I love classic rock. I grew up on Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and Carole King, and as I got older, I dove headfirst into Led Zeppelin and the Doors. One of the things I adore about rock music is how it allows for women with fuller, grittier, voices to sing in a genre that works and sounds amazing. I always preferred the full bodied and soulful sound of female rockers, and I realize many don't know all of these fantastic artists today. So, to educate the masses, or at least make the enlightened happy, here are my five favorite classic female rock artists.
1. Grace Slick
Grace Slick has one of the most unique and overall powerful voices in rock. One of her best works is her album "Surrealistic Pillow" with Jefferson Airplane, and you will not be disappointed by the driving beats and full vocals that go along with them. Definitely check her out if you are interested in exploring female artists.
2. Carole King
"Tapestry" was easily one of my favorite albums growing up and was highly influential to my future tastes. While it's arguable if Carole King is a rock singer, as she tends to have more of a bluesy feel, she is definitely a staple for anyone interested in listening to a more sultry and full bodied female voice.
3. Stevie Nicks
The lead singer for Fleetwood Mac and overall icon in the rock movement, Stevie Nicks is a great start for anyone unfamiliar with classic rock in general. There are countless songs that are great to listen to, however I have always appreciated "Rhiannon" the most in my music listening.
4. Janis Joplin
I will never forget the first time I ever heard Janis Joplin. My dad bought a CD of her greatest hits with childlike glee after explaining to my mother that we don't find deals like this every day and the kids definitely need this in their lives. I will never forget having the car radio volume turned all the way up and hearing the loud twang of the opening to "Piece of my Heart" blast in the car and my confusion as the woman's voice had this strange melodic yet raspy quality I hadn't heard before. Janis Joplin is easily my favorite rocker of the list and to me, one of the most legendary artists of all time. Her mixture of blues and rock is fantastic and her tragic end has made her immortal in the rock world. Definitely worth a listen (and if you couldn't tell, one of my favorites).
5. Grace Potter
Now, I broke the rules with this one, and added a current female rock singer. While Potter's focus is more folksy at times and has hints of pop, she is certainly influenced by the above and her music is worth the listen. Her best album is "The Lion, the Beast, the Beat" with her band The Nocturnals and you won't be disappointed by her energy and eccentricity. Give a listen if you are looking for a new artist to fall in love with or some great road trip music.