Sunday, August 28, 2011

Joan Armatrading: Willow

A woman singer-songwriter who has enjoyed a 40-year career? That's unusual.

A Black British woman singer-songwriter who has enjoyed a 40-year career? That must be unique.

Joan Armatrading is one of those artists who has been there for as long as I have been interested in music. And for that reason it is easy to forget what an unusual career she has had.

Her Wikipedia entry says that she was around in the early 1970s, without enjoying much chart success, and then "in January 1974 she appeared on the BBC Radio 1 John Peel Show". But I can remember her being championed on Radio 1 a year or two before that. And it was by Noel Edmonds, in the days when he was one of the station's cooler DJs.

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

Anyway, this song comes from her gentler, 1970s days, before she reinvented herself as a more up tempo performer in the 1980s and enjoyed some chart success.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

I remember bits and pieces of a Guardian interview from when JA was starting out. I think her brother was her manager and collaborator at that time.