SP 5211 The Shouting Stage
Produced by Joan Armatrading
Released on July 1988
UK CHART POSITION #18 . . . US CHART POSITION #100
Find it at GEMM
SP 5211 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

S leight of Hand had a few songs like this up its sleeve (“Jesse,” “Russian Roulette,” “The Laurel and The Rose”). The Shouting Stage produces an armful. Despite the title, this is perhaps her most graceful album in a decade. The opening “The Devil I Know,” with its sophisticated jazz arrangement, lets you know that Joan won’t be trying to rock your socks off. Instead, she charms you with the warm island melodies that have always been at the core of her best work (“Living For You,” Straight Talk”) and moves you with deep observations about the cunning art (“The Shouting Stage,” “All A Woman Needs”). Synthesizers are largely absent from the album, the songs are complex yet supple, the pointed playing of part-time guest Mark Knopfler is delicious. The Shouting Stage is exactly where I hoped Joan Armatrading would be at this stage in her career: mining familiar melodies with richer results. It’s not about the hits anymore, though “Living For You” and “Straight Talk” can hold their own with any of them. It’s about quality, consistency, experience. Maybe it’s the participation of Knopfler and Alan Clark, but The Shouting Stage reminds me of the softer moments on Brothers In Arms. It flows from a natural, organic place that her last few albums didn’t in their attempt to (at least partially) please rock audiences. Here Joan returns to the dire confessional, the giddy romp in the rain, those girlish conceits that made her a unique and attractive voice in music. As her last two records showed (“Jesse,” “Talking to the Wall”), Joan can still be very graceful when she wants. And that kind of gracefulness informs The Shouting Stage more than her last few albums.

TRACK LISTING

  1. THE DEVIL I KNOW    4:13
  2. LIVING FOR YOU    4:14
  3. DID I MAKE YOU UP    3:45
  4. STRONGER LOVE    5:07
  5. THE SHOUTING STAGE    5:27
  6. WORDS    3:46
  7. STRAIGHT TALK    4:02
  8. WATCH YOUR STEP    3:58
  9. ALL A WOMAN NEEDS    5:01
  10. DARK TRUTHS    2:09

    All songs written by Joan Armatrading

CREDITS

JOAN ARMATRADING -- vocals, guitar solo
BOB NOBLE -- keyboards, strings, organ
PINO PALLADINO -- bass
PHIL PALMER -- guitar
Guy Barker -- trumpet (2)
Mark Brzezicki -- drums (1,3)
Alan Clark -- keyboards, piano (2,4,8)
Manu Katché -- drums (6,7)
Mark Knopfler -- guitar (3,5)
Jamie Lane -- drums (2,8)
Jody Linscott -- percussion (3,5)
Wesley Magoogan -- sax (4,7)
Dave Mattacks -- drums (5,9)
David Rhodes -- backing vocals (6,7)
Graham Dickson -- engineer, mixing
Andrew Catlin -- photography
David Band -- illustrations
Sandra Bonnick -- hair
Jeremy Pearce -- art direction
Sarah Southin -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK July 1988 A&M LP/CD/CS AMA/CDA/AMC-5211 lyric sleeve
US/CAN July 1988 A&M LP/CD/CS SP/CD/CS-5211 lyric sleeve
GER 1988 A&M LP 395 211 lyric sleeve
YUG 1988 RTB LP 220264  

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2007 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.