L7 (pronounced was an American rock band from Los Angeles that was active from 1985 to 2000. Due to their sound and image, they are often associated with the grunge movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
L7 was formed by Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner on shared electric guitar and shared vocals. A year previous, Gardner had performed backing vocals on the Black Flag song "Slip It In". The punk rock duo were soon joined by Jennifer Finch on bass guitar and Roy Koutsky on drums. Koutsky left shortly after and Demetra Plakas ("Dee" for short) became their permanent drummer.
The band's name derives from a 1950s slang phrase meaning "square," but is often mistaken for a reference to the sex position, "69". The slang phrase "L7" can be heard in the classic Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs song "Wooly Bully" ("Let's not be L7, come and learn to dance..."), in the Rick James song "Bustin' Out" ("L7- just a little too damn straight..."), and in the Paul McCartney song "C Moon" ("I could be L7 and I'll never get to heaven if I fill my head with glue").
In 1991, the band formed Rock for Choice, a Pro-Choice women's rights group which was supported by other prominent bands of that era, including Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Rage Against the Machine. Rock for Choice still exists and organizes concerts today.
Their 1992 third album Bricks Are Heavy, produced by Butch Vig, was featured in Rolling Stone's May 1999 list of 'Essential recordings of the 1990s', and is widely considered their classic.
L7's fourth album, Hungry for Stink, was released in the summer of 1994 during their Lollapalooza tour, where they shared the stage with Green Day and Nick Cave, among others.
Jennifer Finch left the band during the recording of their next album, so Sparks and Greta Brinkman played bass on their fifth album The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum, after which Gail Greenwood, (formerly of the band Belly) became the bassist.
The band's most recent album, Slap-Happy, was released in 1999 and did not chart on either side of the Atlantic. Greenwood then left the band and was replaced by Janis Tanaka, formerly of the San Francisco band, Stone Fox. (Janis would later go on to play bass for the singer Pink. Gail Greenwood would later play with the singer Bif Naked.)