One of the quietly great college bands from the 80s, Throwing Muses was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Kristen Hersh and her half-sister guitarist/vocalist Tanya Donelly with a few friends from high school. In 1986 the group's debut album was put out by the prestigious British label 4AD; Throwing Muses were the first American band to be released on that label.

Throwing Muses' angular, anguished, mercurial sound had much to do with Hersh's mental illness (she suffered from a form of bipolarity that caused her to hallucinate), especially on the early albums like House Tornado. 1991's The Real Ramona marked a break from the heaviness of the previous albums, with lots of shimmery pop gems penned by both Hersh and Donelly, who contributed at least one song per album throughout her stay with the band.

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