Friday, July 30, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Joan Armatrading
Song:Down To Zero
Singer songwriter Joan Armatrading was a much bigger star in her native England than she ever was in North America. Her music is a mix of various styles but she seems to be most effective when she bases her music in folk styles. She loses her way when she tries to expand that. I prefer her music from the 70s. She was born Dec. 9, 1950 in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and moved with her family to Birmingham, England at the age of 8. She started writing songs as a teen and moved to London in the early 70s to perform in a repertory production of the stage musical Hair. It was here that she met lyricist Pam Nestor and the two started writing together. They recorded the album Whatever's For Us for Cube Records in 1972 but the label decided that Joan had star potential and released it as a Joan Armatrading album. This caused the two to split. Joan signed with A & M Records in 1975 and released Back To The Night. On that album, she worked with singer Elkie Brooks and her producer husband Pete Gage. When it didn't chart, A & M assigned her to legendary producer Glyn Johns and the 1976 album Joan Armatrading went Gold in the UK and the single Love And Affection reached #10 on the singles chart. Many of the songs from that album including Down To Zero have become staples in Joan's live show. And as I said, she never had the same success in the US but that album reached #67 on the Billboard Hot 200. She had her biggest chart success in 1980 with the more pop oriented album Me Myself I and she continued to have success through the 80s especially in England. But in the early 90s, she faded and left A & M for RCA. She recorded one album in 1995 and didn't return until 2003. She currently records for Savoy Jazz and released This Charming Life in Mar. 2010. This 1996 comp is a good intro to her music. Joan Armatrading was awarded the Ivor Novello award in 1996 for her body of work. Here's the video for Down To Zero by Joan Armatrading.