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Morning Song – Love And Affection

May 28, 2014

Joan Armatrading’s “Love And Affection” is such an exquisite recording of a beautiful song that, nearly 40 years after it was released, it’s still surprising she never became a star in the United States.

(Psst…she’s a Black lesbian from Birmingham, England who’s a genre-crossing singer-songwriter-guitarist-bandleader-producer.  Only straight white guys—e.g., Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp—got to play that role in 1970s-80s American music and end up with a wildly successful career.)

Okay, but other than that, it’s still surprising.

Heck, even taking all that into consideration, “Love And Affection” is so good that it’s still at least a little bit surprising.  (Especially considering the superb catalog of songs and albums Armatrading produced in the ensuing years.)

I love everything about “Love And Affection”:  Armatrading’s shimmering 12-string guitar, her gorgeous contralto, the subtle drumming, the soulful strings, the understated-but-solid bass line, the backing voices (high and low), the soaring alto sax solo, and the intimate lyrics about which Armatrading once said, “It’s just deeply, deeply personal, and I can’t talk about it without talking about the person I wrote it for, which I never, ever do.”  Just a great, great record.


From → Music

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