Richard Thompson

Linda and Richard tracks on the CD's:
1. Walking on a Wire / 2. Wall of Death / 3. For Shame of Doing Wrong ( re-recorded ) / 4. Back Street Slide ( early ) / 5. Strange Affair / 6. Wrong Heartbeat ( with L. ) / 7. Borrowed Time/ 8. Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair / 9. Dimming of the Day / 10. Old Man Inside a Young Man / 11. Never Again / 12. Hokey Pokey / 13. A Heart Needs a Home (alt.) / 14. Beat the Retreat / 15. Withered and Died / 16. The Great Valerio + 21 other tracks by Richard

Comments:

This 3 CD set covers Richard Thompson recording career through 1969 until 1992. A mixture of early Fairport Convention, his work with his former wife Linda and solo recordings. Many tracks have not been previously released, most of them live-recordings or alternate versions.

Obviously a 3 CD-set will give a pretty good overview of this period of his career, but some might find it a little confusing that there is no strict chronology in the tracklisting. But musically I think it works very well.

The earliest tracks are Fairport Convention recordings; one from "Unhalfbricking", a fine alternate version of "A Sailor's Life" and the catchy 1970 single "Now Be Thankful".

In 1972 Thompson released his first solo album "Henry the Human Fly", which unfortunately did not sell very well. A shame as the album ranks with the very best of his albums; this the 3 tracks from the album here clearly document.

Most of my favourite Thompson recordings come from the period when he worked with his wife Linda. The duo released 6 albums during 1974-82, all of which are represented here; even the two hard to find Chrysalis albums "First Light" and "Sunny Vista". These two albums are often considered their weakest, but a song like "Strange Affair" is simply moving. Great to have the song here.

Thompson's later solo albums vary quite a lot in style and approach, but his strong influence by traditional British folk shines through on most songs.

With a 52 pages booklet with liner notes from Greil Marcus, a fine biography by Leslie Berman and detailed information about each track, this makes a great introduction to one of Britain's finest guitarists and songwriters of at least three decades.


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