Great Albums Made By Women

Eileen Ybarra, Librarian III, Electronic Resources,
collage with 10 of the featured album covers

As a music lover and pop connoisseur, I was immediately intrigued when I ran across a fascinating article on National Public Radio (NPR) online, titled Turning the Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women. The first paragraph especially caught my eye:

This list, of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, is an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation. Compiled by nearly 50 women from across NPR and the public radio system and produced in partnership with Lincoln Center, it rethinks popular music to put women at the center. —NPR

Looking through the list, I found an impressive array of genres such as jazz, salsa, folk, punk, pop, and rock. However, I wasn't interested in buying all 150 albums. What I did wonder though, is if these titles were available for free, to Los Angeles Public Library cardholders. It turned out that the titles I was most interested in were available through the e-Music service Freegal. I definitely wanted to keep some songs for my personal collection—the 5 downloaded songs per week definitely worked for me. Other albums I thought I'd enjoy streaming instead. I also wanted to create my own playlists of mixes—this is a feature that Freegal also offers.

When songs are downloaded to Freegal, they never have to be returned. They are free to always keep. Streaming is always free as well. Below is a curated sample list, all culled from the top fifty, of The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women as decided by NPR. They are all available for free streaming and downloading through Freegal, as a Los Angeles Public Library cardholder.

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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
(Ruffhouse/Columbia, 1998)

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Horses by Patti Smith
(Arista, 1975)

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Pearl by Janis Joplin
(Columbia, 1971)

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Coat Of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
(RCA Records, 1971)

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Whitney Houston
(Arista, 1985)

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Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica by The Ronettes
(Phill Spector Records, 1964)

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Diamond Life by Sade
(Sony, 1984)

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CrazySexyCool by TLC
(LaFace, 1994)

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Nina Simone Sings the Blues by Nina Simone
(RCA Victor, 1967)

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21 by Adele
(Columbia/XL, 2011) 

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It's a Mighty World by Odetta
(RCA Victor, 1964)

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Son con Guaguanco by Celia Cruz
(Emusica/Fania, 1966)