🎡 AOTW Joan Armatrading: HEARTS AND FLOWERS (A&M SP 5298)


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A1More Than One Kind Of Love
Bass – Mick KarnDrums – Jamie LaneKeyboards – Don FreemanPercussion – Hossam Ramzy
A2Hearts And Flowers
Keyboards, Guitar – Joan Armatrading
A3Promise Land
Bass – Mick KarnDrums – Steve JansenGuitar – Joan ArmatradingKeyboards – Don Freeman
A4Someone's In The Background
Bass – Mick KarnDrums – Steve JansenGuitar – Joan ArmatradingKeyboards – Don Freeman
A5Can't Let Go
Keyboards, Guitar – Joan Armatrading
Bass – Mick KarnDrums – Steve JansenGuitar – Joan ArmatradingKeyboards – Don FreemanSaxophone – Dave Koz
B2Something In The Air Tonight
Bass – Pino PalladinoDrums – Manu KatchΓ©Guitar – Joan ArmatradingKeyboards – Don FreemanPercussion – Hossam Ramzy
Keyboards – Don Freeman
B4Good Times
Bass – Don FreemanDrums – Jamie LaneGuitar – Joan ArmatradingHihat [High Hat] – Manu KatchΓ©
B5The Power Of Dreams
Bass – Pino PalladinoDrums – Manu KatchΓ©Keyboards – Don Freeman

Recorded at Bumpkin Studios.
Mixed at The Grey Room, Los Angeles.
Mastered at Sterling Sound.

Entered the Billboard Top 200 on June 3, 1990
Reached # 161 and charted for 10 weeks
Also issued as CD 5298


Mr Bill

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I think Joan was probably frustrated that this young upstart burst out the gate straight to number one doing the same kind of music she had been doing for two decades. Chapman is practically a young clone of Armatrading, and not just musically...

--Mr Bill

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Adjectives that you wouldn't normally use to describe a Joan Armatrading record come to mind when considering the album, "Hearts and Flowers" - mellow, relaxing, peaceful..... there are even ethereal background vocals on a couple of the tracks.

Joan experiments with non-traditional song structures on this set. Some of the songs are loose and free-flowing. She wrote and arranged all songs, played instruments and produced the album. Recognising the quality of the set, it was a real achievement to master all of these roles.

Another element that I feel is different from her other albums is the prominent use of electronic keyboards. On a number of the tracks that don't solely use keyboards, she weaves guitar with those keyboards in an interesting way, providing a perfect balance of the two instruments. In fact, Joan Armatrading played both keyboards and guitars on some of the tracks. On others, she just played guitar.

The second half of the album, which was probably originally 'Side 2', is a bit heavier than the first half, with stadium-style drums lifting the tracks - although drums had been used on one or two earlier songs.

As a teenager, I owned and constantly played Joan Armatrading singles like "No Love" and "I Love It When you Call Me Names", but the music on this album is quite different from those earlier successes.

In Australia, Joan Armatrading was a regular feature on radio, especially in the late seventies and early eighties, with hits such as "Me, Myself, I", "Drop the Pilot" and the aforementioned "I Love It When You Call me Names" and Top 20 albums like "Show Some Emotion", "Me Myself I", "Walk Under Ladders", "The Key", "Track Record", "Secret Secrets" and "The Shouting Stage". I know that she toured here quite regularly in her earlier career.

'Hearts and Flowers' is a fascinating set, on which Joan Armatrading truly demonstrates that she is a tremendous performer and creative talent. With the very strong compositions, arrangements and performances, and with that creative something 'extra', I wholeheartedly recommend this album.
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