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Customer Reviews

The Key

This album was my introduction to Joan Armatrading back in the early 80's. I had seen videos for "Drop The Pilot" & "(I Love It When You) Call Me Names" on MTV, so when I saw this on cassette at my local music store I grabbed it immediately. Although she has released numerous albums throughout her lengthy career, "The Key" holds a special place in my heart and is, without doubt, my favorite. A great place to begin if you're unfamiliar with this criminally overlooked artist.

Your desert island disc?

I strongly nominate "The Key" as one of them. Why this album has been lost in obscurity for over twenty years is a complete travesty, and now FINALLY it's on iTunes for all to enjoy. I too was introduced to Armatrading by this album. I was a big fan of the '81 line up of King Crimson and was amazed to see guitar virtuoso, Adrian Belew, and bass/stick player master, Tony Levin, playing for her on the video to "(I Love It When You) Call Me Names." One of the best discoveries in my early music education. The entire album is just solid song craft with an artist whom you can just sense has hit her mainstream stride. And for the next 3-4 years she surfed a really solid wave with equally worthy follow ups ("Secret Secrets" and "Sleight of Hand") which amazingly have also finally made it to iTunes. It's an album that has wonderfully defied '80s production aging. Buy it. Play it. A lot.


Born: December 9, 1950 in Basseterre, St. Kitts

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in 1950 on the island of St. Kitts, Joan Armatrading was her country's -- as well as Britain's -- first female to gain international success as a singer/songwriter. Spicing her take on folk with elements of rock, blues, and jazz, she has had a remarkably long, consistent career. Armatrading immigrated to England in 1958 and began writing songs six years later. In 1970, she met lyricist Pam Nestor, and the two began collaborating on material later featured on Armatrading's 1972 debut, Whatever's...
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