Okay I have had the idea for this post for over 6 years, is that enough procrastination for you. Back in the day I told the ninja that I wanted to create a list of the ten best rock songs about women that had the woman’s name in the title. He looked at me rather strangely and said: “how do you come up with this shit?”
I didn’t know then and I don’t know now, but at least it is an original idea, no? So without further ado, the first, the only, top 10 list of rock songs about women with their names in the title of the song.
Layla – Derek and the Dominos
Even if you look past the great back story of Eric Clapton pining for George Harrison’s wife this is the best song ever about a specific woman. Although those of us of a certain age have heard this song way too many times, there is nothing else in Rock history like Duane Allman’s heroin induced slide solos in the coda.
Angie – The Rolling Stones
Anngee, Annnnnnnngeeeeeee, you can’t say we’ve never tried. Okay, many people hate this song but I think it is a great example of Mick Jaggers fake cracker persona. Not as good as Wild Horses, but Wild Horses does not have a woman’s name in the title….
Good Golly, Miss Molly – Little Richard
A very early rock-n-roll song by the inventor of rock-n-roll ( just ask him ) about this lady named Molly who sure liked to ball. This song has the same kind of energy as opening a bottle of coca-cola.
Roxanne – The Police
Even non Sting fans generally admit that this is a great song. Written about a prostitute fused with the heroine of Cyrano de Bergerac this song illustrates the early mastery of lyric and bass phraseology by Sting. If you listen closely the bass part changes throughout the song, as does his vocal phrasing – very nice.
Althea – Grateful Dead
One of Garcia’s best songs on an album that was recorded well after the Dead’s prime. This song single handedly raises Go to Heaven to tolerable status. I mean come on – “You may meet the fate on ophelia, sleeping and penchence to dream. Honest to the point of recklessness, self-centered in the extreme.” This is the perfect song to play for folks that think the dead is nothing but sloppy jam band.
Gloria – Them
G L O RIA – while this is far, far from Van Morrison’s best work, that is Van ( George Ivan Morrison ) the Man with Them singing this FM radio staple. Morrison wrote the words and music.
Jenny – Tommy Tutone
Okay, you may know this Tommy Tutone tune as 867-5309, but the official name is Jenny as are the first two words of the song. While this might not be a “great” song everyone knows that number…
Maybellene – Chuck Berry
Released in ’55 on the Chess label this is Mr. Berry’s first single, which in and of itself makes it something special. This song is a rock-n-roll re-working of a traditional bluegrass song that is vintage Chuck Berry. And no offence to Little Richard, but I would say that Chuck invented rock-n-roll as we know it.
Maggie May – The Faces
Written by Rod Stewart and originally the B-side of a since forgotten track called “Reason to Believe” it was eventually released on the album Every Picture Tells a Story ( which is a better song by the way ). Maggie May is a classic story of the younger man and the older woman based on Stewart’s real life experiences. But Maggie May is not a real woman, the name comes for the traditional song about a Liverpool prostitute.
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Like Layla, this song is about an actual women Stephen Stills’ girlfriend,Judy Collins and her piercing blue eyes. I like the EEEEBE tuning that this song uses.