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4.2 out of 5 stars13
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Having seen Joan 'Live' recently, as part of her Starlight tour, I'm playing and re-assessing all the albums I have of hers.

Walk Under Ladders, LP, I bought as a grammar schoolboy and is now one of the few that have yet to be replaced by CD. Is it worth doing so?

Vocally, she's seldom been better, the lower ranges of her glorious and mellow vocal range complimenting the instrumental backing of a rockier (I Wanna Hold You), the lovely bass of the fresh-sounding reggae number 'When I Get It Right'.

I tend to not always go for the hit singles that I'm supposed to, so I'm Lucky isn't up there, for me. The playful keyboards in another reggae track, 'Romancers' lift this one to being one of my favourite tracks on the album.

However, the most exquisite of all must be the evocatively beautiful 'The Weakness In Me', which Joan sang at the gig - and my two sentences of conversation with her at the after-gig CD signing session were all about telling her that this remains possibly my favourite of all hers, from any album. She quietly replied that it was still one of her favourites, too.

The very pop of 'No Love', with its acoustic guitar intro, sax solo and familiar structure, opens side 2 and which I've always liked. Steve Lillywhite's production is sparse, yet detailed, here. Rockabilly springs up in the suitably titled 'At the Hop', and which is not my choice of style but Joan even manages to make this pretty good.

A wonderfully deep 'Dub' bass and keys appear in the 'I Can't Lie to Myself', though the next track 'Eating the Bear' is the only song that is repetitive and comparatively poor and which I'd skip if it were on my Ipod.

Once again, the sub woofer bass of Tony Levine starts of the mystical and magical closing song - 'Only One'. Thomas Dolby enhances this misty and floaty ballad with his beautiful keyboardy twiddly bits and is the ideal song to fall asleep to....

Yes, Walk Under Ladders still has 'it' and one that's going digital!
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on 17 March 2010
I purchased this when it first came out on vinyl, and have been waiting patiently for it to appear on CD. At last! What a treat to listen to it again!

Only one slight criticism - the track listing on the back of the jewel case is in the wrong order! Not a big deal though! Thanks so much for releasing this! Now please can we have Steppin out! on CD?
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on 22 July 2010
I ordered this and a couple of others, having finally recovered from many years of denial (I had all of Joan Armatrading's ALBUMS and could never face replacing them with CDs). Thus, I know the songs.

Imagine my surprise on receiving this, to find that the first track listed on the album is, "At the Hop". Gosh, thought I, I must be mistaken, as I remembered "I'm Lucky" as the first track. Guess what? The first track is "I'm Lucky". Quite a few were listed wrongly. The CD is FINE but the track listing is all wrong. I corrected it on my computer and it is happily playing correctly titled tracks now, but it is a pest that I will have to do this any time I need to copy the CD anywhere onto a new machine.

Anyway, just in case anyone needs help, here is the correct listing on the CD I got:

1. I'm Lucky
2. When I Get it Right
3. Romancers
4. I Wanna Hold You
5. The Weakness in Me
6. No Love
7. At the Hop
8. I Can't Lie to Myself
9. Eating the Bear
10. Only One
11. Shine
12. Dollars
13. Crying

It is wonderful hearing the songs again, and Joan's majestic voice! Some of the synth-heavy instrumentation is a bit dated, but Joan's lyrics, melodies and voice are always classic!
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on 15 November 1999
Having not heard much of Joan I cannot comment on this album compared to others. I can say however that I will certainly be buying more. She has a naturally strong voice which makes her songs seems effortless. My favourites on this album are 'I'm Lucky' and 'At The Top'.
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on 10 June 2016
Next best thing to her Love and Affection!
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on 7 April 2015
Time pieces from Joan Armatrading
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on 6 September 2014
A classic bright and breezy.
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on 13 November 2014
Brings back good memories
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on 30 January 2016
Fab
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on 12 February 2015
no
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