Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, born 9 December 1950) is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist.
Artist: Joan Armatrading
Title: The Key
Label: A&M Records
Catalog# AMLX 64912
The Key is the eighth studio album by the British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading, released on 28 February 1983 by A&M Records (AMLX64912). The album was recorded at Townhouse Studios in Shepherd’s Bush, London; Polar Studios in Stockholm and also in New York.
The album spawned the single “Drop the Pilot”, which became one of Armatrading’s biggest hits, reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart over a 10-week stay. It also quickly became a staple of Armatrading’s live performances and has featured on many of her compilation albums.
Steve Lillywhite was commissioned to produce the album; however, A&M Records judged the album to be not commercial enough and asked Armatrading to come up with some additional, more commercial, material. She went away and wrote the tracks “Drop the Pilot” and “What Do Boys Dream”, both of which were produced separately in New York by Val Garay. These two tracks therefore used a completely different set of musicians, which serves to explain the length of the personnel list on this album.
Armatrading draws on a variety of musical styles for this album, from Stax style brass, rhythm and blues and punk, as well as the rock guitar of Adrian Belew, who had played with David Bowie on Lodger.
The album’s title refers to the door key which Armatrading habitually wore around her neck at that time and which is featured in the album’s photography. She is also pictured playing a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.
“(I Love It When You) Call Me Names” was written about two men in a band who were always arguing, and features a guitar solo by Adrian Belew. It was released as a single, though it did not chart. It subsequently became a staple of Armatrading’s live performances and has appeared on many of her compilation albums. Armatrading said of the song, “It’s come out as a man and a woman, but I was really looking at two guys. Not two gay guys, just two guys who are friends who tend to treat each other like this, always calling each other names. There’s sort of this love/hate relationship between them, but you get the feeling that they really enjoy this thing that they’re going through.”
1. (I Love It When You) Call Me Names (4:22)
2. Foolish Pride (3:17)
3. Drop The Pilot (3:42)
4. The Key (4:02)
5. Everybody Gotta Know (3:43)
1. Tell Tale (2:32)
2. What Do Boys Dream (2:57)
3. The Game Of Love (3:35)
4. The Dealer (3:18)
5. Bad Habits (3:46)
6. I Love My Baby (3:23)