Meanwhile, I'm watching TV and it's hard not to avoid all the EndofYear lists on every channel. It's like a manic week of taking stock of everything that happened last year: who died (Yahoo!), who behaved badly (E!), what where the best commercials (WTBS) and a random sampling of the top women in music (VH1 Classic).
Could it be possible that Cher is slowly clawing her way to the top of these music lists? Okay, it's only VH1 Classic. Everyone keep their panties on. Who listens to what VH1 Classic has to say? I don't know...but I was pretty excited that Cher made #11 on the list! Can a ranking near the top be but decades away? Dare we to dream?
I tuned in right as Cher’s "Turn back Time" video was playing to showcase her #11-ness. I missed the intro where they explained their rationale for including her. Did they say it was her vaudevillian versatility? Her comeback kid quality? Her leather and chain-mail image? Her sold out shows? Must know. Will keep checking for repeats of the show.
The list skewed in favor of the 80s: the bottom half included Annie Lennox, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, Chrissy Hynde, Carly Simon, Blondie and Cher. The top half included Donna Summer, Carole King, Janet Jackson, and Mariah Carey. The top three were Aretha Franklin, Whitney and Madonna (#1).
The VH1 Classic message board was sprinkled with complaints about a missing Janis Joplin and Patti Smith. I myself wonder how Carly Simon and Carole King made the list as neither were huge 80s hit makers or video mavens, despite their 70s popularity as singer-songwritters. The more comprehensive VH1 list in 1999 of the Greatest Women of Rock 'n' Roll put Cher at a healthy #46. On that list, Madonna was #8, Aretha was #1 and Janis was #3.
The Cher yahoo group just posted a link to a poll for Queen of Pop. Interestingly, they listed Mariah, Cher, Madonna, Kylie, and Britney.
Britney Spears is imploding as we speak, kids. Kylie Minogue is more popular in Europe and Australia, although she has quite a underground of die-hards here. Notice a lack of Whitney Houston on the poll list. Whitney may be on the comeback trail but she’s still an imploded mass herself who has been MIA for a long time. On any list of relevant women of today Whitney is a questionable add, especially so high in the ranking--as VH1 Classic has her. On the other hand, Mariah’s mini-implosion has been forgiven by a recent hit record. Cher and Madonna are implosion-proof so far. Many wouldn’t give Cher a chance at approaching Madonna’s hold on the tops spots in these 'best of' lists.
I say watch out, though. We're heading in the right direction, list wise. Click here to see Cher dance the jig.