Aug 302011

chick music is actually guy music that women in the room would find appealing

I’m sure this must have been an earlier discussion I missed [I don’t think there was – Ed.], but with Mr. Mod talking about “chick music” it got me thinking. Again, I’m sure there’s an RTH link to a definition [Believe it or not, there isn’t, but this post may get us there! – Ed.], but to me, chick music is actually guy music that women in the room would find appealing. It’s a way to damn a band as well. For instance, I think The Cult is chick music as a way of denigrating them.

It could be argued that bands that started out as as guy bands became chick bands as the band found where its bread was buttered—thinking The Cure, here.

So here’s a poke at a band that I would imagine is much regarded in these Halls, but that I find the MOST CHICK BAND EVER.

That band is Roxy Music. Yes, their first album is pretty good. But what possessed anyone with a penis to ever go into a room with other men and come out with this:

Is there a band more “chick music” that Roxy?


  39 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Chick Music”

  1. ladymisskirroyale

    Just out of curiosity, how is The Cult appealing?

    I need some more clarity to the definition of Chick Music…

    And Avalon is a great soundtrack for seduction according to a former boyfriend of mine who used it on many women before and after me…

  2. tonyola

    I’m calling BS big time. This is either deliberate dissimulation on machinery’s part or it’s a basic misunderstanding of what Roxy Music was truly about. Avalon was a product of the 1980s, when Bryan Ferry decided to give up any glam/art/prog ambitions and become a smoothie crooner. It was also the very last Roxy album, which was probably not a coincidence. The first five Roxy albums from 1972-1975 (up through Siren) are anything but chick albums. My assignment for machinery is to go back and listen to those albums, then come back and give a full report.

    Now if you want a”chick” band, how about Duran Duran?

  3. ladymisskirroyale


  4. machinery

    Tony I stand corrected. How about this: Avalon is the undisputed Chick Music album of all time. Ergo, Roxy is the undisputed Chick Music band.

    Don’t get me wrong, they have a handful of songs that are really, really great — Re-make/Re-model is a stunner. But you can’t deny that the first 4 albums are peppered liberally with crooning seductive set-pieces that seem a bit too precious to be man-made. Give a listen to Three and Nine off of Country Life. That sax part coulda come off of Mark of the Mole (for all its smarminess) !!!

  5. But there was always something slightly arch and off-kilter in Ferry’s crooning on the early albums. He does it in an ironic and self-conscious stance rather than as a true vehicle for seduction. Even the “Three and Nine” example that you cite has an odd musical undercurrent underneath the superficially-sweet vocals. I was there in the 1970s and I played Roxy albums for “chicks”. Almost every one found them a little too weird for their taste (a girl who actually liked Roxy was a keeper in my book). Besides, if a few crooner songs make for “chick” albums, then David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and the Eagles are far “chickier” than Roxy ever was in its classic period.

    As for your attempted album/artist postulation, Let’s Dance was a super-smasharoonie hit pop album, right?. Ergo, David Bowie is the all-time pop-smash artist. Bzzzt. Wrong.

  6. My wife doesn’t like Roxy Music. She finds Bryan Ferry detestable. Of all Roxy Music songs, however, she has mild appreciation for “More Than This.” All that said, my wife’s not a typical “chick” when it comes to her music tastes. Early in our dating and married years, any time I thought I could turn her on with some “chick music,” it blew up in my face.

    All THAT said, I agree that Avalon is one of the finest “chick” albums I ever bought. I really do like a few songs on that album, but even more than that the album went down easy in mixed company.

    Van Morrison’s Moondance is probably my wife’s favorite “chick” album. She gets as groovy as a college sophomore as soon as that album comes on. I’ve always liked that one too, but had I not already owned it before we met I would have been too cool for school to buy it just for the purpose of impressing her. As I said regarding Echo & the Bunnymen, I’ve always been really bad at taking the music world’s gimmes.

  7. ladymisskirroyale

    Um, don’t we have a problem with the concept of “Chick Music” if we can’t agree on a single song or band as evidence? I would say that Duran Duran is the only possible band to published on the Chick Music label, with Thompson Twins a possible second. IMO Moondance/Van Morrison doesn’t even make the cut. No offense by my xx cyber colleague Mrs. Moderator, but I can’t stand that album.

  8. saturnismine

    My wife likes music made by the kind of guys to whom she’s attracted.

    Thus, she likes Woody and Rod era Faces, Joe Walsh, and Graham Parsons most of all.

    (How I fit into that picture is beyond me, btw).

    Where was I?

    Oh…right. Chick music.

    I guess my point is that in my world, it’s not the same thing as a “chick flick.”

    She abhors “girly” sounding stuff for the most part — but here’s the caveat — *unless* it’s stuff from when she was a teen-ager. THEN, it can be girly, and she digs it. In that case, she is telling me right now, that she likes “More Than This,” but for nostaligc purposes. She doesn’t *love* it.

    She reserves those feelings for Woody and Rod.

    A nod is as good as a wink.

  9. saturnismine

    Oh…and by the way, mac; I applaud your efforts to “frame your thread” with a question to “get things started.”

    i’m not taking any credit…I’m just admiring your work.

  10. ladymisskirroyale

    I’m agreeing with your clarification.

  11. jeangray

    I have never understood anyone’s physical attraction to Rod the Mod.

  12. jeangray

    Did we overlook the Albini produced Page & Plant album???

  13. jeangray

    Oooops… Wrong thread! Sorry.

  14. I’m not sure what the Ultimate Chick Music/Band would be, but the Ultimate Drunk Chick Song is I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. For proof, I encourage you to pay attention to what’s happening on the dance floor about 3/4s of the way through almost any wedding.

    As near as I can tell, the most Anti-Chick music is a close call between Daniel Lanois and Television. I base this on two shows that I attended about 10 years ago in which my wife was the only chick in the crowd as far as I could tell (I saw Geo in the crowd at both shows so he should be able to confirm the purity of these sausage party). Television nudges out Lanois because local chanteuse Nancy Falco has charmed her way onto the Lanois gig so at least there was another woman in the building.

    And to cross-pollinate between the treads, Television played Psychotic Reaction at the show.

  15. saturnismine

    Nor do I understand my wife’s attraction to me. But I’m not going to question it.

  16. ladymisskirroyale

    I think “We Are Family” is a close second for Ultimate Drunk Chick Song.

    I saw Lanois open for Tortoise a few years ago and if I recall, I wasn’t the only femme. That may because John McIntire has an impressive set of guns.

  17. misterioso

    I agree with tonyola that a single “chick album” (e.g., Avalon) hardly makes a “chick band.”

    That said, and setting aside general reservations about this category, are we talking about music that is calculated as being made for women (as we usually understand “chick flick” to be a movie intended to appeal to a female audience) or music red-blooded he-men might employ to appeal to women? Because I think they are hardly the same. I would not place Leonard Cohen’s early records hardly fit the former description but might well fit the latter.

  18. misterioso, I’m replying to your fine questions here, but I’m not singling you out with what I’m about to encourage. You’ve raised fine points, including your “general reservations about this category.”

    I sense that machinery, with tongue planted partially in cheek, is trying to define what it is we’re talking about when we talk about “chick music.” Whether Avalon is the ultimate “chick music” album or not is a fun side topic. All “listing” activities are expected, but knowing the man, the machinery himself, I can assure folks that he’s not merely tossing a sexist bomb into the Halls for sport. I’m pretty sure he wants anyone who’s used this term to look within and share. (Healing is optional.)

    Machinery threw out a possible definition, which I block quoted. It surprised me, but made some sense in the male-dominated world of rock nerd-dom. I bet I know EXACTLY which old friend he had in mind when he referred to The Cult. I guess the old friend in mind must have been meeting up with some desirable women over his Cult albums.

    Guys use this term to cut down other guys, like so many sexist and homophobic schoolyard taunts. I bet a big part of it probably is rooted in old-fashioned jealousy. I know I was jealous of the guys who could plop an Echo and the Bunnymen album on the turntable to keep female guests bopping. I’d put on Eno’s Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) or PiL’s Second Edition, like the little boy I once was, with snot-encrusted sleeves. Shoot, I wouldn’t stoop to playing a Prince album for its ability to inspire all the shaking sophomore asses in the world, but a part of me wished I could.

    I’m curious to hear what actual women in the Hall (I know ladymiss is not alone in here!) think about this term, if they apply it to their own listening habits, how dumb they think guys are for throwing this around. As misterioso says, there are “chick artists” who consciously appeal to women, from Ani DeFranco to a douchebag like John Mayer. I’m curious to hear what people feel about this term, the role its played in their lives, the role “chick albums” have played in their lives. I’d bet that’s what machinery is really trying to get at too. Debate about all the rankings on lists you’d like, but don’t hold back on the real meat of the matter.

  19. Is there a band more “chick music” that Roxy? [or a more chick album than Avalon?]

    My wife is a fan of Avalon (so am I) but a short selection of some the CDs she had when we got married include:

    The Housemartins (her favorite of the 80s)
    The Mavericks (probably her favorite “country” band)
    The Replacements “Tim”
    Many R.E.M. albums
    James Taylor Greatest Hits
    Paul Simon Graceland
    Talking Heads Greatest

    When I was growing up, ladies of certain age all had Best of Bread for some reason.

  20. David Grey. When he toured behind that big song of his (I think it’s called “Babylon”), the only people I knew who went to the show were chicks.

  21. machinery

    Well not the all-time, but yeah he had his moment there in the 80s. But yes, Bowie made some Chick Song rock to be sure.

  22. machinery

    Thanks for understanding the nuances of my post, Mr Mod. There are plenty of chick-music made my men that I’m thinking no man would buy. I don’t any guy that owns a Thompson Twins album or Kajagoogoo. (I’m honestly not putting down anyone here that does.) I’m thinking guy music that feels conscientiously buffed around the edges. Skylarking is a Chick Album in my book. Yes, it’s role in background dorm-room seduction plays a part here, but that’s not the main point. I have to believe David Gray goes into the studio and thinks to himself “this one’s going out to the ladies.” Same with Roxy when they did Avalon. They HAD to know.

  23. machinery

    sorry for the abundance of typos. writing while in a meeting.

  24. machinery


  25. machinery

    C’mon! He’s sexy as hell.

  26. Don’t get me wrong, that song is pleasant enough. It’s just that after I listen to it, I invariably think to myself “Honestly, what is so tough about remembering to put down the toilet seat after I’m done peeing?”

  27. misterioso


  28. hrrundivbakshi

    For some reason this thread reminds me of an old roommate — we’ll call him “Todd” — who used to claim that the ultimate panty-peeler album was “The Kick Inside” by Kate Bush. “Todd” would have known; he was responsible for peeling many panties over the years I knew him.

    But that’s not the funny part. The funny part is that he could frequently be seen, literally prancing around the house, pointy-toed, singing the “Heathcliff! It’s me, it’s Cathy! I wanna come hooome!” line over and over in a high-pitched girly voice. I presume he did this every time that album succeeded in fulfilling its stated promise.

    All this is funny if you know who “Todd” is — and I know many of you do.

  29. So you probably don’t like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, which at times sound like The Housemartins.

  30. At our house — Avalon was the soundtrack to that activity . . .

  31. machinery

    I found that Miles’s Kind of Blue was pretty fail safe in that department.

  32. misterioso

    I will go with that assumption.

  33. cliff sovinsanity

    “Chicks” really like ska. Whether it’s old school My Boy Lollipop stuff or the new wave era of The Specials, Madness, The English Beat. Further down the line to The Bosstones and on to No Doubt.

  34. I just got back from pulling a Reverse Rocky while listening to that David Grey song. It’s a pleasant bit of acoustic pop, not unlike Sister Golden Hair

  35. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

  36. My nephew just sent me some stuff by Bon Iver and that seems like it would be today’s version of chick music. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. He’s kind of a one trick pony but the trick worked pretty well.

  37. jeangray


  38. jeangray

    I loved that first Housemartin’s album!

  39. jeangray

    Some thoughts:

    Can’t say that I’ve ever really heard this term used with any sort of regularity. This board is where I’ve read it used the most.

    I tend to refer to musik in this category as Wimp-Rock or the dreaded soft-rock.

    “Avalon” gets play on smooth jazz radio stations these daze.

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