Hand of Kindness

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Hand of Kindness
Hand of Kindness (Richard Thompson album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1983
StudioOlympic Studios, London
Ocean Way Studios, Los Angeles
GenreRock, folk rock, zydeco
LabelHannibal Records
ProducerJoe Boyd
Richard Thompson chronology
Strict Tempo!
Hand of Kindness
Small Town Romance
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars [2]

Hand of Kindness is the second solo studio album by Richard Thompson. It was recorded and released in 1983, his first solo album since 1972's Henry the Human Fly.

After the "Tour From Hell" to promote Shoot Out the Lights (recorded with his wife Linda Thompson), Richard Thompson resumed a solo career as a recording and performing artist.

In terms of mood, Hand of Kindness is a distinct departure from the albums that preceded it. Thompson biographer Patrick Humphries observed that with this album Thompson "left the darkness behind him and walked out into the light"; this is one of the most straightforward and up-tempo rock albums in the Thompson catalog. The mood is generally exuberant and Thompson's vocals and particularly his guitar playing are confident and extrovert; the one exception is the very dark and melancholy "Devonside", a track which Thompson rarely plays live, occasionally joking that he does not want to depress the audience.

Several songs feature the dual saxophones of Pete Zorn and Pete Thomas, and for about 18 months after the release of Hand of Kindness, Thompson toured with his "Big Band" that featured the two sax players prominently.

The album opens with "Tear-Stained Letter", later a country music top ten hit for Jo-El Sonnier.

The album's cover photo features Thompson holding an acoustic guitar made for him by American luthier Danny Ferrington; the same guitar appears on the cover of Thompson's next release, Small Town Romance.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Richard Thompson.

1."Tear-Stained Letter"4:42
2."How I Wanted To"5:12
3."Both Ends Burning"3:51
4."A Poisoned Heart and a Twisted Memory"5:25
5."Where the Wind Don't Whine" (B-side included as CD bonus track)4:09
6."The Wrong Heartbeat"3:15
7."Hand of Kindness"6:03
9."Two Left Feet"3:53



  1. ^ Deming, Mark (2011). "Hand of Kindness - Richard Thompson | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Rolling Stone review". rollingstone.com.