with a strong and fiercely independent spirit (“Similar Features,” “Like the Way I Do”). Perhaps that’s why Etheridge became a role model for a generation of young women who found her to be an uncompromising artist unafraid to expose (and celebrate) her strengths and weaknesses. This is a fine introduction to Melissa Etheridge, and it is one of her most enjoyable albums. (by Vik Iyengar)
Oh yes … a string debut album by a strong woman ! Listen !
The two singles from this album;
Wally Badarou (keyboards)
Melissa Etheridge (guitar, vocals)
Craig Krampf (drums, percussion)
Kevin McCormick (bass)
Johnny Lee Schell (guitar)
Scott Thurston (keyboards)
Waddy Wachtel (guitar)
01. Similar Features 4.42
02. Chrome Plated Heart 3.59
03. Like The Way I Do 5.23
04. Precious Pain 4.15
05. Don’t You Need 4.59
06. The Late September Dogs 6.33
07. Occasionally 2.36
08. Watching You 5.33
07. Bring Me Some Water 3.52
08. I Want You 4.07
All songs written by Melissa Etheridge