Notwithstanding one or two isolated exceptions, it wasn’t until the mid-Sixties that independent female voices really began to be heard within the music industry. The feminist movement naturally coincided with the first signs of genuine musical emancipation. In North America, Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie emerged through the folk clubs, coffee-houses and college campuses to inspire a generation of wannabe female singers and musicians with their strong, independent mentality and social compassion, while the British scene’s combination of folk song revival and the Beatles-led pop explosion saw record company deals for a new generation of pop-folkies including Marianne Faithfull, Dana Gillespie and Vashti Bunyan.
"Goth" was a much maligned '80s genre, often deserved thanks to overtly gloomy pretentiousness, but just as often artistic, dark, bracing music. In addition to those outfits that still keep it going, this double CD is smart enough to include some of the long forgotten, unsung English practitioners who left behind stunning moments, folks such as UK Decay (see their brilliant singles and 1981 LP For Madmen Only), Theatre of Hate (too bad no "Westworld" or "Nero" here), Play Dead (thought no one remembered them!) and even Southern Death Cult (who became internationally famous a few years later when they changed their name from Death Cult to the Cult). One imagines Cleopatra couldn't get the rights to include such seminal bands as the Cure or Sisters of Mercy, but those groups don't need this kind of introduction, and the omission of the March Violets aside, this is an intelligently selected guide.