Best Female Rock Group

Okay, I know this "best of" thing has been done to death, but I think it's fun. A guy in my office and I were discussing this the other day. To limit the hair-splitting (although I suspect that's a good part of the fun with these things), "Female Rock Group" is defined as follows: the band must be fronted by females and the majority of the members must be female, and the majority of the material must be written by the female members. For example, The Breeders qualify for consideration (majority female, fronted by the Donnelly sisters and a kick-ass, if slightly pathetic outfit), while "Blondie" does not (only one female member, most of the music written by her boyfriend.) Female rockers, like PJ Harvey and Liz Phair, who write their own material and have relatively anonymous backing bands also qualify (don't quibble, it's my thread).

Now, let's get on with it!

My entries are:

1. Breeders

2. Bangles (yes, the Bangles. check out the cuts that were NOT chosen to be singles, e.g., "Dover Beach")

3. Sleater-Kinney ('nuff said!)

4. Bikini Kill (ditto)

5. Liz Phair.

6. Throwing Muses.

7. Belly.
I always thought the Go-GO's were pretty good for their time
Most of the most famous and best women performers have tended to be solo artists,of course bands,musicians etc. have played a large part but they don't make your criteria-Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega,Joni Mitchell etc..
So the best is easily for me....
The Patti Smith Group
and more recently
PJ Harvey

Both awesome live,both can rock and write songs on a level miles better than anybody mentioned so far...........
I always thought that Joan Jett (and the Blackhawks) could play rock & roll with the best of the kick-ass male bands. Of course, this goes back to the 80's. Last I heard of Joan, she had shaved her head, and was starring in a remake of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" in New York. Happy Tunes!

Sleater-Kinney and PJ Harvey are spot-on choices. Both have delivered the goods over the course of their last several albums. Both qualify as major artists, IMO.
duh! Heart. a good recording on "Dreamboat Annie"
How about The Pretenders? Didn't Chrissie Hynde write most of their stuff?
I think The Pretenders qualify, if only because I think Chrissy Hynde rules. I'm a little embarrassed I didn't include her.
Vixen - This group (4 chicks) live gets you there. Can't vouch for recordings...
I thought those chiks from Poison really rocked. Not sure if Whitesnake qualifies, chik singing behind male backing band...;)
Has to be Queen
Ross & Derrick, you guys crack me up !!!! : )

My first thoughts were Chrissie & the Pretenders. As to being a "female rock group", you could change the entire cast of male members and nobody would notice. So long as Chrissie was still there, it's still the Pretenders.

The other "rock chick" that came to mind was Patti Smith of "Easter" fame. Anyone that was immortalized as she was in the Saturday Night Live skit that they did about her ( aka Candy Slice ) deserves to be mentioned in this thread. Gilda nailed her to a "T" : ) Sean
Any Hole fans?

My nominations -- band:
1. Breeders -- new album kicks butt

Artists (no particular order)
-Liz Phair
-PJ Harvey
-Michelle Shocked
-Natalie Merchant
-Fiona Apple
-Joni Mitchell

I'm sure I'm missing some....
I had high hopes for 4 non blondes. To bad they faded away after one hit.
I'd like to throw Ani DiFranco into the mix. She's an angry lesbian singer/songwriter that rocks and can play the hell out of a guitar. Equally, there's Aimee Mann, also a kick-ass singer/songwriter (from the 80's band 'Til Tuesday). Her music was the inspiration for the film "Magnolia", according to the director. Oh, Glen, the lead singer from 4 Non Blondes (Linda Perry?) is now a successful songwriter (most recently a song for pop/r&b artist Pink - "I'm Coming Up").
Would the Indigo Girls qualify?
I agree with Dweller, Vixen is HOT!!!! Oh yeah, good music too.
Have to admit, got a friend who's also a freak for women singing (who I don't see but once every few years these days, the bum moved to Chile) but for near on ten years going, one of the first things we clear up whenever we talk is whether we've heard anything better than Tanya Donnelly screaching like a cat on track 9 ("Not too Soon") from Throwing Muses's Hunkapappa. Pretty ho-hum recording, but still at the top of my list.

If you're looking for a purely angelic voice with some hard-edged instrumentation, gotta check out Heather Nova (the first album, Oyster, and some of the live ones, her second isn't all that special). I'm on board for ALL of the above, but also have to throw in Tori Amos (especially her earlier stuff). Shoot, there are more, but they escape me at the moment. 2a.m., July 4, still at work, no wonder I can't think....
Hole works for me. Also L7, anyone?
Gwen Stefani is pretty hot.
No Doubt, she is smokin'.
The Bangles. Their first two albums are outstanding.
What about Melissa Etheridge? Don't know the composition of her band, but she rocks! I too was looking forward to more from 4 non blondes. BTW, I saw Joan Jett live in a small club long ago -- sat right in front 20 ft away -- what a show!!! There's someone with a solid rock attitude!
Does anyone remember Fuzzbox? Very pop but very infectious!
"What about Melissa Etheridge?"

Sorry, no guys allowed. ;-)

I'll go with Liz Phair, Throwing Muses, Laurie Anderson, Sarah McLachlan, L7, Cranberries, Belly, Breeders...oh yeah, and Bananarama - just turn down the sound a watch the videos. :-)

For a sister act with a quite unique home grown blend, I always liked "The Roches". None have great voices but together their sound is original and their harmonies often hauntingly beautiful.