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Thread: Joan Armatrading

  1. #1

    Joan Armatrading

    Going to see her on Saturday night - never seen her before.
    Anyone seen her?
    Hope she plays this!

  2. #2
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    Since it was her signature song, I'm sure she will. I haven't heard anything by her in years. I wasn't aware she was still touring. Let us know about the show.

    Rick

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  4. #4
    I haven't seen her since the early 80's! I would love to see her again; it was such a powerful/inspiring concert. I hope you have a wonderful time.

  5. #5
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    She's an awesome performer, but like Fracktured I wasn't aware she was touring again.

  6. #6
    A friend and I were discussing her recently. I described her as “the anti-Kate Bush.” Her stuff really strikes a chord with me, and her low, rich, woman-y voice is very homey and cozy. I had The Key on the old MP3 player for a time recently. It has a lot of King Crimson personnel plus Larry “Synergy” Fast playing on it. In general, I prefer her more folk/blues-influenced stuff, she seems more at home doing that kind of thing compared to the rock-ier stuff. Incidentally, she has a new album out called Starlight.

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    MIKE (a.k.a. "Progbear")

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  7. #7
    I really only know a couple of her songs, namely Call Me Names and Drop The Pilot. I think for a long time, I only knew the single edit of the former, because a few years ago, I had one of those Music Choice TV channels, and they played this version where Belew's ride guitar solo went for a good deal longer than it did on the version I had on an old mix tape. And Tony Levin had a pretty cool bass line on that tune, too.

  8. #8
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Enjoy the show! I'd go see her. Very soulful music.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  9. #9
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I only really know Call Me Names from The Secret Policeman's Third Ball album, which has a high prog quotient. She ain't prog, but I always enjoyed that song.
    "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart...not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

  10. #10
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    Back in the mid-80's I had a girlfriend who was into her so went to se her live. I was not really familiar with that much of her material, but I remember the show being good. I never explored much further though. Have not heard anything about her in years.

    Steve Sly

  11. #11
    I was just reminded how much I like Joan’s debut album, Whatever’s for Us. Sure, some of Pam Nestor’s lyrics are pretty pompous, but it was these ladies’ first musical outing, so I’m willing to let it slide. Produced by Gus Dudgeon and featuring some EJ personnel (Davey Johnstone contributes some gorgeous sitars to “Visionary Mountains”). My favourite aspect of this album: Joan’s piano playing, which is sadly missed on later albums (there’s a bit of it on Back to the Night but that’s pretty much it).

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    MIKE (a.k.a. "Progbear")

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  12. #12
    Member Burble's Avatar
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    I remember when the LP with Love and Affection came out, there was actually a promotional film trailer of the song that they played at the "art" movie houses (a really great clip - I haven't been able to find it posted anywhere). What a great song - great writing with a really super-deep groove. I was in high-school, out with four other friends to see some goofy art-house movie the first time I saw it, and the next day all four of us went out and bought that album.

    Her career is interesting - she did a couple albums with Steve Lillywhite at the beginning of the '80s, and even though the tone of the albums was very different, it was still a very Joan thing going on. A lot of people on this board are probably familiar with the tune Call Me Names simply because Levin and Belew were on the track. Adrian's out-solo on the tune is such an awesome cool bunch of noise:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhSq0w92TXQ

    I remember when Tracy Chapman came out in the late '80s, she got a lot of comparisons to Armatrading, and not understanding the real situation was quoted as saying, "I don't know who this Joan Armatrading is, but if she sounds so much like me, why doesn't she get a different thing?"

  13. #13
    Member ItalProgRules's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, former tween-queen Mandy Moore did an excellent cover of "Drop the Pilot." I had an ex who played it all the time.

    Mandy Moore also covered XTC's "Senses Working Overtime." They don't make tween queens like they used to!
    High Vibration Go On - R.I.P. Chris Squire

  14. #14
    Member Chris Kemp's Avatar
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    Yeah I immediately thought of Tracy Chapman. But Joan's the real deal.

  15. #15
    Okay, so it was disappointing.
    Joan was in great voice, and her guitar work is really solid. She is a unique songwriter and the ballads were magnificent. One song in 5/8 was also really enjoyable. I also love her disarming stage persona, very humble, extremely likeable.
    Unfortunately the mix was crap. Sounded like a wedding band. They started with Show Some Emotion, and I noticed right off the bat that there was no bottom end. In fact, I though there was an issue with the bass line. But the kick was absent too.
    Joan was the only guitar, and she did not have an amp.
    Her vocal was a tad dry and too loud.
    The k/ boards were okay, but dominated the mix.
    The drummer was a jazzer, and sounded good in parts, but ordinary on the rockier sections.
    When I finally heard a bit of bass (only in the quiet sections or when he played up the neck) it was damn good. Some awesome fretless work.
    The band were generally in the dark, which is okay I guess. The crowd of mainly over 50's didn't seem to care and gave a good response.
    At the end she introduced the band and imagine my shock when she introduced on the bass, John Giblin!
    I have admired him for years incl Brand X, Simple Minds especially.
    Well, the audio guy crucified him, and I can only imagine what it would have been like with an extra guitarist (they played Drop the Pilot without guitar), a more suitable drummer and a sound technician who understood the importance of a solid foundation.
    I am glad I saw her as she is a legend, as is John Giblin IMHO.

  16. #16
    I'd like to know how some soundmen manage to even have jobs. I can't tell if it's that they don't know what they're doing, or they're hearing is so damaged they can't hear that the mix is frelled, or if they just have some weird concept of how to mix things.

  17. #17
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    Joan has a new album out and is doing a short tour of the City Winery venues: https://www.joanarmatrading.com/unca...our-dates-2018




  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roth View Post
    Joan has a new album out and is doing a short tour of the City Winery venues: https://www.joanarmatrading.com/unca...our-dates-2018



    I've always liked what I've heard of her music so am interested in hearing the new album.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Burble View Post
    A lot of people on this board are probably familiar with the tune Call Me Names simply because Levin and Belew were on the track. Adrian's out-solo on the tune is such an awesome cool bunch of noise:
    Actually, I knew Call Me Names initially because MTV actually played the video a few times. Yeah, I know, that's one for Ripley's Believe It Or Not, but I assure you it actually happened.

    Apart from that, I remember her name in an interview with Judas Priest guitarists KK Downing and Glenn Tipton. By way of explaining how ignorant music critics often times are, one of them recounted seeing a review where Priest were compared to Armatrading!

  20. #20
    Walk Under Ladders and Me Myself I are my favorites. Walk Under Ladders in particular: Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Ray Cooper, Thomas Dolby, Jerry Marotta, etc. -- amazing supporting cast.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
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    Always in My Dreams is a lovely song.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Actually, I knew Call Me Names initially because MTV actually played the video a few times. Yeah, I know, that's one for Ripley's Believe It Or Not, but I assure you it actually happened.
    I can confirm that this one did air on MTV, alongside “Drop the Pilot” and an earlier video, probably “Me Myself I.”* Weirdly, I wound up discussing this song with a co-worker, which I described as “Joan being judgemental about other people’s sex lives,” or something like that.

    *I seem to remember the video having Joan on a playground carousel, so maybe it was something else. Either that, or I’m relying on faulty memory. That was nearly 40 years ago, so that seems not unlikely.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I can confirm that this one did air on MTV, alongside “Drop the Pilot” and an earlier video, probably “Me Myself I.”* Weirdly, I wound up discussing this song with a co-worker, which I described as “Joan being judgemental about other people’s sex lives,” or something like that.
    Call Me Names is the only one I remember seeing, but now that I think about it, I might have also seen a video for Drop The Pilot, because it seems like when I borrowed the Track Record best of from the library, that was the other song I recognized.

  24. #24
    Ya know what? Looking at Wikipedia, it says she also did the song that was played over the opening and closing credits of a movie called The Wild Geese, which starred Richard Burton, Roger Moore, and Richard Harris. I haven't seen it in over 30 years, but I remember seeing it when I was little, so I guess I must have heard her there too.

  25. #25
    ↑And the sequel—Codename: Wildgeese—had a soundtrack by Eloy.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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