Friday, November 14, 2008


Richard John Thompson was born in Ladbroke Crescent, Notting Hill, West London, England. His father, a Scot, was by profession a Scotland Yard detective, and an amateur guitar player; several other family members had played music professionally. Whilst still attending William Ellis School in Highgate, he formed his first band "Emil and the Detectives" (named after a book and a movie by the same name) with classmate Hugh Cornwell, later lead singer and guitarist of The Stranglers, on bass guitar.

Although, like so many musicians of his generation, Thompson was exposed to and embraced rock and roll music at an early age, he was also exposed to his father’s collection of jazz and traditional Scottish music.[7] All these various styles were to colour Thompson’s playing in the years to come.

Joe Boyd: "He can imitate almost any style, and often does, but is instantly identifiable. In his playing you can hear the evocation of the Scottish piper's drone and the melody of the chanter as well as echoes of Barney Kessell's and James Burton's guitars and Jerry Lee Lewis's piano. But no blues clich├ęs." [8]

By the age of 18 Thompson was playing with the newly formed Fairport Convention. It was Thompson’s guitar playing that caught the ear of American producer Joe Boyd. Largely on the strength of Thompson’s playing Boyd took them under his wing and signed them to his Witchseason production and management company. [8] [7]

Boyd: "And there was this group of very nice Muswell Hill grammar school boys and a girl playing American music. Leonard Cohen songs, and Richard Farina songs, and Bob Dylan songs, all being done in a kind of West-Coasty rock style. And then came the guitar solo, and Richard just played the most amazing solo. He played a solo which quotes from Django, from Charlie Christian, you know, an incredibly sophisticated little solo. And that really amazed me, the breadth of his sophistication... and so, you know, at the end of the gig I was in the dressing room saying 'would you guys like to make a record?'" [9]

Shortly thereafter Thompson, already acquiring a reputation as an outstanding guitar player, started writing songs seriously. This seems to have been out of necessity — Fairport Convention were essentially a cover band at first.

"I remember saying to Ashley after a gig, that I was kind of embarrassed about doing the material we were doing, because it seemed that we should have outgrown doing covers — even though it was only 1967 — it somehow wasn’t good enough and other bands were writing their own stuff and we should too. I remember being angry and saying to Ashley this isn’t good enough, we’ve got to get some original material... and stuff started to trickle through." [7]

By the time of Fairport’s second album, recorded and released in early 1969, Thompson was starting to emerge as a songwriter of distinction. As Fairport’s lineup and their sound evolved, Thompson continued to grow in stature as a player and as a songwriter with compositions like "Meet On The Ledge", "Genesis Hall" and "Crazy Man Michael".

In January 1971 Thompson announced that he was leaving Fairport Convention. His decision seems to have been instinctive, rather than a calculated career move.

"I left Fairport as a gut reaction and didn't really know what I was doing, except writing. I was writing stuff and it seemed interesting and I thought it would be fun to make a record. And at the same time — 70-71 — I was doing a lot of session work as a way of avoiding any serious ideas about a career." [7]

In April 1972 he released his first solo album Henry the Human Fly. The album sold poorly and was panned by the press, especially the influential Melody Maker magazine.[7] With time Henry has come to be more highly regarded, but at the time the critics' response hurt both Thompson and his career.[7]

By this time Thompson had struck up a relationship with the singer Linda Peters, who had sung on Henry the Human Fly. In October 1972 the couple were married, and Thompson, with Linda now effectively his front woman, regrouped for his next album and the next phase of his career.

Tracks :

Don't Renege On Our Love (R Thompson) 5:19
Back Street Slide (R Thompson) 4:26
Walking On A Wire (R Thompson) 5:14
The Wrong Heartbeat (R Thompson) 3:09
Shoot Out The Lights (R Thompson) 4:58
For Shame Of Doing Wrong (R Thompson) 4:15
I'm A Dreamer (S Denny) 4:09
Modern Woman (R Thompson) 3:09
Just The Motion (R Thompson) 6:14
Wall Of Death (R Thompson) 3:26
Jealousy (R Thompson) 2:25
Love Is Bad For Business (R Thompson) 2:46
How I Wanted To (R Thompson) 4:33
Small Town Romance (R Thompson) 3:36
The Wrong Heartbeat (R Thompson) 3:15
Wall Of Death (R Thompson) 3:21
Modern Woman (R Thompson) 3:24
Walking On A Wire (R Thompson) 4:46
You Need Someone (R Thompson) 2:40

Link : @

Ripped by : evermoreblues
Artwork Included

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this-- very interesting. Apparently, this was produced by Gerry Rafferty, but Thompson didn't like the end result very much. So he then re-recorded the entire album with Joe Boyd. So the official release was the second set of recordings produced by Boyd, and this is the first attempt at the album produced by Rafferty. Thanks for posting it!


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