Down to Zero

Album: Joan Armatrading (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a woman whose confidence is cut down in a flash when her man runs off with someone else. Suddenly she is "down to zero," an unfamiliar and unexpected place.

    Armatrading wrote the song after speaking with two different women who had essentially the same story. "They both felt they were beautiful women, and they couldn't understand why their men weren't so overwhelmed with their beauty that they didn't even consider glancing at another person, let alone going off with anybody else," she said in her Songfacts interview. "It was just weird for me at the time that these two women were going through the same kind of thing and thinking about themselves in the same way, so I wrote that song about that situation."
  • Four different guitars were used on this track: Armatrading played 6-string, Graham Lyle played 12-string, Jerry Donahue played electric, and B. J. Cole was on pedal steel. Kenney Jones, who would later replace Keith Moon in The Who, was the drummer.

    The album was produced by Glyn Johns, whose previous work includes the first Led Zeppelin album and the Eagles debut.

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