Bikini Kill – The Singles: #809 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Bikini Kill - The Singles

Why is Bikini Kill’s The Singles on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Fantastic, aggressive, riot grrrl punk rock.

Some stats & info about Bikini Kill – The Singles

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Riot Grrrl, Indie Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was The Singles released? 1998
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #809 out of 1,000

Bikini Kill’s The Singles on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does Bikini Kill’s The Singles mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

“Rebel Girl” is the Bikini Girl song that I was most familiar with from back in the day, and with good reason: it plays like a anthem for everything the band is trying to express, and most importantly it rocks.

The most I listen to The Singles, “Strawberry Julius” has become my favorite song on the album. It’s got a gloriously garage punk vibe and vocals from Kathleen Hanna that creates a sound and vibe that reminds me a little bit of what bands like Veruca Salt would create that were perhaps a little more accessible to mainstream audiences. But this right here is the real deal.

You have to admire the striking clarity of a song entitled, “I Like F***ing.” And it rocks with all the confidence in the world to back up the assertion.

When Bikini Kill does dial back the volume a little (if not the lyrical content), as on “Anti-Pleasure Dissertation” (great song title, too!) they show they can produce a song with legit pop sensibilities while still rocking out pretty hard.

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Bikini Kill’s The Singles

While I’ve long know about the term “riot grrrl” as describing both a certain kind of music and an associated political or cultural aesthetic, I must admit that I didn’t precisely know what it meant.

So like any curious person of the 21st Century, I asked the Internet. Wikipedia describes riot grrrl as “an underground feminist punk movement that began during the early 1990s within the United States in Olympia, Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest and has expanded to at least 26 other countries.”

Bikini Kill is mentioned as one of the “primary bands” of the movement, along with others such as Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy, and Emily’s Sassy Lime. While I’m a huge fan of many punk bands that have all-female lineups and/or female lead vocalists – think 7 Year Bitch, L7, The Slits, The Distillers, Le Butcherttes, and The Gits – I mostly missed out on what dials in specifically as riot grrrl.

Luckily, I caught on to what Bikini Kill is throwing down on The Singles, “a compilation of three 45-rpm-only releases recorded for Kill Rock Stars in between 1994’s P****y Whipped and 1996’s Reject All American.”

And it’s fantastic, aggressive, riot grrrl punk rock.