Release date: November 2003
Call Off the Search is the debut album by Georgian-born British jazz and blues singer Katie Melua, released in 2003.
British songwriter, producer and arranger Mike Batt signed Melua to his Dramatico recording and management label after she performed at a showcase at the Brit School for the Performing Arts in early 2003. Batt was looking for a young artist capable of "performing jazz and blues in an interesting way". Melua went into the studio soon after with Batt as the producer. She recorded songs written by Batt, John Mayall, Delores J. Silver, herself, Randy Newman, and James Shelton. Melua wrote "Faraway Voice" about singer Eva Cassidy. "Belfast (Penguins and Cats)" refers to Melua's upbringing in Belfast, Northern Ireland: "Penguins" referring to Protestants and "Cats" to Catholics.
Call Off the Search was released in the UK on 3 November 2003. It became a hit, reaching number one on the UK album chart in January 2004 and the top twenty of the Australian album chart in June 2004. It spent 87 weeks in the ARIA Top 100, certified Platinum for shipments of 70,000+. First single "The Closest Thing to Crazy", written by Batt, reached the top five in Ireland, top ten in the UK, top twenty in Norway, and top fifty in Australia. The second single from the album was the title track, "Call off the Search", which gave Melua her second UK top twenty hit. The third single, a cover of Mayall's "Crawling up a Hill", was released on 18 July as the third single in the UK. In the UK the album sold 1.2 million copies within its first five months of release, making it four times platinum. It spent six weeks at the top of the chart. The album sold three million copies worldwide.