Love and Affection

Album: Joan Armatrading (1976)
Charted: 10

Songfacts®:

  • Armatrading's first and biggest hit, she doesn't like to discuss the song. She told LaShonda Barnett in I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters and Their Craft: "It's just deeply, deeply personal, and I can't talk about it without talking about the person I wrote it for, which I never, ever do."
  • This was the first single by a black female British singer/songwriter to achieve major success in the UK. Armatrading was born in the West Indies in 1950, and her family then moved to England when she was 7 years old. She started writing songs as a teenager, and in the '70s she appeared in a London production of the musical Hair. She has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and two Brit Awards. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • On this single Armatrading was backed by former members of the British folk band Fairport Convention: guitarist Jerry Donahue and drummer Dave Mattacks. The album was produced by Glyn Johns, famous for his work with Led Zeppelin, the Eagles and The Who.
  • In an interview with Daniel Rachel (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters), Armatrading admitted that the opening line - "I'm not in love, but I'm open to persuasion" - is about herself. Someone was trying to persuade her.
  • This was one of the more difficult songs for Armatrading to write; she says it is really two songs that she combined to make one.
  • The big bass voice on this track is Clarke Peters, who at the time was using the name Pete Clarke. He was with a band called The Majestics, but it would be as an actor that he made his mark, playing Lester Freamon in the TV series The Wire and appearing in the movies John Wick and Notting Hill.
  • In our interview with Joan Armatrading, she said she was driving along King's Road in London when inspiration for this song struck. "I can show you the spot where I was when those lyrics came to me," she said. "It was somebody trying to persuade me to be with them, and that's as much as I'm saying about that song."
  • Armatrading knew she had something special when she wrote this song, and asked that it be released as the first single from the album. Her record company wasn't so sure, but wisely complied.

Comments: 2

  • Brearleyanne from Ramsgate Kent UkI hadn't heard this tune for so long but I heard it in a car on radio..I was amazed I still had the emotional connection and remembered all the words..Don't you just love emotistalger: I needed that & I'm 57 now...
  • K from Wilmington, NcThis is a fabulous song! So much true feeling gets conveyed through the words and the music. Perfect.
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