Joan Armatrading: Joan Armatrading Production Notes

Production Notes

Based in a former cinema/TV studio, Olympic Studios on Church Road in Barnes, London, was one of the UK's foremost recording facilities from 1966 until 2009. House engineer Eddie Kramer has recalled, 'Olympic Studios in 1967 was at the cutting edge. We were very innovative and we had, I think, the best console in England and possibly the world'.


This console was the first-ever 'wraparound' mixing desk, designed and built by Olympic's technical director Dick Swettenham, giving engineers the ability to control every aspect of the sound from their chair. More famously, the desk included a control at one end known as the 'DFA fader'. This was under the exclusive control of any producer/manager/executive who felt he should be involved in the recording process – DFA stood for 'Does F*** All'.

In the case of Joan Armatrading, however, most of her material was thought out before she entered the studios. 'I've always had a tape recorder at home,' she has pointed out. 'I started out with just a cassette, then I got a two-track, followed by a four-track, eight-track, 16-track. Right from the beginning I've always demo-ed everything myself and played everything myself. So with Love And Affection it was a case of layering stuff up at home.'

Producer Glyn Johns was best-known for working with hairy rock bands, so taking on a sensitive female singer-songwriter was something of a challenge. He was aided in his efforts to create a laid-back atmosphere for Armatrading by the studio's in-built ambience. 'The camaraderie there was of the highest order. If you weren't needed, you didn't have to work, and if you were needed, you did have to work. We were all equal and nobody was actually in charge.'