SP-4382 Whatever's For Us
Produced by Gus Dudgeon
Released on 1972
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SP-4382 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I t’s no accident that Joan Armatrading’s debut, Whatever’s For Us, invites comparison to Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and Cat Stevens. Producer Gus Dudgeon was also Elton’s producer, and the backing band -- which includes Davey Johnstone, Gerry Conway and Ray Cooper -- draws heavily from the camps of John and Stevens. As for Joni’s influence, one need look no further than Joan’s intimate piano and guitar accompaniment. As with many singer/songwriters, quantity gets the better hand of quality; these fourteen tracks could have been pared down to ten and still retained the same impact as an album. Lyricist Pam Nestor, who appears here as full-time collaborator in a role similar to Bernie Taupin, is concerned primarily with social issues (“My Family”) and character studies (“Child Star”). Joan isn’t the compelling presence here that later albums would reveal, instead seemingly content to let the songs speak for her. And a handful of songs do stand out -- “Visionary Mountains” (which features Johnstone on sitar), “Mean Old Man,” “Head of the Table,” “Spend a Little Time,” “City Girl” and the album’s single, “Alice.” Like Elton John’s Empty Sky, the songs tend to be of a piece, suggesting a talented artist who hasn’t quite found their true voice. Subsequent albums would find her incorporating elements of rock, jazz, and island music while shifting the lyrical focus to matters of the heart. As a result, casual fans of her later records may find Whatever’s For Us too preachy and folksy for their tastes. Still, you don’t need to be a hardcore fan to hear and appreciate this material for what it is: a talented young artist’s attempt to break into the singer/songwriter field of the early ‘70s.

SP-4382 lyric gatefold SP-4382 back cover
SP-4382 lyric gatefold SP-4382 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. MY FAMILY    3:08
  2. CITY GIRL    (Joan Armatrading)    3:58
  3. SPEND A LITTLE TIME    (Joan Armatrading)    2:23
  4. WHATEVER'S FOR US, FOR US    2:11
  5. CHILD STAR    2:31
  6. VISIONARY MOUNTAINS    1:49
  7. IT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER    4:19
  8. HEAD OF THE TABLE    2:30
  9. MISTER REMEMBER ME    2:15
  10. GAVE IT A TRY    2:08
  11. ALICE    3:29
  12. CONVERSATION    (Joan Armatrading)    2:15
  13. MEAN OLD MAN    2:33
  14. ALL THE KINGS' GARDENS    2:58

    All songs written by Joan Armatrading and Pam Nestor unless noted

CREDITS

JOAN ARMATRADING -- vocals, piano, harmonium, acoustic guitar
GERRY CONWAY -- drums
RAY COOPER -- percussion, vibes, bell tree
DAVEY JOHNSTONE -- acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar
PAM NESTOR -- lyricist
LARRY STEELE -- bass
Chris Hughes -- brass, brass arrangement
Del Newman -- string & horn arrangements
Henry Spinetti -- drums
Robin Geoffrey Cable, Ken Scott, Roy Baker, Phil Dunne -- engineers
John Hays -- art direction
Sumiko -- cover design
Derek Davies -- photography
Mike Noble -- co-ordination

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1972 Cube LP HIFLY 12  
UK 1972 A&M LP SP-4382 gatefold cover
GER 1972 Cube LP 136320  
NET 1972 Cube LP 2338 038  
US   A&M LP/CD/CS SP 3227  
UK 1988 Castle CD CLACD 143  
WW March 27, 2001 Metro Music CD METRCD047  

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2005 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.