Drop The Pilot

“I came up with the title first, then had the idea, because it’s about don’t go out with that person, go out with me. Drop The Pilot is just a quirky phrase that is up and jolly and fitted with the music. Drop the mahout – a mahout is an elephant rider controlling it; its keeper.”Joan Armatrading (204)
“”Drop the Pilot” just means don’t go out with that person, come out with me. It’s just a different way of saying that.”Joan Armatrading (1057)

Something’s Gotta Blow

“I wanted to write a song that was eight minutes long. I was on the Tube, the Northern Line, probably Tottenham Court Road. They announced there’d been a suicide so all the lines were being stopped. The platform was seriously packed and hot. People weren’t annoyed by the suicide but by the wait and the heat, and before we got to the station the escalator had broken down, so all this was going on. When the train finally came I whipped out my pen and paper and wrote the words, so all of the things that you hear are what happened that day.”Joan Armatrading (205)


“I was in West Palm Beach, Florida. I was meant to perform in a bar but it was a horrible place so I decided to leave and went back to my hotel room. It started to storm and outside my room was a willow tree. I thought, I don’t really want to be here, and wrote “Willow”.”Joan Armatrading (205)

Best Dress On

“This is really what it says. The whole album is about positivity; it’s easy for people to tell you that things are not possible and for you to talk yourself into being down. I think there’s always a bright side, generally it will always work out.”Joan Armatrading (206)

All The Way From America

“That’s a song about somebody who was in America who wanted to go out with me. He would phone…nice bloke, but obviously just going to be a friend.”Joan Armatrading (206)

Down To Zero

“That was about somebody who…very striking person, who couldn’t believe or imagine somebody would choose somebody over them because they were so good-looking.”Joan Armatrading (206)
“‘Down to Zero’ is written about two women that I knew who were in kind of the same situation: They both felt they were beautiful women, and they couldn’t understand why their men weren’t so overwhelmed with their beauty that they didn’t even consider glancing at another person, let alone going off with anybody else. It was just weird for me at the time that these two women were going through the same kind of thing and thinking about themselves in the same way, so I wrote that song about that situation.”Joan Armatrading (1057)

Steppin’ Out

“I’ll tell you why I wrote that. It was a personal situation which wasn’t really doing me much good. I’m not stepping out of emotion as such. I’m just deciding, because of a lot of things around me, that the only sensible thing to do was to be on my own, completely. I get bored and distracted very easily and quickly.”Joan Armatrading (583)

Water With The Wine

“I was going home to Hayes one night, and there was this boy. He was only young, 18 or whatever. I was waiting for the train and he was doing circles around me. When I get into the train, I was the only one in the compartment. And up comes this little lad, takes off his hat, saying, ‘Can I sit by you, please.’ I said, ‘All right, then,’ and we chat. Then I get off at my stop. And he says, ‘I get off here, too. I work around the corner. Can I walk you to your door?’ Well, he does, and he obviously doesn’t want to go, so I ask him in for a cup of coffee. I play a record and give him an apple or something, and I ask him to go off to work. And that was it. That’s all that happened. But the song is about what I knew was in his mind. His name was Donald.”Joan Armatrading (583)

Two Tears

“Well, sometimes you can cry, cry and cry, but the crying doesn’t seem to release anything, doesn’t seem to help anything, doesn’t move anything on further, you know? And sometimes just a couple of tears can be enough for that release – this is what this song is saying. Once you’ve cried these couple of tears, that’s it, it’s over, it’s done its job. It’s released the valve, it’s cleared your head, it’s made you realize that you can survive, and that’s it.”Joan Armatrading (1057)