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Walking Under Ladders
July 21, 2010 12:44 PM   Subscribe

While mentioned positively in comments, this artist has never had an FPP of her own. Here's a video from her latest release, some lyrics to other classics. These are just a few of my favorite songs by Joan Armatrading, MBE.

Fanboy bonus round: Back around 92 she walked into the guitar shop I was working in and bought a new Gibson Chet Atkins solid body classical. She was playing right around the corner and told to pop in if I wanted, she'd put me on the guest list. Nice lady.
posted by timsteil (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
This woman. I love this woman. And I have seen her in concert, where I was blown away by the quality of her musicianship and that of the instrumental players backing her. Thanks a zillion for this post.
posted by bearwife at 12:53 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"(I Love It When You) Call Me Names" rocks; I heard that on an '80s channel a few years ago. Nice guitar work and chord progressions. Are there more like that?
posted by kurumi at 1:03 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Down to Zero
posted by puny human at 1:06 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


kurumi -- Eating The Bear
posted by puny human at 1:09 PM on July 21, 2010


Damn, I just missed her in the UK. I'll catch her next year, thanks for the links.
posted by shinybaum at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2010


I look through a lot of records at thrift stores and flea markets, and Joan Armatrading is one of those artists you always see a lot of LPs by despite the fact that she (to the best of my knowledge) never had a sizable hit in North America. If I was going to pick up one or two of her albums, which ones would you recommend?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:30 PM on July 21, 2010


which ones would you recommend?


I'm kinda partial to Me Myself I, and Walk Under Ladders...but thats just me.
posted by timsteil at 1:36 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think she's made a bad album, but these are two of my favorites.
posted by bearwife at 1:39 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Track Record is a good compilation the Card Cheat. But Walk Under Ladders from '81 is my favourite.
posted by puny human at 1:43 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the albums before Me Myself I best, though I also enjoy the more pop/rock stuff that she began with that album. To the Limit is my all-time favorite.
posted by expialidocious at 1:48 PM on July 21, 2010


I haven't thought about Joan Armatrading in a long time. Thanks very much for this post.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


which ones would you recommend?
Joan Armatrading - the album. All her own compositions. Awesome and Show some Emotion with Willow.
posted by adamvasco at 1:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


She had me at "Animal mineral physical spiritual".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seconding Adamvasco, adding that 'Love and Affection' is virtually the definition of acoustic power ballad. Possibly because I just made the phrase up. However, if you don't know it, I strongly recommend it.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2010


Joan Armatrading is one of those artists you always see a lot of LPs by despite the fact that she (to the best of my knowledge) never had a sizable hit in North America.

Depends on what you'd consider a "sizable hit." Me Myself I got to #28 in 1980, and she had 3 Top 40 hits in the 1980s. But no, she's never been in the Top 10 or anything like that.

I saw her in concert in 1986 in support of the Sleight of Hand album. She was completely spectacular live. I can't say that I love all of her music, but she's an amazing presence and a terrific musician.
posted by blucevalo at 2:28 PM on July 21, 2010


I saw her with Bryan Ferry a couple of years back. Had no particular brief for either.

Bryan was sort of embarassing, like your drunken uncle who used to be a hit with the ladies doing karaoke. Joan was stunning. Plays a mean blues lick, too.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:28 PM on July 21, 2010


Another one not thought of Joan for some time - so many outstanding songs. Thanks for the post.
posted by Abiezer at 3:10 PM on July 21, 2010


What is the song she plays backed exclusively by thumb piano? I haven't heard it for years and have forgotten its name, but was just mad for it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:24 PM on July 21, 2010


Oh, I found it: "Wontcha Come on Home." Even back by guitar, it's just lovely.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:31 PM on July 21, 2010


JA is wonderful. Just wonderful.
posted by MarshallPoe at 5:50 PM on July 21, 2010


I saw her in the early 80's in Toronto. Steve Forbert opened for her. (Anyone remember him?) It was Steve Forbert I was really going to see, but I loved her after that, too.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:21 PM on July 21, 2010


Those YouTube performances on German TV...just an amazing backing band and performance.

I love her musicianship and her song writing. She always takes me back to the first time I heard her stuff, hanging out at the bell desk at college, blasting songs from "The Key" on the stereo we'd dragged up from someone's room and dancing around.
posted by QIbHom at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2010


I had the delightful, if somewhat disorienting, experience of having lunch with Joan Armatrading back in either '87 or '88. I was playing the serpent in the first scene of The Magic Flute at Wolf Trap, wearing a costume that was as big as a car, and built like one, with wheels and a fire extinguisher for smoke-snorting nostrils. In point of fact, the only part of me you could see under the costume was my legs, and I wore painfully tight green foam monster gams that were so difficult to get in and out of that I didn't even bother stripping them off on breaks between running the scene. For one thing, the act of peeling them off also peeled off my tights and underpants, without fail, leaving me buck naked in a shared dressing room, so it was just easier to lumber around backstage with giant monster feet and scaly monster legs and a t-shirt until the end of the day.

I was sitting in the crowded canteen there, having my lunch in my giant monster legs, when a lovely British voice asked if I would mind sharing my table. I smiled up and said "by all means," and suddenly I was EATING LUNCH WITH JOAN FREAKING ARMATRADING...in MONSTER LEGS.

What a lovely, charming woman. I'd run into a lot of celebrities, and they were often exactly like you'd expect them to be--sort of preoccupied and disconnected. Ms. Armatrading, on the other hand, was just sweet and friendly and we talked about all sorts of things. I'd only known her music by way of my sister before, but I started listening after that. The lady's a treasure.

As she picked up her tray, she smiled, and said "by the way, I love your pants!"

JOAN ARMATRADING LOVED MY GIANT GREEN MONSTER LEG PANTS!

It was one of those wonderful moments that makes me glad to be me. Now, the monster legs had one more celebrity moment left, towards the end of the run of Magic Flute, too--I did my serpent bit, got slain by powerful operatic types, and lumbered backstage to what I'd been using as a staging area to get out of my monster legs. I flopped onto the floor, peeled off twenty pounds of green foam, my tights, and my underpants, and darted to where I had a pair of shorts tucked away, only to realize that the room was occupied and that I'd just displayed my penis to the Kronos Quartet, who were in there, innocently rehearsing, when this weirdo in monster legs rushed in, stripped to his bare butt, and ran across the room.

There really isn't much to say in situations like that.

But...well, JOAN ARMATRADING LOVED MY GIANT GREEN MONSTER LEG PANTS!
posted by sonascope at 8:25 PM on July 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


Love and affection is one of my favorite songs of all time
posted by samelborp at 3:07 AM on July 22, 2010


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