The journey of Melissa Etheridge, the Goddess of country infused rock n’ roll, is stuff of legend. Etheridge began playing guitar at 8, heavily influenced by her country music origins, she studied at Berklee Music College for 3 semesters during the early 80’s whilst also playing the Boston club scene. After the 3rd semester, Etheridge dropped out and headed to California in hopes of pursuing a music career. It was in a Pasedena bar called Herme’s where the course of her career would change – when she came to meet music manager Bill Leopold and he would be a huge influence over her career from then on.
She would shortly then be signed to Island records in 1985 but her original first album was rejected by the label for being too polished. So 3 years later, in 1988, after relentless club touring, writing and re-recordings along came her breakout underground hit album Melissa Etheridge. Fused with pumping rock sensibilities, country leanings and the most impassioned vocal of a female artist at the time, the record was critically praised and brought with it walls of media attention. Most of which originated from the hit song ‘Bring Me Some Water’, which went on to win a grammy and then the 2nd knockout came along with the instant classic ‘Like The Way I Do’.
This is a pumping time capsule of an album, an indicator of the talented force behind it and flag post to watch this space. Reflecting on this now, in 2014, the album still holds that fire in performance that only Melissa Etheridge has. It’s all passion and talent and smoulders with a musical urgency that keeps it just as fresh as when it released in May, 1988.
Ladies & Gentlemen, for your listening pleasure – Melissa Etheridge (1988).
MELISSA ETHERIDGE (1988) by MELISSA ETHERIDGE is out now EVERYWHERE