BitchTapes: Women You Should Know If You Were Born in the 1980s

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I was born in 1986 and feel like I'm clueless about basically all music from around the mid-'70s to the mid-'90s. This past week, for example, I just found out about the New Edition. New Edition! I'd heard their songs around before, of course, but never knew anything about the band that reached their peak of national fame just before I was born. That revelation got me thinking about now ignorant I am of the music that came out in the 20-or-so years between when my parents stopped collecting records and when I started seeking out my own music. 

For this mix, I asked my friends to tell me all the music from that era I should know about but don't. I got such a huge response that I'm making two mixes on this theme. This one is just female artists and bands prominently involving women, a future one will be co-ed. The songs on this mix span roughly from 1973 to 1993, with some outliers to include songs I especially like. 

Women to Know If You're Born in the 1980s from BitchTapes on 8tracks Radio.

Thanks to everyone who recommended songs—if you think of an essential artist I left off this mix, please let me know in the comments and I can add her to the mix! 

Browse through more than 200 Bitch-made feminist mixtapes here.


Tina Turner - Proud Mary 

Nancy Sinatra –  Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

Betty Davis – If I’m in Luck, I Might Get Picked Up

Joan Jett – Bad Reputation

En Vogue – Free Your Mind

The Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed

Blondie – Call Me

Adina Howard – Like a Freak

Luscious Jackson – Let Yourself Get Down

Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody 

Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Mission Impossible 2.0

Grace Jones – Slave to the Rythym

Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance

Doris Duke - Ghost of Myself

Cocteau Twins – Lorelei

Joan Armatrading – Drop the Pilot

The Pretenders – Brass in Pocket

Pat Benatar - Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Linda Ronstadt - Different Drum 

The Bangles – September Gurls

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Happy House

Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps

Tete Noires – Lucky Girl

The Slits – So Tough

Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth

Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

Patti Smith – Gloria

PJ Harvey – Man-size

Tracy Ullman – They Don’t Know

Kate Bush – The Red Shoes

Tracy Chapman - Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Melanie Safka – Brand New Key

Joni Mitchell – All I Want

Vashti Bunyan – Train Song

The Breeders – Drivin’ on 9

Liz Phair – Divorce Song

Dolly Parton – Jolene

Loretta Lynn – Fist City

Gladys Knight and the Pips - Midnight Train to Georgia 

Bobbie Gentry – Ode to Billy Joe

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

Nina Simone – Sinnerman 

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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16 Comments Have Been Posted

Definitely some Tori Amos and

Definitely some Tori Amos and Tracy Chapman.

Lush, L7, Throwing Muses,

Lush, L7, Throwing Muses, Belly.

Bahamadia - 3 the hard way

Bahamadia - 3 the hard way

essential 73-93 female artist for BitchTapes

Off the top of my head: Emmy Lou Harris, Pat Benatar, Heart, Suzi Quatro, The Go-Go's, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane), 1970's Linda Ronstadt, tons of disco (Chic, Taste of Honey, Donna Summer) . Finally, Doris Duke, Betty Wright, and Gladys Knight & the Pips.

women to know

Ronstadt indeed. A pure, powerful, heartbreaking voice and she rocked a natural sexiness with the greatest bangs in haircut history.

Neneh Cherry?!?!?!?! You NEED

Neneh Cherry?!?!?!?! You NEED Neneh Cherry. "Buffalo Stance" or bust.

So good!

Thanks for all the song recommendations, y'all! I added nine more songs to this mix. I'll add more as people keep making great suggestions.

Strawberry Switchblade- Deep

Strawberry Switchblade- Deep Water, Lost Cherees- Young and Free, Nico- Das Lied vom einsamen Mädchen, Doris Norton- Personal Computer


Yaz -- "Only You"

Lene Lovich - Bird Song Nina

Lene Lovich - Bird Song
Nina Hagen - TV-Glotzer (or Smack Jack)
Avengers - We Are the One

80's women of music

Great music set....I feel 20 again!
These are some of my suggestions:
Shelia Chandra, either monsoon or ever so lonely
Wendy o williams of plasmatics, either masterplan or Hitman (its pretty hardcore)
Annie Lennox of eurthmics here comes the rain again
Kim gorden of sonic youth
Chrissie Hynde of pretenders
Nina hagen (I know she has been suggested) but I do like nunsexmonkrock or smack jack songs
Oldy but goody.....cyndi lauper .....

Definitely missing Millie

Definitely missing Millie Jackson. Feelin' Bitchy, Back to the Shit!, all of her amazing country songs... She's a woman who truly didn't give a fuck.

I'd also add The Raincoats, LiLiPUT, Delta 5, The Mo-Dettes. But we can't have it all.

(Also, The Red Shoes?! Of all Kate Bush? Even Kate dislikes The Red Shoes.)


I agree with your comments

So miss that time, Till now I

So miss that time, Till now I had this for chinese songs mostly.


Heart and Blondie

Heart's "Barracuda" is included in the mix but not on the list.

Is that really Blondie singing "Call Me" or someone else?

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