Joan Armatrading – Live In London (1977)

FrontCover1Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading is a Kittitian-English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.

In a recording career spanning nearly 50 years, Armatrading has released 20 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.

She’s a little long-winded, but that’s mostly because she puts so much thought into her relationships, which in turn is because she puts so much feeling into them; this is one of those rare pop stars who’s invariably serious but never pompous, which is why she isn’t a bigger star. (Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s (1990))Armatrading possesses the vocal range of a contralto. Her music draws on a wide range of influences including rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul, and reggae.

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Her songs have been described as “some of the most deeply personal and emotionally naked … of our times”. In a 2003 interview, she said: “My songs aren’t about me at all. They’re always about love, the pain and anguish of it. But the way I’ve always written is from observation. They’re about what I see other people going through. If the songs were about me I’d be so embarrassed I don’t think I’d be able to walk out the front door.” She went on to say: “the optimistic songs reveal a bit more of me because that’s how I feel. I’m definitely a ‘glass is half full’ kind of a person.” Many of her lyrics do not specify the gender of their subjects and she frequently uses the word “you” rather than a gender pronoun. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a low-budget sampler, but a real nice and good sampler.

Over thirty years after this show was captured for  the King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, the music of singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading still stands the test of time. This was the dawn of her career when, after becoming a press darling in her native U.K. in 1976, she embarked on a campaign to break out in the states. This recording marks her return to London, after Armatrading had finished her first U.S. tour and done extensive promotion for her current LP on A&M Records.

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It is clear from these tracks that she is home and happy to be there. She performs with incredible emotion and zest, especially on the up-tempo tracks “Help Yourself,” “Show Some Emotion,” and “Love and Affection,” which were among the biggest tracks for her outside of the U.K. Other songs in this set, performed with her band of excellent musicians, include “Cool Blue Stole My Heart” and the coy number “Kissin’ and Huggin’.”

Joan Armatrading would never break through to big audiences outside of the U.K., but she built enough of a core audience to allow her to tour worldwide for more than two decades after this show was recorded. Of course, in England Armatrading remained a big star, and still performs regularly today, often playing sold out U.K. tours and large summer music festivals.

Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK; November 5, 1977:

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Personnel:
Joan Armatrading (vocals, guitar, piano)
Quitman Dennis (saxophone, flute)
Jerry Donahue (guitar)
Brian Garfalo (bass)
David Kemper (drums)

Joan Armatrading04Tracklist:
01. Never Is Too Late 7.37
02. Show Some Emotion 4.28
03. Willow 6.16
04. Opportunity 3.43
05. Won’t You Come On Home 4.06
06. Steppin’ Out 4.12
07. Love And Affection 5.13
08. Cool Blue Stole My Heart 6.23
09. Mama Mercy 4.41
10. Kissin’ And A Huggin’ 4.55
11. Tall In The Saddle 7.22

All songs written by Joan Armatrading

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Riccardo Cocciante – Quando Si Vuole Bene (1° Tempo) (1986)

FrontCover1Riccardo Cocciante was born on 20 February 1946 in Saigon, French Indochina, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to an Italian father from Rocca di Mezzo, L’Aquila, and a French mother. At the age of 11, he moved to Rome, Italy, where he attended the Lycée français Chateaubriand. He has also lived in France, the United States, and Ireland. (wikipedia)

Born of an Italian father and a French mother (so it’s no surprise he uses the name Richard for his French records), he often performed in pop events, and his first album, “Mu” (1972) presented a mixture of progressive rock and religion.

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But it was only with his following works, “Poetry (Poesia)” (1973) and “Soul (Anima)” (1974), that his very personal approach to song-writing became apparent: the coarse voice strokes the chords of a tortured intimacy (“Poesia”) or bursts into an irrepressible, almost raging cry, that became famous with “Soulless beauty (Bella senz’anima)” and “When a love story’s over (Quando finisce un amore)”.
If “Dawn (Alba)” (1975) hovers in some way between manierism and ritual, it is with “Concert for Margherita (Concerto per Margherita)” (1976) that Cocciante reaches superstar status: arranged by Vangelis, the album contains several very successful songs (“Spring (Primavera)”, “When you’re fond (Quando si vuole bene)”), not least “Margherita” – written four-handed with Marco Luberti – which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Italian love songs of all time.

Riccardo Cocciante01An artist by this time know well known throughout Europe and South America, with “Riccardo Cocciante” (1977) and “…and I sing (… e io canto)” (1979) he continues along the successful path set by the earlier albums: in ’77, as proof of the appreciation he enjoys as a songwriter, both Mina and Mia Martini decide to record versions of his “Once again (Da capo)”. A change comes with “A deer in springtime (Cervo a primavera)” (1981), in which Mogol – soon after the end of his collaboration with Lucio Battisti – lends a hand with the lyrics: the collaboration produces excellent results, as is proven by pieces such as the one that lends it’s title to the album and “My dearest friend (Il mio amico carissimo), both fated to become old favourites. The presence of Mogol has beneficial effects on the subsequent “Cocciante” (1982), that is steeped with future classics such as “A hole in the heart (Un buco nel cuore)”, “A new friend (Un nuovo amico)”, “On a bicycle (In bicicletta)” and “Blue nostalgia (Celeste nostalgia)”.

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Having changed recording company, moving from Rca to Virgin, Cocciante attempts to make the big leap into international pop: the results however are uneven and the only song to stand out is “Questione di feeling” (from the album “The Sea of poppies (Il mare dei papaveri)”, 1985), performed as a duet with Mina.

Riccardo Cocciante04Having retired with his wife Catherine Boutet to the United States, the singer only returns to Italy to take part in the Sanremo Festival in 1991, which he wins with “If we stay together (Se stiamo insieme)”. The rest is recent history: the success achieved with the music for “Notre Dame du Paris”, the work inspired by Victor Hugo’s tale which, following its Parisian debut in 1998, is now being staged worldwide and selling millions of records, and established him as an internationally famous artist.
In 2006, Sony-Bmg publishes “All my dreams (Tutti i miei sogni)”, a three CD box set with a collection of all his hit songs: they range from “Now I am the light (Ora che io sono la luce)” and “Man (Uomo)” both from Mu up to the recent “You Italia (Tu Italia)” and “On the lips and in the mind (Sulle labbra e nel pensiero)” from “Songs” recorded in 2005. (Francesco Troiano)

And here´s a real nice live recording:

‘Quando si vuole bene’ is the first live album by Riccardo Cocciante.The album was recorded during the singer-songwriter’s tour in (1986).

Wonderful Pop Chansons in Italian, very lovingly arranged and played by excellent musicians.

For all romantic readers of this blog.

Recorded live during the 1986 Italian Tour

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Personnel:
Dino d’Autorio (bass)
Riccardo Cocciante (vocals, piano)
Valerio Galavotti (saxophone, flute)
Maurizio Lucantoni (keyboards)
Agostino Marangolo (drums)
Carlo Pennisi (guitar)
Michele Santoro (guitar, keyboards)
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choir:
Chattanooga:
Ezio Mazzola – Vittorio Fiorillo – Rossella Cassese – Daniela Cassese – Riki Graziano

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Tracklist:
01. Tu Sei Il Mio Amico Carissimo (Mogol/Cocciante) 3:08
02. Un Buco Nel Cuore 4:30
03. In Bicicletta 4:08
04. Sulla Terra Io E Lei (Roda-Gil/Cocciante 4:12
05. Primavera (Luberti/Cocciante) 5:10
06. Cervo A Primavera 5:05
06. È Passata Una Nuvola 3:46
07. Il Mare Dei Papaveri 3:31
08. Celeste Nostalgia 3:59
09. Parole Sante, Zia Lucia 4:56

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