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  • ROCK FOR CHOICE: Celebrating Roe V. Wade
ROCK FOR CHOICE: Celebrating Roe V. Wade
Written by
Lyn Jensen
January 2016
Written by
Lyn Jensen
January 2016

Back around the twenty-second anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1995, Rock for Choice (organized by Fund for a Feminist Majority) released a compilation album Spirit of '73 that was billed as "women of the nineties perform songs by women of the seventies." Unfortunately neither the material nor the artists were sufficiently vetted and the album was far from the cultural milestone it could've/should've been. 

Joan Jett was by far the biggest star Spirit of '73 managed to attract, and many of the song choices were "by women" only in the loosest sense. Many of them were composed and originally recorded by men--most obviously "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," which has absolutely nothing to do with women, even when sung by Joan Baez.

It's past time for the mainstream recording industry to embrace and focus on women's issues--the way it constantly supports the movements for peace and the environment. Some industry mogul (or major recording artist) with authority and imagination needs to revive Rock for Choice and get it in Walmarts in Texas.  

Someone--maybe Beyonce or Gwen Stefani or Taylor Swift, maybe Jimmy Iovine or Randy Jackson or L. A. Reid--needs to assemble today's biggest female vocalists and assign them seventies' songs composed by and expressing the viewpoints of women. 

Here's my dream Rock for Choice compilation CD, 2016 edition:

1.  "I am Woman" (composed by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton), Beyonce

2.  "Mercedes Benz" (Janis Joplin), Pink

3.  "The Pill" (composed by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless), Casey Musgraves.

4.  "From Me To You" (Janis Ian), Crystal Bowersox

6.  "Poetry Man" (Phoebe Snow), Christina Aguilera

7.  "Because the Night" (Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen), Gwen Stefani

8.   "Total Control" (Martha Davis, Luke Solomon, Jeff Jourard), Lorde

9.  "Landslide" (Stevie Nicks), Selena Gomez

10. "You've Got a Friend" (Carole King), Taylor Swift   

11.  "Barracuda" (Ann and Nancy Wilson), Katy Perry

12. "Diamonds and Rust" (Joan Baez), Tessanne Chin

10.  "I Will Always Love You" (Dolly Parton), Lady Gaga

For next Jan. 22 (coming in 2017) I'll suggest a companion Spirit of '73 that'll consist entirely of songs from '73 where male superstars may show their support for choice, too. 

What are your suggestions for songs and artists on a new Rock for Choice compilation?

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