Acoustic Classics is the fifteenth solo studio album by British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson. It was released by Beeswing Records via Proper Records on 21 July 2014 in the UK and 22 July 2014 in the USA. Acoustic Classics is an album of acoustic versions of songs from Thompson's back catalogue, both as a solo artist and as part of the folk rock duo Richard & Linda Thompson. Thompson states that the album "was conceived to be something to sell at acoustic shows" as he did not have anything available, "representative of a solo show"; the album includes his first solo studio version of "Persuasion,", available in a live recording and a studio duet with son Teddy Thompson. Thompson wrote the song with Tim Finn of Crowded House & Split Enz. Finn had a minor hit with the song when released as a solo single in 1993; the song was included on Finn's solo album Before & After released in 1993. "From Galway to Graceland" is a song about an Irish woman, convinced she is married to Elvis Presley and travels to Graceland to kneel by his grave before being ejected at closing time.
The album was released on digital download. According to the album credits, Thompson plays Lowden guitars on Acoustic Classics. An article in Acoustic quotes George Lowden as stating that Thompson has played such a guitar since the early 80's and that he built a signature model for Thompson out of cedar wood, based on the Lowden F model guitar, with ziricote wood for the back and sides and no position markers on the fingerboard. On the Metacritic website, which aggregates reviews from critics and assigns a normalised rating out of 100, Acoustic Classics received a score of 76, based on 1 mixed and 9 positive reviews; the album was reviewed, with critics giving positive comments. Martin Chilton in The Daily Telegraph states that the album is "full of interesting guitar flourishes and rhythms which bring an imaginative touch to classics" and that "you will still find much to enjoy listening to a master re-touch some of his best works". John Paul of PopMatters writes that "Acoustic Classics serves as a fitting showcase for not only Thompson’s undeniable skills as a virtuoso guitarist, but as a phenomenal songwriter capable of deftly tapping into a wealth of human emotions".
He states that the album "plays like an hour-long live performance stripped of crowd noise, giving it an intimate immediacy that draws in the listener and makes them feel as though this were a command performance for one". The Financial Times critic David Honigmann feels differently, writing in his review that "this attempt to capture the spirit of Thompson’s celebrated acoustic concerts is unexpectedly bloodless". Timothy Monger of AllMusic states that "it's a true pleasure to hear effortless command of the instrument as well as his rich, commanding baritone in the warm, unplugged format" and feels Acoustic Classics is an essential album for Thompson fans and British folk fans in general"; the Guardian review by Neil Spencer is more conservative, writing that "most of these pieces are best heard in original form" but does concede that "Thompson brings the experience of his years to bear on 14 dazzlingly good songs, singing more intensely while playing more nimbly". American Songwriter's Hal Horowitz writes that "these updated versions bring a newfound fire and/or subtlety" and comments that you can "relish these terrific songs played and sung by a master still at the top of his game and wise enough to realize he can improve on the originals."
Joe Breen writing in The Irish Times writes that "there has always been a tension in Thompson’s writing...here it sounds starker in this solitary performance" and that "the “live” performance seems naked without applause". Colin Irwin writes in Mojo that these versions of the songs "are scarcely comparable to the original band versions...but there's a certain magic in hearing the classics in such intimate form". He summarises by stating that "the rugged, bluesy quality of Thompson's voice can be appreciated". All tracks written by Richard Thompson except “Persuasion” by Thompson and Tim Finn Richard Thompson - guitars and vocals
Live from Austin, TX (Richard Thompson album)
Live from Austin, TX is a live album by Richard Thompson, recorded in 2001 and released in 2005 on CD and DVD. Thompson has composed and performed since the late 60s, has been signed to several major labels, but despite his reputation as a compelling and powerful live performer live albums have been few and far between for most of his career. There was the flawed, Small Town Romance in 1984, several not-for-retail releases on Thompson's own boutique labels. In 2004 Cooking Vinyl released a live DVD and in 2005 New West Records released this recording of a 2001 performance given for KLRU's Austin City Limits series. Unlike Thompson's boutique live releases, available at his website and at his shows, Live from Austin, TX is an audio recording of a single show. Thompson's boutique releases, such as Ducknapped! and Semi-Detached Mock Tudor are compiled from a large number of different shows on the same tour. This performance was given in KLRU's studios in front of an audience; the band is a trio, with Thompson joined by bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome.
Danny Thompson and Jerome had toured as members of the Richard Thompson band in 1999 and 2000, would go on to work with him in 2002 on the recording sessions for the 2003 release The Old Kit Bag. The DVD version of Live From Austin, TX includes an extra track, "Put It There Pal" omitted from the CD. Neither version includes the entire performance. Thompson broke a guitar string during "Shoot Out The Lights" and whilst the guitar was being restrung he performed an a cappella rendition of the 19th century music hall song "Sam Hall". All songs composed by Richard Thompson except "Persuasion", written by Tim Finn and Richard Thompson. "Cooksferry Queen" "Uninhabited Man" "Walking The Long Miles Home" "Al Bowlly's In Heaven" "Mingus Eyes" "Dry My Tears And Move On" "Easy There, Steady Now" "Persuasion" "Bathsheba Smiles" "Mr. Rebound" "Ghosts In The Wind" "She Twists The Knife Again" "Shoot Out The Lights" "Crawl Back" "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" Richard Thompson - guitar and vocals Danny Thompson - double bass Michael Jerome - drums http://www.richardthompson-music.com/
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
The Chrono Show
The Chrono Show is a live album by Richard Thompson. The album is compiled from recordings made during Thompson's 2004 tour of America, features songs from Thompson's back catalog, most of them written prior to 1983 and arranged in chronological order; the opening "Watch Me Go" had been more written and never before released and the closing "She May Call You Up Tonight" is a Left Banke cover that he has featured in live performances since the 1970s. "Jack O'Diamonds" dates back to Fairport Convention's first album. The lyrics to "Hokey Pokey" are revised from the original version, recorded in 1974. All songs composed by Richard Thompson except where noted "Watch Me Go" "Jack O'Diamonds" "Meet On The Ledge" "The Poor Ditching Boy" "Nobody's Wedding" "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight" "The Great Valerio" "I'll Regret It All In The Morning" "Hokey Pokey" "For Shame Of Doing Wrong" "Banish Misfortune" "Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed" "Hand Of Kindness" "Devonside" "Sibella" "She May Call You Up Tonight" Richard Thompson - guitar and vocals Teddy Thompson - vocals on "She May Call You Up Tonight".
Pour Down Like Silver
Pour Down Like Silver is the third album by the British duo of singer-songwriter and guitarist Richard and vocalist Linda Thompson. It was recorded in the summer of 1975 and released in November 1975; the Thompsons had moved into a commune in London. The songs on this album reflect their new faith and the relief that Richard Thompson had found in that faith, it seems that conflicting pressures were bearing down on the duo at the time. Linda Thompson:'... At one point our Sheikh forbade Richard to do music... On the other hand, he always encouraged me, "you have a voice and you've got to sing".' Jo Lustig:'Richard came to me and said "look, my Mullah doesn't want me to play electric guitar. I don't know what I'm going to do about my career... I'm not going to be working."'And there was a recording contract. The Thompsons owed Island Records an album; the compromise seems to have been that the album to be delivered was to have a strong spiritual aspect. Linda Thompson:'Pour Down Like Silver was when Sheikh Abdul Q'adir said we could make music as long as it was to God...
"Dimming of the Day", "Beat the Retreat", "Night Comes In", they're all about God, considering they're all about God some of them aren't bad.' Despite these surrounding constraints and conflicts, the album is recognisably a Richard and Linda Thompson album in terms of melodies and the lyrical style. Pour Down Like Silver was recorded at Sound Techniques studio with John Wood engineering. Richard Thompson would have been familiar with both engineer and studio from his time with Fairport Convention. Joe Boyd, who had both produced and managed Fairport, did the vast majority of his production work at Sound Techniques and with Wood at the controls. Richard Thompson had left Fairport Convention in 1971 with a considerable reputation as an electric guitar soloist. However, the first few albums of his post-Fairport career had placed more emphasis on the vocals and the songs themselves; as noted above, Thompson was under increasing pressure from his spiritual teacher to abandon the electric guitar. What recent live work there had been had placed the emphasis on acoustic guitar.
So it was notable that Pour Down Like Silver and the live shows either side of the album’s release saw Thompson’s electric guitar returning to the spotlight. Concert performances featured extended guitar solos on "The Calvary Cross" and on "Night Comes In" and "For Shame of Doing Wrong" from the newly released Pour Down Like Silver; the electric guitar is prominent indeed on the third Linda album. More so because of the sparser arrangements and production that distinguish this album from its more lush sounding predecessor. Subsequently, Thompson disclosed that this stark and simple production was more by accident than design. "It was a stark record, but I think it was by accident in a sense – we were intending to have Simon come and play rhythm guitar but he wasn’t available so everything ended up sounding stark and I was always going to overdub rhythm guitar and stuff, but we thought we’ll just leave it, what the hell."Thompson may be regarded as being a little too off-hand here. In fact he overdubbed mandolin and multiple guitar parts on some tracks, session musicians were called in.
Another noticeable instrumental element of the album is the accordion of John Kirkpatrick, prominent both on this album and during the Thompsons' live shows in 1975. The understated and elegant "Dimming of the Day" was sung by Linda Thompson on this album, but Richard Thompson has continued to feature it in his own live shows for many years - an indication of its deep personal significance; this song is an example of Thompson writing in a centuries-old Sufic tradition of expressing divine love in earthly terms. On the album "Dimming of the Day" segues into a solo guitar performance of Scots composer James Scott Skinner's "Dargai" that matches the mood of the song and serves to bring the album to a contemplative conclusion. "Night Comes In" is another song of profound personal significance and recounts Richard Thompson's formal initiation into the Sufi faith. The song is notable for several prominent passages of electric guitar playing notable for their lyrical intensity - the closing, multi-tracked solo.
"Hard Luck Stories" is the most musically upbeat song on the album, with sardonic lyrics and a incisive guitar solo. After this album and the following short tour and Linda Thompson took a sabbatical from recording and performing music. All songs written by Richard Thompson except "Dargai", written by J. Scott Skinner and arranged by Thompson. "Streets of Paradise" - 4.17 "For Shame of Doing Wrong" - 4.44 "The Poor Boy Is Taken Away" - 3.35 "Night Comes In" - 8.12 "Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair" - 2.48 "Beat the Retreat" - 5.52 "Hard Luck Stories" - 3.51 "Dimming of the Day"/"Dargai" - 7.16 Available on 2003 Island Reissue "Streets of Paradise" - 3.57 "Night Comes In" - 12.22 "Dark End of the Street" - 4.16 "Beat the Retreat" - 6.25 Richard Thompson - guitar, mandolin, Appalachian dulcimer, Hammered dulcimer, electric piano Linda Thompson - vocals Timi Donald - drums Pat Donaldson - bass guitar Dave Mattacks - drums Dave Pegg - bass guitar John Kirkpatrick - accordion, concertina Ian Whiteman - flute, shakuhachi Aly Bain - fiddle Nic Jones - fiddle Henry Lowther - trumpet Clare Lowther - cello Jack Brymer - clarinet Dargai by James Scott Skinner
Sunnyvista, released in October 1979, is the fifth album by Richard and Linda Thompson. After the artistic mismatch of the previous year's comeback album, the Thompsons made greater use on this album of backing musicians with whom they had worked. Sunnyvista is a curate's egg of an album in terms of its mood. Stylistically it covers wide ground and includes some of Richard Thompson's most overtly rocking songs - reflecting pressure from the record label to deliver a commercially successful album. There are more secular songs on this album than on its immediate predecessor. "You're Going to Need Somebody" and "Why Do You Turn Your Back?" are the most explicitly religious tracks. The former is a joyous affirmation of divine mercy and is notable for John Kirkpatrick's accordion playing; the latter has an unusual and long verse structure which allows for a effective build and release of tension."Saturday Rolling Around" is a homage to cajun music, a genre that Richard Thompson had long admired and which he had experimented with on Fairport Convention's Unhalfbricking album.
This too is a upbeat song. Elsewhere the mood is more spiteful in the opening "Civilisation" with its sarcastic lyrics and in the heavy-handed satire of the title track which takes a tilt at a community, superficially happy but controlled and uniform. Whether this is a reference to late 70s Britain, or to the commune that the Thompsons had left, is not clear; the song is principally a tango, with slower lyrical interludes. Thompson tries his hand at funk on "Justice In The Streets" and at hard rock on "Living on Borrowed Time". "Traces of My Love" is a tender song of longing and lyrically is in the ancient sufic tradition of expressing love for the divine in secular terms. "Sisters" is a soulful ballad, with harmony backing by the McGarrigles. Although a reminiscence for lost youth, the song develops a bitter undercurrent of jealous betrayal. "Lonely Hearts", with backing vocals from Gerry Rafferty, is a slow ballad with the theme of alienation and loneliness. A digitally re-mixed version of the song appears on Linda Thompson's 1996 solo compilation album Dreams Fly Away.
The closing track. It had been chosen as the theme tune for the BBC television drama Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry and the new version was issued as a single; the front and back cover of the album feature a number of photographs of the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, London. The front cover features a visual pun on the company logo used at the time by UK travel agent Thomson Holidays; the response to Sunnyvista by the critics and the public was lukewarm, Chrysalis decided to not extend their relationship with the Thompsons. The settlement between artist and label left Thompson owning the master tapes for the two albums he had recorded for Chrysalis; the albums were licensed to Joe Boyd's Hannibal label for re-issue on CD. All songs written by Richard Thompson. Note: "Georgie on a Spree" not included on original vinyl record. Richard Thompson - guitar, mandolin, whistle Linda Thompson - vocals Michael Spencer-Arscott - drums Dave Pegg - bass guitar Timmy Donald - drums Pat Donaldson - bass guitar Pete Wingfield - keyboards Rabbit Bundrick - keyboards John Kirkpatrick - accordion, triangle Dave Mattacks - drums Luís Jardim - percussion Sue Harris - oboe, dulcimer Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Glenn Tilbrook, Julian Littman, Marc Ellington, Olive Simpson, Nicole Tibbels, Lindsay Benton, Gerry Rafferty, Hafsa Abdul Jabbas and Abdu Rahim - background vocals