This is a soundtrack album by Richard Thompson for the sank-without-a-trace 1990 movie “Sweet Talker”, starring Bryan Brown as a con man. There are two fantastic rockers here that rank with Thompson’s best work: “Put Your Trust in Me” and “To Hang a Dream On”. Only a couple of the other tracks, including the melancholy “False or True”, have vocals. This is a soundtrack, so much of the album is instrumental soundtrack music, with styles ranging from orchestral (“The Dune Ship”) to Fairport-style folk (“Roll Up”) to soft jazz (“Beachport”) to “Harry’s Theme”, an instrumental reprise of “Put Your Trust in Me” that I can only describe as a bluegrass polka. Four of the tracks were co-written with keyboardist Peter Filleul, including the instrumental “Persuasion”, which Split Enz’ Tim Finn wrote lyrics for years later. The musicians include Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, Pete Zorn, Christine Collister, John Kirkpatrick, and Chris Leslie.
Richard Thompson’s 1988 album, his second with producer Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, etc.). Often cited as one of his best solo releases, Amnesia fondly recalls the best of his early work while keeping the sound modern and forward-looking. Features musical assistance from a variety of great musicians including Clive Gregson, Jim Keltner, Tony Levin, Alex Acuna, Mickey Curry, Danny Thompson, Jerry Scheff and many others.
Acoustic Classics, a collection of newly recorded timeless Richard Thompson songs, features 14 tracks culled from his 40 plus year music career. For the first time ever, acoustic versions of songs like “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” and “Dimming of the Day” mingle with cornerstone classics like “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” and “Beeswing” as well as other acoustically rendered gems.
After frequently expressing his displeasure with bootlegging of his live shows, Richard Thompson has taken on the profitable and rewarding sideline of issuing recordings culled from his concert tours, and Semi-Detached Mock Tudor was assembled from several shows recorded during a series of American East Coast dates in the fall of 1999, as Thompson and his band were supporting the album Mock Tudor. Featuring eight tunes from Mock Tudor, and five others from his back catalog, Semi-Detached Mock Tudor offers up a strong set list (though that’s not especially surprising, at least if one is familiar with the album they were supporting), and Thompson and company are in typically splendid form. Thompson’s effortlessly amazing guitar work is on prominent display throughout, with the high speed twists and turns of “Cooksferry Queen,” and the sinuous jitter of “Two Face Love” sounding particularly remarkable in this context. Thompson’s vocal readings are especially passionate on Semi-Detached Mock Tudor, making the most of a terrific set of songs, and as always, he’s brought a crack set of sidemen along with him; with bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome stacking up as one of Thompson’s finest rhythm sections ever, and Thompson’s son Teddy Thompson adding lovely harmonies on several numbers. Anyone who has ever seen Richard Thompson live knows that the man never disappoints an audience, and fans who either missed this tour, or are looking for an aural reminder of what they heard, will want to make room for Semi-Detached Mock Tudor in their collection.
Richard’s decision to record the album at Buddy Miller‘s intimate home studio in Nashville, as Miller favors a speedy solution to recording, favoring vibe over perfection. As such, there’s atmosphere and air to spare on Electric — it’s music that breathes,never feeling suffocated — and there’s plenty of room for Thompson to spin out spiraling guitar leads, but the focus isn’t on his peerless playing or even his sharply crafted songwriting, which is once again finely observed and richly detailed. No, the distinguishing character of Electric is its feel, how Miller creates a wide-open space for Thompson, a vista that showcases his crackling musicianship and sharp songs. And Thompson has yet another strong set of songs here, highlighted by the big-footed stomp of “Stony Ground,” the lacerating wit of “Sally B,” the sardonic resignation of “Good Things Happen to Bad People,” and the gentle lilt on “Salford Sunday.” As good as the songs are, the distinguishing characteristic of Electric is its atmosphere, how the music jumps and breathes, how Miller has given Thompson his liveliest album in years and, on just sheer sonic terms, his best in a while, too.
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