Melissa Etheridge – Same (1988)

FrontCover1Melissa 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.[3] 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.

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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)

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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;

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Personnel:
Wally Badarou (keyboards)
Melissa Etheridge (guitar, vocals)
Craig Krampf (drums, percussion)
Kevin McCormick (bass)
Johnny Lee Schell (guitar)
Scott Thurston (keyboards)
Waddy Wachtel (guitar)

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Tracklist:
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

 

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Various Artists – Boys On The Side (OST) (1995)

FrontCover1Boys on the Side is a 1995 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross (in his final film as a director). It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore and Mary-Louise Parker as three friends on a cross-country road trip. The screenplay was written by Don Roos.

 

Three unique women embark on a cross-country road trip: Jane (Whoopi Goldberg), a lesbian lounge singer in search of a new life after breaking up with her girlfriend and getting fired; Holly (Drew Barrymore), a pregnant girl who just wants to escape her brutal boyfriend; and Robin (Mary-Louise Parker), an uptight real estate agent who has her own secrets (namely being infected with HIV).

Robin puts an ad in the newspaper that she is looking for a traveling companion to accompany her on a cross country trip to California. Jane answers the ad and agrees to join Robin after her car gets towed during their meeting. Jane and Robin leave New York City and travel through Pittsburgh to take Jane’s friend Holly to lunch. They stumble across a knock out-fight between Holly and her abusive boyfriend, Nick, over some missing drugs.

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They leave him there bound to a chair with tape after Holly hits him in the head with a bat to stop him from attacking Jane. Later, he frees himself from the chair, stumbles across the floor, falls and hits his head on the bat and dies. The three unlikely travelers then form a special friendship on their journey which sees them through ultimately tragic times.

After discovering that Nick is dead and that Holly is pregnant, the three women decide to continue across country and end up in Tucson, Arizona when Robin has to be hospitalized. They decide to stay in Tucson, hoping to start a new life. However, Jane has a secret crush on Robin, Holly falls in love with and eventually confesses to a local police officer named Abe Lincoln (Matthew McConaughey), and Robin finds the courage to face her impending death.

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Shortly after Jane and Robin have a falling out over Jane telling a friendly bartender (James Remar) who was interested in Robin that she has HIV, Holly is arrested by Abe. She is taken back to Pittsburgh to face the consequences of her actions. The return to Pittsburgh involves Robin and Jane making peace with each other on the courthouse’s “Bridge of Sighs” while the Pittsburgh Police process Holly.

A few months pass, in Tucson, Holly is free and with Abe and her daughter, which is celebration to all family and friends. Robin is now farther along with AIDS and is not expected to live much longer. The party asks Robin to sing the Roy Orbison song “You Got It” as she performed that song in a Star Search contest; though weak, she manages to sing with Jane backing her singing. In the final scene, Robin has died from AIDS as her wheelchair is now empty, Holly and Abe plan to stay in Arizona and become a family, while Jane hits the road to finally seek a life of her own.

The film’s soundtrack album is made up entirely of contributions from female pop/rock artists, including lesbian icons Melissa Etheridge (“I Take You With Me”), Joan Armatrading (“Willow”) and the Indigo Girls (“Power of Two”). Previous hit singles by Annie Lennox (“Why”) and The Cranberries (“Dreams”) are also included, as are new recordings by Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders among others. The hit single from the movie soundtrack was Bonnie Raitt’s cover of the Roy Orbison hit “You Got It”, which peaked at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. (by wikipedia)

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Boys on the Side is a collection of mainstream ’90s rock dominated by female artists, which is appropriate for the feminist nature of the film. Not all of the music is first-rate, but much of it is, particularly Bonnie Raitt’s cover of Roy Orbison’s “You Got It.” Fans of the film will find much to enjoy here, but the record doesn’t quite hold together as an individual entity. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This is just such an amazingly wonderful collection of beautiful songs, from the movie of the same title. This CD is like a warm, happy, occasionally sad, emotional journey through the eyes & hearts of some really talented women! I’m going to stockpile some more copies of this CD, as I never want to be without it! (by Mary Jo Ashleyon)

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This has always been one of my favorite CDs, given the assortment of some of the best tracks of a series of female artists. Recently on a trip out west I inadvertently left the CD playing when my daughter (4th grade) got in the car–it is now her favorite album as well, and I don’t have to listen to the teeny bop music she usually pleads for–what a relief!!
I had never heard many of these artists before, given that I stopped hearing new artists about when my daughter was born and Raffi took over our lives, and it was such a delight to discover so much talent–it really sent me out to get acquainted with more of their music on their own individual albums. (by an Amazon customer)

This is a strong album for strong women … And I love strong women …

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Tracklist:
01. Bonnie Raitt: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.25
02. Melissa Etheridge: I Take You With Me (Etheridge) 4.48
03. Sheryl Crow: Keep On Growing (Clapton/Whitlock) 5.24
04. Indigo Girls: Power Of Two (Saliers) 5.22
05. Stevie Nicks:  Somebody Stand By Me (Crow/Wolfe) 5.05
06. The Pretenders: Everyday Is Like Sunday (Morrissey/Street) 3.41
07. The Cranberries; Dreams (Hogan/O’Riordan) 4.30
08. Annie Lennox: Why (Lennox) 4.53
09. Sarah McLachlan: Ol’ 55 (Waits) 4.11
10. Joan Armatrading: Willow (Armatrading) 4.01
11. Jonell Mosser: Crossroads (Johnson) 2.49
12. Whoopi Goldberg: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.08
13. Bonnie Raitt: You Got It (Lynne/Orbison/Petty) 3.25

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Melissa Etheridge – Yes I Am (1993)

frontcover1Yes I Am is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, released by Island Records on September 21, 1993 (see 1993 in music). The title is generally thought to refer to Etheridge’s recent coming out as a lesbian, confirming long-standing rumors about her personal life.[6] This is the album that gave Etheridge national recognition. The rock ballad “Come to My Window” was the first single released from the album, which peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and its video featured actress Juliette Lewis having a nervous breakdown. This single brought the album into the public consciousness and was quickly followed by “I’m the Only One”, which became a major hit and reached No. 8 on the Hot 100, and “If I Wanted To”, which hit No. 16.

The songs on Yes I Am were recorded at A&M Studios in Los Angeles, California. The album was produced by Etheridge and Hugh Padgham, who also engineered the album. Hugh Padgham had previously worked many with British artists and bands including Genesis, David Bowie, and Sting; among others. Padgham would also produce Etheridge’s next album, Your Little Secret. (by wikipedia)

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Melissa Etheridge wasn’t out of the closet when she released Yes I Am in 1993, yet it’s hard not to notice the defiant acclamation in the album’s title. This barely concealed sense of sexual identity seeps out from the lyrics, and it informs the music as well, which is perhaps the most confident she has ever been. It’s also the most professional she’s ever been (perhaps not a coincidence), as she belts out these unapologetically anthemic numbers with a sense of finesse that’s suited to lifestyle newspaper pages, not rock & roll, thereby setting herself up for her bout with celebrity during the second half of the ’90s. Yes I Am wouldn’t have been as convincing if it wasn’t so slick, though; her Springsteen-isms and Janis tributes are tempered by songs that work as album rock favorites, even if they aren’t as epic or passionate as their inspirations. She may not have songs as great as she did the first time out — “Somebody Bring Me Some Water” remains her finest moment — but she has a sense of purpose and identity that suits her well. And that identity wound up being the touchstone for the rest of her career. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Melissa Etheridge (vocals, guitar)
Mauricio Fritz Lewak – drums, percussion
Kevin McCormick (bass)
Scott Thurston (keyboards)
Waddy Wachtel (guitar)
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James Fearnley (accordion on 10.)
Ian McLagan – organ on (05.)
Pino Palladino – bass
David Sutton – bass on (06.)

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Tracklist:
01. I’m The Only One 4.54
02. If I Wanted To 3.55
03. Come To My Window 3.55
04. Silent Legacy 5.22
05. I Will Never Be The Same 4.41
06. All American Girl 4.05
07. Yes I Am 4.24
08. Resist 2.57
09. Ruins 4.53
10. Talking To My Angel 4.48

All songs written by Melissa Etheridge.

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