01 October 2020 02:36
During the '70s and into the early '80s, Helen Reddy was one of the world's most successful artists. Album after album streaked to the top of the charts and Reddy's velvet tones could transform songs that had been overlooked into odes of their time. One cannot escape the significance of Reddy's I Am Woman, which will live after her. But there are many other songs that shine from the dozen or so albums Reddy unleashed upon us. I Am Woman The first of her three American No.1 hits (and a Grammy winner) proved to be a global feminist anthem after it was released in 1971.
Reddy was searching for something that embodied in song the positive self-image she had found from joining the women's movement but, as she has said, "I realised the song I was looking for didn't exist and I was going to have to write it myself." She did so with Ray Burton of Australia's Ayers Rock, who matched her deft lyrics with an irresistible musical structure. As Reddy would later declare: "All the women in my family were strong women. They worked, they lived through the Depression and a world war. I certainly didn't see myself as being dainty."