Meg Christian

The Best of Meg Christian

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Until she became a follower of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda and turned to recording devotional music, Meg Christian was a leading light of the women's music movement. Indeed, her debut album, I Know You Know, was the first to be issued by Olivia Records, an independent label devoted to the movement, in 1974. On that LP and its follow-ups, Face the Music (1977), Turning It Over (1981), and From the Heart (1984), and on the duo concert album Meg/Cris at Carnegie Hall (1983), shared with Cris Williamson, Christian performed singer/songwriter folk-rock with a sound similar to that of mainstream contemporaries Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor, but with lyrics (her own and others') that, while no less confessional, had a lesbian rather than heterosexual orientation. With that one differentiation (which sometimes came down to little more than a change in pronouns), however, Christian was very much in the early-'70s singer/songwriter style. She sang songs of self-doubt and self-actualization, fretted about the ups and downs of her relationships, and celebrated her orientation. She did so with a rich, soulful voice tinged with a North Carolina accent, usually in the contralto range, singing over an acoustic guitar and sometimes a few other instruments, gently played. This compilation picks out the highlights of her catalog, from the humorous "Ode to a Gym Teacher" to the reflective "Southern Home," which finds her embracing the region she left, albeit without actually returning there, and "Look Within," a realization that personal fulfillment will not be found in outside events. The reasons for Christian's preeminence in women's music can be found in the songs contained here.

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