The fact that Rock-goddess Melissa Etheridge chose to release an entire album to relay a defiant acclamation of her sexuality made ‘Yes I Am‘, Etheridge’s 4th studio album, a thoroughly iconic masterpiece.
Coming out of the closet would quite literally never be the same again!
1993 was the year when Melissa Etheridge laid to rest years of speculation about her sexual preference (especially since she was a staple on the charts since ’88 with 3 successive Platinum-plus albums and a Grammy), and proudly came out as a lesbian.
Few mainstream Rock artists (especially female) reveled in the kind of success Etheridge did, and her straight-forward, honest and stripped-down style was based on the blueprint essentially followed by Janis Joplin.
The album title ‘Yes I Am‘ made much more than a statement. It was an unapologetic declaration of who she was and who she chose to be, delving into her emotional turmoil head-on, and that in turn blazed a trail for many to follow.
Back in 1993-94 (when autotune and dubstep didn’t rape our brains on a regular basis), ‘Come To My Window‘ stood out as one of the finest moments of Etheridge’s extensive career, and a personal fave. It still affects me with the same power every time I hear it, like it did back in the day.
A seemingly candid bluesy rock gem, ‘Come To My Window‘ exuded a palpable pain of unfulfilled physical cravings and desires, and the rather addictive dark undertone reeking of obsession and possessiveness (occasionally reminiscent of Springsteen and Joplin) made this one an instant classic.
This was as candid and convincing as it could get!
Over wailing guitars, Etheridge’s full throat-ed raspy voice brought forth the passion of forbidden, smoldering desires as she growled,
‘I would dial the numbers just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell and hold the hand of death
You don’t know how far I’d go to ease this precious ache
You don’t know how much I’d give or how much I can take
Just to reach you…’
‘Come To My Window‘ eventually won Etheridge her second Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance after peaking at # 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and propelled her to mainstream superstardom as ‘Yes I Am‘ went on to be certified a whopping 6 times Platinum by the RIAA.
The Samuel Byer-directed eerie black-and-white clip depicting actress Juliette Lewis in a mental asylum while Etheridge plays her guitar is possibly one of the most iconic clips to have made a regular rotation on MTV.
Check out the classic ‘Come To My Window‘ right here :