The Sad Songs Of Richard Thompson

Where to start? So many people don’t know about Richard Thompson, haven’t heard his songs or his guitar playing. How to explain what they are missing? Or shall I not bother and just type…

rumorandsigh_1501There’s not a lot music I like that I can persuade my mum to play in the car. Going out on a limb the one time, I managed to get a cassette of Nick Drake into the player. She really liked it. So I tried to milk the folk-rock angle with John Martyn’s ‘Solid Air’ (one of my favourite albums ever) and my mum loved that. So next time I put my tape of ‘Rumour and sigh’ in there, and that was it – almost every car journey in my mum’s car has had a Richard Thompson soundtrack, until the tape disintegrated. Now mum only has a CD player in the car and she wants a compilation…

I finally got the track-listing down to about 2 hours (just over…) and the one thing that struck me hearing all of my RT CDs all over again is just how very sad some of his best songs are. Ok, some of them are quite melancholy, some of them are really quite funny in a warped way, and a lot of them are quite tightly plotted narrative songs. The lyrics are clever, often coming at the subject matter from an unusual angle. But some of them are incredibly sad – the prize here (I think, please feel free to disagree. You’ll be wrong, though) going to ‘Withered and Died. Which I suggest you go and listen to right now.

(If you want to investigate further: ‘I feel so good’, ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’-surely the greatest song ever about a motorbike, ‘God loves a drunk’ which is not such a happy bunny of a song, but fantastic stuff)

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2 thoughts on “The Sad Songs Of Richard Thompson

  1. jon slaughter says:

    Heard 1952, from the Dil Mc Crory band. Then got to RT> and Rumour and Sigh. Best album, I never heard growing up. 1957 dob.

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