Four terrific 1970s albums by female artists that should have sold better

There was plenty of love for these 1970s albums, but they deserved more sales and much higher chart success.

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Joan Armatrading - Joan Armatrading

If you haven’t heard this brilliant album by Joan Armatrading you really need to listen and catch up soon. It’s full of emotion, honesty, and great songs. This July 1976 self-titled release was Armatrading’s third album and her big breakthrough.

Joan Armatrading was reasonably successful as an album, but it's so good it deserves far more. It reached number 12 in the UK charts and gold status, but only made it to 67 in the US album charts. Additional exposure and success came through the single release “Love And Affection”. Ultimately one of her best songs and yet so early in her music career. 

A further single “Down To Zero,” another great song, surprisingly failed to chart. It has since become a firm favourite on live shows and various song collection albums. The song definitely stands the test of time.

The album is crammed with brilliant songs, upbeat numbers like “Water With The Wine”, and the emotional “Save Me” close to being on a par with “Love And Affection”. The closing track “Tall In The Saddle” is another that tells a story through clever lyrics and displays great musicality and vocals from Armatrading.

Critics loved the album and spoke highly of her songwriting, the way there is a great lightness to the songs, but with depth and feeling. It captures you on first listen and keeps calling you back even after all these years. It’s another go-to on my collection to play on a regular basis.