Turning the Tables was intended as “a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation” around women’s place in the canon of modern music. This week, five critics take over All Songs Considered in order to continue that dialogue.
NPR Music’s Ann Powers, Suraya Mohamed and Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR One’s Jenny Gathright, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Andrea Swensson unpack some of the top songs on our 150 Greatest Albums list and their experiences with the music on it.
We kick off with “Carey” from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, in which dreams, love, and intimacy breathe easy. Next, Lauryn Hill’s candid social commentary on “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Nina Simone’s fearless look at the future on “Tomorrow Is My Turn,” and Aretha Franklin’s sensual wisdom on “Dr. Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business).”
Also on the show: Some mother-daughter memories, Missy Elliott’s vocabulary on “Izzy Izzy Ahh,” The B-52s’ spunky confidence (which helped inspire the askew ponytail of a teenaged Ann Powers), empowering rhymes from a young Queen Latifah, Ofra Haza winning space for complex, marginalized identities and PJ Harvey’s “Man-Size.”
“Can you hear can you hear me now?”