Ten Kick Ass Girl Rock Songs

Wolfgang's Vault

Screw Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, and Fergie.  They know nothing about how to Rock.  It is one thing for a female musician to have a decent voice (or a nice ass), but you can’t rock without SOUL.  The following female rockers found music in their souls, and you can feel it in their music.  They aren’t primped, packaged pop shit.  They are raw, rockin’, and Bad Ass. The following list illustrates what “Girl Power” is all about (it is in no particular order).  These ladies can rock just as hard as any guy band, while wearing panties.  

One Way or Another by Blondie:  Debbie Harry proves that women stalkers can be just as scary as men.  Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. 

Cherry Bomb by The Runaways:  Five hot “jailbait” chick musicians gathered and exploded like a “Cherry Bomb”.  The Runaways have historical significance for being the first all-girl rock band to have hit songs, record platinum albums (at least 1,000,000 units sold), tour internationally, and acquire fame. 

Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin:  It is clear when you listen to this song that Janis Joplin gave her entire heart when she sang.  In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Joplin number 46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and number 28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.  She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. 

I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett:  This “Runaway” ran away and made a solo career for herself.  “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” is on the list of top 100 songs of the twentieth century, according to The National Endowment for the Arts.

First listen to the Joan Jett version. 

Now listen to the Britney Spears version. ( Click here if this track doesn’t work for you. )

Like night and day, huh?  I think that I proved the point that I was trying to make in my intro paragraph.  Britney doesn’t love Rock and Roll, she wants to destroy it!

Gold Dust Woman by Stevie Nicks:  Rolling Stone magazine once deemed her the “Queen of Rock and Roll”.  “Gold Dust Woman” is a haunting song said to be about cocaine addiction and the price of fame. 

Barracuda by Heart:  These two sisters from Canada have been compared to Led Zeppelin.  It is clear why in the song “Barracuda”.  In 2009, it was named the 34th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.  Heart was ranked #57 on VH1′s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. 

Violet by Hole:  Despite what you think about Courtney Love, she was the Queen of Girl Grunge Rock.  On VH1′s countdown of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, Hole was number 77. 

You Oughta Know by Alanis Morisette:  The ultimate breakup song (see my next “Ten Songs” list).  Alanis started out as a pop artist, but saw the error of her ways.  According to the Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA), Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music.  At the 1996 Grammy Awards, she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song (both for “You Oughta Know”), Best Rock Album and Album of the Year. 

Because the Night by Patti Smith:  Patti Smith took this Bruce Springsteen song and made it her own.  In 1987, “Because the Night” by Patti Smith Group was ranked number 116 on New Musical Express (NME) magazine’s list of “The Top 150 Singles of All Time”.  The “Godmother of Punk” was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. 

Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar:  “Heartbreaker” was named the 72nd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.  Billboard Magazine ranked Benatar as the most successful female rock vocalist of all-time, and she became eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.  Who knew a classically trained mezzo-soprano could rock so hard?

Unfortunately, there aren’t very many true female rockers.  However, the majority of the female rockers that do exist Kick Ass!  Rock ‘n’ Roll is a predominantly male musical genre.  Hopefully, that will eventually change.  Female artists need to quit selling out and crossing over to the dark-side – Pop Music!  The preceding female rock artists became famous by staying true to themselves. 

 Wikipedia was referenced for specific artistic achievements.  If you feel that I have omitted an important female rock song, please leave a comment.  Next up – Ten Rock Breakup Songs…

38 Comments

  1. thanks for posting this.
    It truly is hard to find some good “rock” songs. Pink seems to be doing a good job these days of kicking it up a notch for female singers.

  2. No list like this would be complete without Suzi Quatro and Pink!

  3. not bad but here’s my list -
    1. Gloria – Patti Smith
    2. Somebody to Love – Jeff Airplane’s Grace Slick
    3. Broken English – Marianne Faithfull
    4. Exile in Guyville – Liz Phair (whole CD)
    5. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
    6. The Shangrilas – anything
    7. Typical Girls – the Slits
    8. Walking on Thin Ice – Yoko Ono
    9. Frozen Warnings – Nico
    10. Fujiyama Mama – Wanda Jackson

  4. What about Vixen, surely they should have a mention?
    Not only did they make some kick-ass songs but they looked gorgeous too?

  5. chicks that rock in this century:

    going under by evanescence
    i’m so sick by flyleaf
    i get off by halestorm
    pressure by paramore
    Our Truth by Lacuna Coil
    Spark of ignition by beautiful sin
    stand my ground by within temptation
    elegy by leaves eyes (friggin beautiful song)

  6. check out some Orianthi!
    she’s one of the best female guitarists i’ve ever seen!
    check out “According to You” and “Untogether” to get an idea of her style and to hear some of her intense riffs!

  7. We are PL Girls a female band of hard rock listen us in http://www.myspace.com/plgirlshardrock
    ¡¡¡ ROCK ON !!!

  8. Aretha anyone? How could you leave her out? Oh, yeah, she isn’t white…
    If you include Joplin, you have to include her.
    You better “Think” this through.

  9. @Markoncape… Aretha Franklin? Wow… what a wonderful voice…and a remarkable woman. However, this list is about rock n’ roll. Aretha would be on any list that included R&B and soul. We could have included singers such as Bessie Smith who flung the door open for women, but she was blues and Vaudeville. Also keep in mind, that we are not attempting to write history or even be serious journalist. We are hoping to bring a little entertainment and joy to people. It’s only rock n’ roll, but I like it.

  10. Heart’s Wilson sisters are American. They are from Washington state. They lived in Canada briefly when one of their boyfriends was draft-dodging…

  11. Wow, you really think this songs are good? Or better than Avril Lavigne? You say you know what rock and roll is, its embarrassing how messed up your opinion is, jeez

  12. Without the women on this list, Avril Lavigne would not exist. Just like you, Avril, Britney, and Fergie are just “posing”. There is nothing genuine about their music.

  13. paramore
    spinerettes
    passion pit

    done.

    this is the new age of kickass

  14. …and fu Featherposing! Whats rock then F’in Avril Lavigne? Dont get me wrong i love myself some skater boy but by no means is that badass

  15. Heart is from my hometown Bellevue, WASHINGTON

  16. These are ten of my favorite girl rockers:

    1.Run Baby Run – Sheryl Crow
    2.I Saw Him Standing There – Maggie Bell
    3.Butter Boy – Fanny
    4.Year in Song – Mary Margaret O’Hara
    5.Me Myself I – Joan Armatrading
    6.It’s Gonna Be – Norah Jones
    7.Long Hot Summer Nights – Wendy Waldman
    8.We Belong to the Night – Ellen Foley
    9.My Mama Never Taught Me How to Cook – Annette Peacock
    10.I’m in Love With the Ooo Ooo Man – The GTO’s

  17. Good list…. but……… there is Norah jones there and no PJ harvey. whats up with that people :)

  18. Norah Jones is cool, but not quite what I would call a rocker. PJ Harvey, give me a break.

  19. You can’t forget LEE AARON

  20. joan jett sucks shes a pop poser of the 70s,avril lavigne is not a poser or she didnt used to be,she went against the pop main stream

  21. Wow, Joan Jett does NOT suck. And she is DEF not a Pop Poser. You need to seriously learn your history of Rock n Roll. She IS Rock n roll. Ask any rocker girl THIS generation and they will say ‘Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Patti Smith, and etc’ IS there fucking role model so go learn your rock n roll before you say Avril Lavigne this Avril Lavigne that.

  22. hehehe these ar funny comments tu read.iduno much abou th hstory of rock’n'roll tu b honest.all ov sudden catchn my interest(havn abit ov a identity crisis) lol so bn kikn 2 GNR bt thn stumbld arcoss joan jett.LOVED IT.makes mi feel empowered as shes a WOMAN and a rock’n'roll GODDESS!! thn i watchd the runaways movie.LOVED IT.i reli duno hw pepl kan put hr dwn.shz talentd,original,unique…jus amazing all tht shz achievd nd my no-ones rules or standard.jus created th whole thing.LOVE HER

  23. I see no Flyleaf on this list. I am disappointed.

  24. There are a lot of good songs mentioned, except for norah jones (my opinion) shes not rock and roll!

  25. Great list(s). But how come no one’s mentioned
    1. Tina Turner
    2. Annie Lennox
    3. Melissa Etheridge!

  26. OK. Avril lavigne. She didn’t go against the music scene. She dresses how she’s told and sings what she’s told. She’s Britney spears with different clothes and heavier guitar in her songs. (Which isnt even much because shes played on pop radio stations. If you listened to an all rock station, youd realize how silly you sound right now). Joan jett was in the first all female rock band in history called the runways. Listen to some cherry bomb if you wanna hear a real female rock song. By stating that avril lavigne is a true rocker, it not only shows That you like the same music as any other 12 year old, but nobody takes your opinion seriously. So please stop trying to defend the fact that you think she’s a rocker. Just stick to what you know- Justin bieber and 5th grade math. :)

  27. Porcelain Black is awesome! Listen to her song ft. lil wayne “this is what rock n roll looks like” total badass and awesome. Paramore is cool to.

  28. Anouk – “Who Cares” live.

  29. Haa What a great list!! Real Rocking Chics, Thx for the great idea!! Mark

  30. Joan Jett
    Heart
    Pat Benetar

  31. I love most of the women that have been listed, including Avril, although some are a stretch when included in a list of rock and rollers, like Norah Jones.

    It took two years but thank god Nico listed Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, & Melissa Etheridge!!!

    pleased to see nobody was confused enough to list Madonna. ;-)

  32. Top 10 Real Kick Ass Girl Songs:
    10. Irene Cara – What a Feeling
    9. Alanis Morissette – All I Really Want
    8. The Bangles – Manic Monday
    7. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
    6. B-52s – Roam
    5. Jenny Owen Youngs – Fuck Was I
    4. Jack Off Jill – Strawberry Gashes
    3. Shirley Manson (Garbage) – The World is Not Enough
    2. Shirley Manson (Garbage) – I Think I’m Paranoid
    1. No Doubt – Happy Now?

    In no particular order ;)

  33. I can’t believe no one has mentioned Karen O. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are incredible, every single one of their albums are awesome, her solo stuff is also fantastic and she is one of the best on-stage performers I have ever seen. Also Shirley Manson from Garbage rocks harder than Alanis Morisette ever will. Not that I don’t also appreciate Alanis, but come on.

    Gotta love Stevie Nicks though, I am a serious Mac fan.

  34. PJ Harvey you bloody idiots.

  35. Not to be nit-picky, but Heart is from Seattle.

    Here’s a list:

    The Gits – Second Skin

    Juliette Lewis- Noche Sin Fin

    Holly McNarland- Elmo

    Hole- Violet (already mentioned, I know)

    L7 – Shitlist

    Concrete Blonde- Heal it Up (not to be mistaken by the daft 4 Non Blondes, ugh)

    Tracy Chapman – She’s Got Her Ticket (a bit of downside tempo but brilliant and succint for it’s message)

    Evanescence- Call Me When You’re Sober

    Lila Downs- Alcoba Azul

  36. Im in an Aussie all female cover band called Mon Cheri where we cover mostly female Rock , here is a list of what we do..
    Make Me Wanna Die – Pretty Reckless
    Whats Up – 4 Non Blondes
    Hate Myself For Lovin You – Joan Jett
    Take It Off – The Donnas
    I Want You To Rock Me – Vixen
    Race With The Devil – GirlSchool
    Private School Kid – Sarah McCleod
    CherryBomb- TheRunaways
    Bring Me Some Water – Mellissa Etheridge
    Idiot – Lisa Marie Presley
    Bring Me To Life – Evanescence
    AND many more..

  37. Screw Avril Lavigne? No way, listen to Take Me Away and Unwanted
    In this live:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHlFUG0_Wvw

    Perfect performence, great instrumental
    She doesnt scratch the voice like others, and doesnt make an Horrible voice

  38. Chrissie Hynde.

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