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Playlist: Fiona Apple

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Despite a short discography of only five albums in 25 years, each of Fiona Apple’s releases has been an enormous, long-reverberating swell of vulnerability and fortitude. Through her classical training on piano, she discovered the jazz music that would influence her singing, and began composing her own songs at an early age. The singer-songwriter’s pretern...

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Fiona Apple

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Criminal
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:05:41

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist - Andrew Slater, Producer - Rob Laufer, Guitar - Claude Achille, Engineer - Matt Chamberlain, Drums - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - Patrick Warren, Piano - JIM WIRT, Engineer - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Dan Rothchild, Bass - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Paper Bag (Album Version)
Fiona Apple When The Pawn... 00:03:39

Fiona Apple, Vocal - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Eddy Schreyer, Mastering Engineer - Jon Brion, Producer - Jon Brion, Mixing Engineer - Jon Brion, Recording Engineer - John Noreyko, Horns - Wendell Kelly, Horns - Matt Chamberlain, Percussion - Matt Chamberlain, Drums - Valerie Pack, Coordinator - Rob Brill, 2nd Engineer - John Tyree, 2nd Engineer - Paul Loredo, Horns - Jean Martinelli, Horns - Tom Banghart, 2nd Engineer - Greg Collins, 2nd Engineer - Steve Mixdorf, 2nd Engineer - Rich Costey, Recording Engineer - Rich Costey, Mixing Engineer - Rich Costey, Programmer

(P) 1999 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Extraordinary Machine (Album Version)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:03:43

Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Tom Biller, Engineer - Jon Brion, Producer - Jon Brion, Marimba - Jon Brion, Orchestrator - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Performer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Sleep to Dream
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:04:08

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Piano - Andrew Slater, Producer - F. Apple, Composer, Lyricist - Jon Brion, Guitar, Piano, Vibraphone - Claude Achille, Engineer - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - JIM WIRT, Engineer - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Dan Rothchild, Bass - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Fast As You Can (Album Version)
Fiona Apple When The Pawn... 00:04:38

Fiona Apple, Vocal - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Michael Breaux, Woodwinds - Eddy Schreyer, Mastering Engineer - Jon Brion, Producer - Jon Brion, Mixing Engineer - Jon Brion, Recording Engineer - Matt Chamberlain, Percussion - Matt Chamberlain, Drums - Valerie Pack, Coordinator - Rob Brill, 2nd Engineer - John Tyree, 2nd Engineer - Tom Banghart, 2nd Engineer - Greg Collins, 2nd Engineer - Steve Mixdorf, 2nd Engineer - Rich Costey, Recording Engineer - Rich Costey, Mixing Engineer - Rich Costey, Programmer

(P) 1999 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters 00:04:58

Fiona Apple, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Recording Engineer, Other, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Sebastian Steinberg, Producer, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Leo, Other - Tchad Blake, Mixing Engineer - David Garza, Producer - Mercy, Other - Alfie, Other - Amy Aileen Wood, Producer, Drums, Recording Engineer - Maddie, Other - Cara Delevingne, Background Vocal

(P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Across the Universe
Original Soundtrack Pleasantville -Music From The Motion Picture 00:05:05

Fiona Apple, Performer - Jon Brion, Producer - John Lennon, Composer - John Lennon, Lyricist - Paul McCartney, Composer - Paul McCartney, Lyricist

(P) 1998 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Sebastian Steinberg, Acoustic Bass, Guitar - Feedy, Percussion - Seedy, Percussion - Charley Drayton, Producer - John Would, Recording Engineer - Edison Sainsbury, Recording Engineer - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer - Dan Gerbarg, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Shadowboxer
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:05:24

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Piano - Andrew Slater, Producer - Danny Frankel, Drums - Claude Achille, Engineer - Jon Brion, Piano, Vibraphone - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - JIM WIRT, Engineer - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Greg Richling, Bass - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
O' Sailor (Album Version)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:05:35

Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Jebin Bruni, Keyboards - Glenn Berger, Flute - Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Zac Rae, Keyboards - Brian Kehew, Co-Producer - Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer - Mike Elizondo, Producer - Adam Hawkins, Recording Engineer - Abe Laboriel, Jr., Drums

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Sebastian Steinberg, Acoustic Bass, Guitar - Feedy, Percussion - Seedy, Percussion - Charley Drayton, Producer - John Would, Recording Engineer - Edison Sainsbury, Recording Engineer - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer - Dan Gerbarg, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
Why Try to Change Me Now
Various Artists The Best Is Yet to Come - The Songs of Cy Coleman 00:05:16

Fiona Apple, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Notable Music Co. Inc. (P) 2011 Notable Music Co. Inc.

13
I Want You To Love Me
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters 00:03:57

Fiona Apple, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Sebastian Steinberg, Producer, Drums, Bass - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - David Garza, Producer - Amy Aileen Wood, Producer, Drums, Recording Engineer - John Would, Recording Engineer

(P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Never Is a Promise
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:05:54

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Piano - Andrew Slater, Producer - Claude Achille, Engineer - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - Ralph Morrison, Violin - JIM WIRT, Engineer - Claudia Parducci, Violin - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Evan Wilson, Viola - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Larry Corbett, Cello - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
Not About Love (Album Version)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:04:19

Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, Drums - Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Keefus Ciancia, Bass - Mike Elizondo, Producer - Mike Elizondo, Engineer - Adam Hawkins, Engineer - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Performer - Brian Kehew, Co-Producer

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

16
Never Is A Promise (Live from Sessions at West 54th, New York, NY - November 1997)
Fiona Apple Fast As You Can EP 00:06:22

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 1999 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

17
Everyday
Various Artists Rave On Buddy Holly 00:02:18

Fiona Apple, MainArtist - Buddy Holly, ComposerLyricist - Norman Petty, ComposerLyricist - JON BRION, MainArtist

℗ 2011 MPL Communications Inc. and Concord Music Group, Inc.

18
Shameika
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters 00:04:08

Fiona Apple, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Percussion, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Sebastian Steinberg, Producer, Percussion, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Tchad Blake, Mixing Engineer - David Garza, Producer - Amy Aileen Wood, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Recording Engineer - Bobb Bruno, Other - John Would, Recording Engineer

(P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

19
Please Send Me Someone to Love
Original Soundtrack Pleasantville -Music From The Motion Picture 00:03:58

Fiona Apple, Performer - P. Mayfield, Composer - P. Mayfield, Lyricist - Andrew Slater, Producer

(P) 1998 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

20
The First Taste
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:04:46

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Piano - Andrew Slater, Producer - Jon Brion, Guitar, Marimba, Piano, Vibraphone - Claude Achille, Engineer - Matt Chamberlain, Drums, Percussion - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - JIM WIRT, Engineer - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Sara Lee, Bass - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer - George Black, Drum Programmer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

21
Limp (Album Version)
Fiona Apple When The Pawn... 00:03:29

Fiona Apple, Vocal - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Michael Breaux, Woodwinds - Eddy Schreyer, Mastering Engineer - Butch Norton, Percussion - Butch Norton, Drums - Jon Brion, Producer - Jon Brion, Mixing Engineer - Jon Brion, Recording Engineer - Matt Chamberlain, Percussion - Matt Chamberlain, Drums - Valerie Pack, Coordinator - Rob Brill, 2nd Engineer - John Tyree, 2nd Engineer - Tom Banghart, 2nd Engineer - Greg Collins, 2nd Engineer - Steve Mixdorf, 2nd Engineer - Rich Costey, Recording Engineer - Rich Costey, Mixing Engineer - Rich Costey, Programmer

(P) 1999 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Sebastian Steinberg, Acoustic Bass, Guitar - Feedy, Percussion - Seedy, Percussion - Charley Drayton, Producer - John Would, Recording Engineer - Edison Sainsbury, Recording Engineer - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer - Dan Gerbarg, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

23
Get Him Back (New Album Version w/o Sample)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:05:24

Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, Drums - Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Keefus Ciancia, Bass - Mike Elizondo, Producer - Mike Elizondo, Engineer - Adam Hawkins, Engineer - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Performer - Brian Kehew, Co-Producer

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

24
Cosmonauts
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters 00:03:59

Fiona Apple, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Percussion, Piano, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Sebastian Steinberg, Producer, Guitar, Harp, Bass - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Tchad Blake, Mixing Engineer - David Garza, Producer, Guitar, Piano, Other - Amy Aileen Wood, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Recording Engineer, Loops - John Would, Piano, Recording Engineer

(P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

25
I Walk a Little Faster
Various Artists The Best Is Yet to Come - The Songs of Cy Coleman 00:05:12

Fiona Apple, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Notable Music Co. Inc. (P) 2011 Notable Music Co. Inc.

26
Parting Gift (Album Version)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:03:34

Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Mike Elizondo, Producer - Mike Elizondo, Engineer - Adam Hawkins, Engineer - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Brian Kehew, Co-Producer

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Sebastian Steinberg, Acoustic Bass, Guitar - Feedy, Percussion - Seedy, Percussion - Charley Drayton, Producer - John Would, Recording Engineer - Edison Sainsbury, Recording Engineer - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer - Dan Gerbarg, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

28
Hey Big Dog (feat. Fiona Apple)
Margaret Cho Cho Dependent 00:04:13

Margaret Cho, MainArtist - Da Funky Doo Doo Collective (ASCAP) and One Big Love Music/Almo Music Corp (ASCAP), MusicPublisher - Margaret Cho and Patty Griffin, Composer

2010 Margaret Cho, Tegan & Sara 2010 Da Funky Doo Doo Collective (ASCAP) and One Big Love Music/Almo Music Corp (ASCAP)

29
You're the One I Love (feat. Fiona Apple) (feat. Fionna Apple)
Sara Watkins Sun Midnight Sun 00:01:45

Felice Bryant, Writer - Fiona Apple, FeaturedArtist - Boudleaux Bryant, Writer - Sara Watkins, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Producer

© 2012 Nonesuch Records for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States. ℗ 2012 Nonesuch

30
Better Version Of Me (Album Version)
Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine 00:02:59

Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - George Thatcher, Trombone - Glenn Berger, Saxophone - Dave Way, Mixing Engineer - Brian Kehew, Guitar - Brian Kehew, Co-Producer - Brian Kehew, Keyboards - John Daversa, Arranger - John Daversa, Trumpet - Mike Elizondo, Producer - Mike Elizondo, Engineer - Mike Elizondo, Bass - Adam Hawkins, Engineer - Abe Laboriel, Jr., Percussion - Abe Laboriel, Jr., Drums

(P) 2005 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

31
For Her
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters 00:02:43

Fiona Apple, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Drums, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Sebastian Steinberg, Producer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - Tchad Blake, Mixing Engineer - David Garza, Producer - Amy Aileen Wood, Producer

(P) 2020 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Main Artist, Producer, Associated Performer, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Sebastian Steinberg, Acoustic Bass, Guitar - Maude Maggart - Feedy, Percussion - Seedy, Percussion - Charley Drayton, Producer - John Would, Recording Engineer - Edison Sainsbury, Recording Engineer - DAVE WAY, Mixing Engineer - Howie Weinberg, Mastering Engineer - Dan Gerbarg, Mastering Engineer

(P) 2012 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

33
Pale September
Fiona Apple Tidal 00:05:50

Fiona Apple, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Piano - Andrew Slater, Producer - F. Apple, Composer, Lyricist - Matt Chamberlain, Drums - Claude Achille, Engineer - Jon Brion, Piano, Vibraphone - Brian Scheubel, Engineer - JIM WIRT, Engineer - NIKO BOLAS, Engineer - Troy Gonzales, Assistant Engineer - Al Sanderson, Assistant Engineer - Sara Lee, Bass - Tom Banghart, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Mark Endert, Recording Engineer

(P) 1996 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

34
Bridge Over Troubled Water (Album Version)
Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around 00:03:54

Fiona Apple, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Rubin, Producer - Paul Simon, ComposerLyricist - Johnny Cash, MainArtist - John Carter Cash, Producer, Associate Producer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Scheps, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Campbell, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Thom Russo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Turner, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Manning Jr., Keyboards, Piano, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - David Ferguson, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2002 American Recordings, LLC

35
I Know (Album Version)
Fiona Apple When The Pawn... 00:04:55

Armen Garabedian, Violin - Michele Richards, Violin - Scott Haupert, Viola - Maria Newman, Viola - Gerardo Hilera, Violin - Eddy Schreyer, Mastering Engineer - John Tyree, 2nd Engineer - Suzie Katayama, Acoustic Cello - Jon Brion, Producer - Jon Brion, Mixing Engineer - Jon Brion, Recording Engineer - Rob Brill, 2nd Engineer - Eve Butler, Violin - Paula Hochalter, Acoustic Cello - Robert Peterson, Violin - Larry Corbett, Acoustic Cello - Randy Brion, Arranger - Tom Banghart, 2nd Engineer - Rich Costey, Mixing Engineer - Rich Costey, Recording Engineer - Rich Costey, Programmer - John Wittenberg, Violin - Valerie Pack, Coordinator - Jim Keltner, Drums - Greg Collins, 2nd Engineer - Robert Becker, Viola - Mike Elizondo, Bass - Berj Garabedian, Violin - Brian Leonard, Violin - Greg Cohen, Acoustic Bass - Fiona Apple, Vocal - Fiona Apple, Composer - Fiona Apple, Lyricist - Fiona Apple, Piano - Fiona Apple, Performer - Steve Mixdorf, 2nd Engineer - Charlie Bisharat, Violin - Susan Chatman, Violin - John Bainbridge, Orchestrator - Peter Kent, Violin - Daniel Smith, Acoustic Cello - Edmund Stein, Violin - Denyse Buffum, Viola

(P) 1999 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

About Playlist

Despite a short discography of only five albums in 25 years, each of Fiona Apple’s releases has been an enormous, long-reverberating swell of vulnerability and fortitude. Through her classical training on piano, she discovered the jazz music that would influence her singing, and began composing her own songs at an early age. The singer-songwriter’s preternatural talents were revealed to a wider audience with her acclaimed 1996 debut Tidal, when she was just 18. She became an icon for young women (and men) grappling with adulthood, her relatable authenticity revealed in moments like at the 1997 VMAs, where instead of an acceptance speech, she proclaimed, “The world is bullshit.” Apple’s public life was often messy (a series of high-profile relationships, strife with record label and press, eating disorder), but darkness, chaos and all, she’s always been able to transform it into something musically beautiful. Fetch the Bolt Cutters, Apple’s first album since 2012, was released in April, 2020.

Photo © Autumn De Wilde

The Women of ’90s Alt-Rock in 10 Albums

by Shelly Ridenour

When male-dominated grunge kicked ’80s hair metal to the curb in the early 1990s, it also opened a door for women to finally play a different role in the music industry. Whether it was Riot Grrrls forcing third-wave feminism to the front; Fiona Apple letting it be known that teenagers have more to talk about than being rubbed like a genie in a bottle; or Liz Phair — posturing as “6-feet-1 instead of 5-feet-2” — standing tall in a scene of pretentious guys, the women of ’90s alt-rock claimed alpha dominance. Sex talk wasn’t just not taboo, it also wasn’t veiled in the lyrics of PJ Harvey and Phair. (Kim Deal’s “Divine Hammer” is another story, whether you think it’s about finding a greater purpose or a greater lover, or those are one and the same.) Helium’s Mary Timony ventured into those most dude-centric of genres, prog and medieval fantasy. And Courtney Love reclaimed the bad-girl imagery of witch and shrew — not to mention “victim” — with a vengeance. Here are 10 ’90s alt-rock albums by women that left an indelible impression.

Helium – The Dirt of Luck (1995)

Lasting just five years, from 1992 to 1997, Helium — and, more specifically, singer/guitarist Mary Timony — nevertheless left a huge impact on artists from Sleater-Kinney to Death Cab for Cutie. On paper, the formula isn’t an obvious one: low-slung, almost monotone vocals singing about pirates, doves and mythological monsters over D-tuned guitar. But Timony spins some kind of sorcery on the band’s first full-length album. “Pat’s Trick” and “Medusa” are heavy drags through medieval mud, while “Superball” bounces and jousts over a beat of Ren Faire drums. “She’s sweeter than honeycomb…she’s slower than Valium,” Timony deadpans on the shoe-gazer “Honeycomb” — a ballad that should’ve made Mazzy Star jealous. The Dirt of Luck is a weird record, to say the least, but an irresistible precursor to Timony’s solo work and future bands Wild Flag and Ex Hex.

Fiona Apple – Tidal (1996)

When Tidal was released, much was made of one fact: Fiona Apple was just 18. And while that may have seemed novel at the time, to think about it now is astonishing — how did a girl write those words and sing them the way she did? “I wander the halls along the walls,” she moans on “Sullen Girl.” “And under my breath, I say to myself, ‘I need fuel to take flight.” Apple’s debut was the right record at the right time for a generation approaching adulthood scared and already scarred by society. Produced by Jon Brion — who expertly added in lush layers of vibraphone, harp and marimba —Tidal could have been a lost classic from Nina Simone; this is not the sweet longing of Carole King. “I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride,” Apple sings over the trip-hop beats of “Sleep to Dream” — just one of the classics here, along with “Shadowboxer” and “Criminal.” (Apple has said she tossed off the latter in 45 minutes after her label said she needed a more obvious hit). When Apple accepted her Moon Man at the VMAs the next year by saying, "You shouldn't model your life on what we think is cool, and what we're wearing and what we're saying and everything,” the world reacted as if she were an ingrate. Little did they know, she was trailblazing a path. No one would even blink if Billie Eilish said that today.

Beth Orton – Trailer Park (1996)

To hear Beth Orton tell it, the singer reluctantly fell into music. She was trying to figure out if she wanted to be an actress when she met producer William Orbit (Madonna, U2) at a party. The two became a couple and he encouraged her singing, but Orton resisted being a part of his starry world — and of having the reputation of the girl who only has a career because of who she’s dating. Still, she did guest on his SuperPinkyMandy as well as work by The Chemical Brothers. But once Orton and Orbit broke up, she was motivated to put together her own band. There was a greater purpose, too: Orton has said making her debut record saved her life after the death of her mother. Trailer Park is a gentle creature, with moments, such as “Don’t Need a Reason” and “Sugar Boy,” that breathe fresh life into Sandy Denny-style folk. A cover of The Ronettes’ “I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine” strips away Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound histrionics to reveal a bittersweet lullaby. It feels symbolic that Orton also strips away Orbit’s heavy-handed production on “She Cries Your Name” — first recorded for his Strange Cargo — and lets her light shine through.

Sleater Kinney - Dig Me Out (1997)

While bands like Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy and Bikini Kill built the foundation of Riot Grrrl — flying the flag of third-wave feminism and claiming a more powerful place for all kinds of women in music — it was Sleater Kinney’s third album that established the Pacific Northwest scene as more than just a cult movement. Credit goes to a few factors. One, founders Carrie Brownstein (formerly of Excuse 17) and Corin Tucker (formerly of Heavens to Betsy) added the heat and polish of classic rock to their already mighty garage-punk sound. Two, it’s the first SK album with Quasi drummer Janet Weiss; her muscular work pushed the band’s energy right up to the edge and established a solid ground beneath Tucker’s wildly frenetic vocals. As a result, songs like “Turn It On” and the title track are masterpieces of dynamics, both sonic and emotional, that fly high and swoop close to the ground with equal force. The band’s first album for Kill Rock Stars, Dig Me Out was recorded in Seattle at John and Stu’s Place (the same building where Nirvana’s Bleach was laid down) and its cover art is a tribute to The KinksThe Kink Kontroversy. But its energy and heart are the alchemy of three young women sending out a beacon.

Cat Power – Moon Pix (1998)

Chan Marshall has said her fourth album came about in a most unusual way: While alone in the South Carolina countryside, she had a vivid nightmare that she has described as “dark spirits” smashing the windows. Rattled, she grabbed her guitar — “I thought that if people found my body, I needed to leave a tape,” she told the Daily Telegraph — and songs poured out of her, including “Say” and “Metal Heart.” It had previously been a fallow time for the singer-songwriter, who has said she’d even contemplated retirement. Instead, she went to Melbourne to record Moon Pix with guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White of Dirty Three. It’s since been hailed as her best early work, featuring “American Flag,” “Colors and the Kids” (with some of Marshall’s most moving piano work) and “Cross Bones Style” — which Marshall has said is about children she met in Africa who slept in trees after their parents’ deaths. "it feels like I’m alive today because of being able to write those songs,” she told the Guardian. “Moon Pix was my salvation as a very mixed-up young person.

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