Got The Fever

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Joan Armatrading

Joan has always been a treasured choice of artist to me. One of those artists that you smile about because she’s so inverse from the banality of the “he done me wrong” female artists that pop in and out of the landscape every so often with a minor hit or two only to become an answer to a trivia question a year later.

Personally, she’s what I classify with the adjectives intelligent, reliable, sensitive, temperamental, sophisticated, gifted and wholly entertaining.

She had such an eclectic string of memorable tracks among her albums that it confounds me why she isn’t on the lips of those who make lists of the most influential female artists. “Me, Myself, I”, “I’m Lucky”, “Drop The Pilot” and “The Messenger” are but the first few that come to mind. She’s a sparkling treat when needing a stew of sensitivity and thought.

Presenting two songs of love, one throbbing and unanswered, the other wicked and erotically painful.

Love And Affection
There is a tender, malleable interplay between the brutal hunger of lyrics, the sensual backing bass vocal, the warmth of the string arrangement and a sax that puts emphasis on, and beseeches, for the deepest and basest desire we all so desperately pray for and so commonly call a “soul-mate”.

Desperate in its honesty and delicate in its sensuality, this is an anthem for the unrequited romantic who knows painfully well that even while in the company of others, they are desperately alone. I also feel that this is one of the best opening lines I've ever heard.

I am not in love
But I'm open to persuasion

East or West
Where's the best
For romancing
With a friend
I can smile
But with a lover
I could hold my head back
I could really laugh
Really laugh

Thank you
You took me dancing
'Cross the floor
Cheek to cheek
But with a lover
I could really move
Really move
I could really dance
Really dance

Now if I can feel the sun
In my eyes
And the rain on my face
Why can't I
Feel love

Just make love
With affection
Sing me another love song
But this time
With a little dedication
Sing it, sing it
You know that's what I like
Once more with feeling

(I Love It When You) Call Me Names
Joan could hammer it out as evidenced by this knocker that seems to me to be about the loving vice of pain. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong with my interpretation. What better way to spend a consensual and passionate round of love than to beat each other up?

I remember hearing this for the first time live (in Boston) and thinking “what a kickin’ guitar lead!”

Big woman
And a short, short man
And he loves it
When she beats his brains out

He's pecked to death
But he loves the pain
And he loves it
When she calls him names

She's wearing heavy leather with lace
He dresses up in cowboy taste
They punish then they think up a crime
It's their way of loving - not mine

I love it when you call me names!

Joan Armatrading: Love And Affection
From: Joan Armatrading [1976]

Joan Armatrading: (I Love It When You) Call Me Names
From: The Key [1983]

Random thoughts:

Is it just me, or does the music of The Cars seem surprisingly dated?

Props to Fusion 45 for the range that's presented. Always fun. And he's been requesting one of my fave Boston bands that I used to frequent - The Rings for a while now. It's coming!

Be ready August 12th for the annual "Vinyl Record Appreciation Society" hosted by the good DJ over at The Hits Just Keep On Coming.

Been addicted lately to Slingshot On The Bleachers. Fine, fine choice of tracks that's always fresh.

As usual, RIBS (Rhythms In Black Satin) keeps on taking more and more space on my download directory.

Looking for 70's and 80's albums? Babakazoo's Classic Groove is the stop to shop.

Could only be me, but I'm tired of downloading Blues albums with great reviews only to listen to them and find out that they're the same old, same old.

Finished Hope's Boy (A Memoir) by Andrew Bridge. Foster care memories that never go away. However, they do harden the heart enough to overcome and to eventually not just succeed, but to excel.

Lately, I'm listening to a lot of Big & Rich, Carly Simon, Motels, Association, Diana Krall, Killers, soundtrack to Aspects Of Love and thanks to my daughter's ever bubbly facination, Hanna Montana and Miley Cyrus. It is hilarious to hear my boys listening to Zepplin, Ozzy and Deep Purple as if they're new artists.

Before you leave the house in the morning, give a listen to WICN public radio, New England's Jazz & Folk station. Never get tired of being surprised and asking myself "Who does that?"

Saw Journey to the Center of the Earth - 3-D. Very entertaining and worth the price of admission!

Scored one more from my list to the right titled "What I'm (unsuccessfully) searching for" - The Skatt Brothers and "Walk The Night". Coming to this blog soon.


  • Most grateful for the mention, my friend. Looking forward to the Rings, for sure. And thanks for the thoughts on Joan Armatrading. She's an artist who bears repeated listening and investigation; there's always more to learn. My personal fave from her is "Merchant of Love," a brilliant composition. MJ@F45

    By Blogger Fusion 45, at 12:07 AM  

  • Thanks for the drum roll, WZJN. It gave me a buzz to read here that you've been enjoying the selections of late.

    Like Fusion 45, I enjoyed your unabashedly affectionate words on Joan Armatrading ; your first choice of song is one of those I've unaccountably indulged a liking for too since its original release. A solitary indulgence, I might add.

    Even years later when her newer material failed to make a similar impression, I went out and surreptitiously laid out some hard currency on Tracy Chapman simply because her influence was so immediately tangible.

    As for your (rhetorical) question regarding the Cars. Absolutely, they've dated faster than a supermarket loaf, but then again, were they ever actually that good anyway ?

    Good luck with tracking down the TRB! I thought I might be able to help you out there, but after a thorough search I came up empty-handed. If you manage to track it down I'd love to hear it.

    By Blogger ib, at 7:07 AM  

  • thanks for the long piece about joan. i really love her, everything she does is really effectively emotional.

    By Anonymous liz, at 5:49 PM  

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