Revenge Of The She-Punks A feminist music history compilation inspired by the book by Vivien Goldman


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cat no. TR526

Compiled and with liner notes by Vivien Goldman

The Slits, Crass, X Ray Spex, Patti Smith, Blondie,

The Raincoats, Sleater-Kinney, Big Joanie,

The Au-Pairs, Poison Girls and many more.


Since the historiography of punk is a male-dominated one, a “Revenge of the She-Punks” was long overdue.

This feminist reckoning was written by none other than post-punk pioneer Vivien Goldman, who has an

insider’s perspective due to her work as a musician and one of Britian’s first female music writers. Along

four themes – Identity, Money, Love and Protest – the “punk professor” traces empowering moments that

punk holds especially for women. This Compilation is inspired by the book, which was originally released by

University of Texas Press in 2019. Compiled and with liner notes by Vivien Goldman.


“We’re not talking a mean-spirited gotcha! revenge here. As both my book that inspired it and this recording

prove, us She-Punks’ revenge is about our complex survival in an all too often hostile environment. The book

offers a template to finding a way through the patriarchal labyrinth of the music industry by telling the back-

stories of thirty-eight songs by women from not only the Anglophone countries, but Africa, the Caribbean,

Asia and Eastern and Continental Europe. Together, they demonstrate how girls around the world, with no

or few role models, found ways to thwart blockages and become self-expressive musicians, breaking

traditions and expectations, setting new standards with every chord. Alas, for a raft of factors it was

impossible to include them all; but herein lies a stirring and representative selection. Cumulatively, we hear

how female artists everywhere are moved to sing about the common issues that I distilled down to be the

core themes of the book: the bare-bones of living that connect us, wherever we are. We open with Identity

featuring Fea, Big Joanie, The Raincoats, Blondie and Poly Styrene with X-Ray Spex. Then comes Money with

Patti Smith, Shonen Knife, Malaria! and the Slits; followed by Love/Unlove: Crass, Cherry Vanilla, Grace Jones,

Rhoda Dakar with the Special AKA, Alice Bag (The Bags), Tribe 8 and the Au Pairs, the Mo-dettes, Neneh Cherry

from the UK/Sweden/US and this writer/musician. The closing chapter, Protest, features Sleater-Kinney, Jayne

Cortez and the Firespitters Skinny Girl Diet, Vi Subversa and the Poison Girls, the Czech Republic’s Zuby Nehty,

Colombia’s Fertil Miseria and Jamaica’s Tanya Stephens. Many people have questioned how I arrived at those

four themes (answer: thinking,) and so far, no-one has disagreed.However, in sequencing this compilation,

the important thing was to sonically flow through the breadth of our creativity, led by the rhythms and sound,

rather than the lyrics; they, I already knew, formed a compelling whole, an implacable critique. My perspective o

n punk is based on spirit rather than adherence to the venerated concept of the genre as only a frenetic full-frontal

sonic attack (though that is also represented here). Having been involved with the movement at the start in mid-

1970s London, as Features Editor of the punk rock weekly, Sounds, I understood it to be a front line, inclusionary

genre, with DIY at its core, which is why it was the first genre to give anything approaching an equal platform to

women musicians.

Especially for the less conventional, all too often the path for women artists is still steeper than that of male peers.

Despite the massive success of today’s female superstars, there remains a quota perception in an industry that still

largely lives in boystown (though always factor in that it’s not the men, it’s the mentality,) who are less receptive to

forceful females; like the sort of bookers who say, Well, we’ve done our bit, we’ve booked our female artist – as if

booking women were some grim post-MeToo duty.But as heard in these tracks, in all its forms, whether sounding

strident or soft, punk is a music of resistance; women’s punk specially so. We continue to rail at and use our music

to shift a system which, in America as this release comes out – let alone in countries long known to be suppressive

of women – our basic human agency is under attack on more than one front, notably where equal pay and abortion

are concerned. Welcome to some very necessary and in many cases, too little heard voices of women whose

creativity could not be stopped, and who managed to use music to mould their environment, create their own space,

and live as self-actualized artists.”

Vivien Goldman


LP 1

A1) Tanya Stephens – Welcome To The Rebelution

A2) Au Pairs – It’s Obvious

A3) X-Ray Spex – Identity

A4) Fea – Mujer Moderna

A5) The Bags – Babylonian Gorgon

A6) Fértil Miseria – Visiones de la Muerte

A7) Crass – Smother Love

A8) Rhoda with The Special AKA – The Boiler


B9) Jayne Cortez and the Firespitters – Maintain Control

B10) Skinny Girl Diet – Silver Spoons

B11) Big Joanie – Dream No 9

B12) Malaria! – Geld

B13) The Slits – Spend, Spend, Spend

B14) Poison Girls – Persons Unknown

LP 3

C1) Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps

C2) Grace Jones – My Jamaican Guy

C3) Patti Smith – Free Money

C4) Tribe 8 – Checking Out Your Babe

C5) Cherry Vanilla – The Punk

C6) Blondie – Rip Her To Shreds

C7) Sleater-Kinney – Little Babies

C8) The Selecter – On My Radio


D9) Mo-Dettes– White Mice

D10) Shonen Knife – It’s A New Find

D11) The Raincoats – No One’s Little Girl

D12) Vivien Goldman – Launderette

D13) Zuby Nehty – Sokol

D14) Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance