As with many various-artists' collections, the term "classic" is extremely relative. For most Joan Armatrading fans, at least those who have been there since the beginning, most of this material wouldn't be considered "classic" in the sense that it came from her earliest and best known period from the years 1972-1976. In fact, with the exception of "Love and Affection," the tracks included here almost all date after that period, and begin with the title track from the album Me Myself I released in 1980. That said, the best cuts from that wonderful album are included here, as well as some lesser known tracks from subsequent recordings such as The Key and Walk Under Ladders, though inexplicably, one of her biggest hits from the period is missing here: "I Love When You Call Me Names. Hardcore fans will have all of this stuff already, and newbies should look into either Gold or the Universal Masters Collection for a proper introduction to an unpredictable, and often unclassifiable, artist.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek