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4.8 out of 5 stars57
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on June 21, 2000
I bought this CD for one of the wierdest reasons ever. It's listed on's Essential of the Year List for 1976, that was the year I was born, so I decided what the heck and bought this CD not knowing anything about it, boy am I glad. This CD is great. The sounds are awesome, and Joan Armatrading is a very skilled songwriter/musician. So many songs on here are phenomenal like "Water With The Wine" which tells such a heartfelt story. "Tall In The Saddle" which is inspirational at times for me. "Down to Zero" and of course "Love and Affection" are also great songs. It's easy to see where people like Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, and so many of today's top female artists could have been influenced by this music. I feel that Joan has a stronger emotional attachment to her songs than any of these others do nowadays. A great CD and a great find.
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on December 7, 1999
I was living in the great city of Portland, Oregon and one day I heard "Love and Affection" on the radio. It only took one time and I was off to the record store. I remember well the first time I listened to the entire album... It was a unique experience. I knew that I had made a new discovery. Joan Armatrading is an incredible singer/songwriter/musician. I've loved many of her works since and have nearly her entire catalog but none will ever match this effort. To this day...I don't think I will ever hear a song that expresses what it should always be like to find someone new and discover whether or not they are that one and only special someone that we all are looking for like "Love and Affection" does. But, it's not the only one worth mention.... "Water With The Wine", "Down to Zero" and "Save Me" are also among the many great cuts here. A must for any record collection.
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on September 27, 2001
Whatever happened to Joan Armatrading? She simply dropped off the face of the planet sometime in the 1980s and it is our loss. This debut album shook England during my teens. I remember trying to learn the lead solo in Tall in the Saddle, slow-dancing with an early girl friend to Love and Affection (wait until you hear the saxophone solo)
This music is full of memories for me and still has great power to move so many years later. Ms Armatrading is a wonderful songwriter and a fabulous guitarist. If enough of us buy her back catalogue maybe she'll come out of retirement.
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on January 14, 2000
I've been slowly replacing my album collection, and after ordering Ms. Armatrading's CD, I can only ask myself, "Why haven't I replaced them in alphabetical order?" One of the jewels of my music collection, and HIGHLY recommended. An absolute must for a broken heart. It had been too long since I heard her sing, "I'm a moth with no flame to inspire me." Oh yeah.
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on December 17, 2013
This album is one of the greatest singer-songwriter albums ever produced, and is packed with Joan Armatrading's highly original songs, which are expressive, interesting and moving beyond description. I first heard these songs as a very young man, and I was immediately transfixed by their unusual brilliance. Now, decades later, they are as freshly moving as ever, and a real window into the heart of a young woman. "Down to Zero" captures the essence of heartbreak; "Water with the Wine" describes the joyful regret a young woman feels after she has been seduced; "Love and Affection" is an expression of the exhilaration of being in love which is so accurate and moving that the listener is simply stunned. This album will be considered a masterpiece in 300 years.
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This is by no means Joan's first album but it seems it's a favorite of many and alot of fans.I only have two of her recordings (the other being a cassette tape of her 1983 'The Key' album that I also enjoy alot).This is considered her best 70's album and I can certainly see why.Basically what Ms.Armadrading does is combine her singer-songwriter styled acoustic music with electric instruments and bringing in other styles of music such as blues,R&B,jazz and a lite funky groove into the mix.

The key to the music is quiet electism as she weaves in her questioning tales of love,commitment and confusions over the same,all delivered in that wonderful deep,husky voice she has.'Joan Armatrading' works as an intimate album lengh set piece-it's very cohesive and includes slower and faster songs.Of the more mellow tunes "Help Yourself" is my favorite is is definately a reflection on her independant streak."Join The Boys" is a fun uptempo piece with a mildly funk groove and a bluesy melody."Love And Affection" is the best known song here and it's a great one to be known for.

All and all this is one classic album (albeit with some apparent cult status) that I thouroughly enjoy and I will highly recommend to others.Critics standards for classic albums are usually highly subjective all around and doesn't agree with everyones tastes (in my case the status of waaaaayyy overrated Nirvana album 'Nevermind' comes to mind) but this truely deserves any praise given to it!Great to listen to deeply,put on to relax or in a few cases to sway your head to!
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on June 8, 2000
Armatrading's self-titled 1976 masterpiece represents the best musical performance of her career to date. Sultry, introspective lyrics (try "I am not in love/But I'm open to persuasion..." from "Love and Affection," her best known song) combine with exquisite guitar work and a powerfully unique voice to make this a special recording. "Down to Zero," "Love and Affection," "Join the Boys," and "Tall in the Saddle" are my favorites.
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on March 18, 2015
I owned this record album when it first came out and it was one of my all time favorites. The first tune hit number one in 1976! The album wore out and I couldn't find a replacement anywhere. I had looked for a CD on line and on Amazon many times, never finding it. I decided to do one last search and there it was! After a good many years, it sounds the same and remains right up there on top of my list!
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on April 2, 2015
Joan Armatrading is one of the most musically worthwhile artists of the last forty years, and this and Show Some Emotion are just musical gems. Great and meaningful songwriting that really probes matters of the heart, beautifully clear and uncluttered production, wonderful melodies, and soulful vocals. The songs on this album are very strong, going from blues, to soul, to folk, all in a few moments, without sounding jarring. I really enjoy the whole album but highlights are "Love and Affection" and "Tall in the Saddle." This is her third release and proof that artists take some time to develop, something the industry doesn't seem to appreciate now.
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on February 22, 2005
Where to begin? Every single song on this album KILLS me. Some (Water with the Wine, Join the Boys) get me out of my chair and make me dance and sing along. Some (Down to Zero, Love and Affection) start me reaching for the nearest bottle of red wine. Some (Save Me) make me want to just climb into bed, pull the covers up around me and cry out loud. The best of the best, though, is Somebody Who Loves You... God! Is there anyone anywhere who can't identify with the song's statement: "You've got somebody who loves you and I want to see you fan the fire... Mistaken shyness can be costly; too hasty a goodbye and then you've lost me." Wow. Just trust me... Buy this album. It'll be your favorite for the NEXT thirty years.
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