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
Henry the Human Fly
Henry the Human Fly was the first solo album by British singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson. It was released in Britain in April 1972 on the Island label and in the US on the Reprise label. All songs written by Richard Thompson. "Roll Over Vaughn Williams" – 4:09 "Nobody’s Wedding" – 3:13 "The Poor Ditching Boy" – 3:01 "Shaky Nancy" – 3:26 "The Angels Took My Racehorse Away" – 4:01 "Wheely Down" – 3:00 "The New St. George" – 2:08 "Painted Ladies" – 3:31 "Cold Feet" – 2:26 "Mary and Joseph" – 1:38 "The Old Changing Way" – 3:55 "Twisted" – 1:58 Richard Thompson – guitar, accordion, tin whistle, mandolin Timi Donald – drums, vocals Pat Donaldson – bass guitar, vocals David Snell – harp Jeff Cole – trombone John Defereri – tenor saxophone Clay Toyani – trumpet Sue Draheim – fiddle Barry Dransfield – fiddle John Kirkpatrick – accordion Andy Roberts – Appalachian dulcimer Sandy Denny – piano, vocals Linda Peters – vocals Ashley Hutchings – vocals uncredited - harmonium, piano
A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is plucked with a plectrum or "pick". It has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison, although five and six course versions exist; the courses are tuned in a succession of perfect fifths. It is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin and mandobass. There are many styles of mandolin, but three are common, the Neapolitan or round-backed mandolin, the carved-top mandolin and the flat-backed mandolin; the round-back has a deep bottom, constructed of strips of wood, glued together into a bowl. The carved-top or arch-top mandolin has a much shallower, arched back, an arched top—both carved out of wood; the flat-backed mandolin uses thin sheets of wood for the body, braced on the inside for strength in a similar manner to a guitar. Each style of instrument is associated with particular forms of music. Neapolitan mandolins feature prominently in traditional music. Carved-top instruments are common in American folk music and bluegrass music.
Flat-backed instruments are used in Irish and Brazilian folk music. Some modern Brazilian instruments feature an extra fifth course tuned a fifth lower than the standard fourth course. Other mandolin varieties differ in the number of strings and include four-string models such as the Brescian and Cremonese, six-string types such as the Milanese and the Sicilian and 6 course instruments of 12 strings such as the Genoese. There has been a twelve-string type and an instrument with sixteen-strings. Much of mandolin development revolved around the soundboard. Pre-mandolin instruments were quiet instruments, strung with as many as six courses of gut strings, were plucked with the fingers or with a quill. However, modern instruments are louder—using four courses of metal strings, which exert more pressure than the gut strings; the modern soundboard is designed to withstand the pressure of metal strings that would break earlier instruments. The soundboard comes in many shapes—but round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections.
There is one or more sound holes in the soundboard, either round, oval, or shaped like a calligraphic f. A round or oval sound hole may be bordered with decorative rosettes or purfling. Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, the deep bowled mandolin, produced in Naples, became common in the 19th century. Dating to c. 13,000 BC, a cave painting in the Trois Frères cave in France depicts what some believe is a musical bow, a hunting bow used as a single-stringed musical instrument. From the musical bow, families of stringed instruments developed. In turn, this led to being able to play chords. Another innovation occurred when the bow harp was straightened out and a bridge used to lift the strings off the stick-neck, creating the lute; this picture of musical bow to harp bow has been contested. In 1965 Franz Jahnel wrote his criticism stating that the early ancestors of plucked instruments are not known, he felt that the harp bow was a long cry from the sophistication of the 4th-century BC civilization that took the primitive technology and created "technically and artistically well made harps, lyres and lutes."
Musicologists have put forth examples of that 4th-century BC technology, looking at engraved images that have survived. The earliest image showing a lute-like instrument came from Mesopotamia prior to 3000 BC. A cylinder seal from c. 3100 BC or earlier shows. From the surviving images, theororists have categorized the Mesopotamian lutes, showing that they developed into a long variety and a short; the line of long lutes may have developed into pandura. The line of short lutes was further developed to the east of Mesopotamia, in Bactria and Northwest India, shown in sculpture from the 2nd century BC through the 4th or 5th centuries AD. Bactria and Gandhara became part of the Sasanian Empire. Under the Sasanians, a short almond shaped lute from Bactria came to be called the barbat or barbud, developed into the Islamic world's oud or ud; when the Moors conquered Andalusia in 711 AD, they brought their ud along, into a country that had known a lute tradition under the Romans, the pandura. During the 8th and 9th centuries, many musicians and artists from across the Islamic world flocked to Iberia.
Among them was Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Nafi‘, a prominent musician who had trained under Ishaq al-Mawsili in Baghdad and was exiled to Andalusia before 833 AD. He taught and has been credited with adding a fifth string to his oud and with establishing one of the first schools of music in Córdoba. By the 11th century, Muslim Iberia had become a center for the manufacture of instruments; these goods spread to Provence, influencing French troubadours and trouvères and reaching the rest of Europe. Beside the introduction of the lute to Spain by the Moors, another important point of transfer of the lute from Arabian to European culture was Sicily, where it was brought either by Byzantine or by Muslim musicians. There were singer-lutenists at the court in Palermo following the N
Still (Richard Thompson album)
Still is the sixteenth solo studio album by British singer/songwriter Richard Thompson. It was released by Fantasy Records on 23 June 2015 in the US and by Proper Records on 29 June 2015 in the UK; the album Still was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and recorded at Wilco's The Loft Studio in Chicago. Thompson approached Tweedy as he wished to shake up his approach to making records, stating that "Jeff is musically sympathetic. Although some of his contributions are rather subtle to the listener’s ear, they were interesting and his suggestions were always pertinent.” Tweedy stated that "Richard's been one of my favorite guitar players for a long time...he's one of my favorite songwriters and favorite singers". The album was released digitally, on deluxe CD and vinyl. On the Metacritic website, which aggregates reviews from critics and assigns a normalised rating out of 100, Still received a score of 80, based on 20 positive and 2 mixed reviews. Pitchfork write that Still "feels present and immediate", calling it "a solid, stark record".
Uncut state that Still is Thompson "striving for a modest kind of perfection" and achieving it. The Guardian write; the Observer note that "Thompson’s resourcefulness shows no sign of waning" on an album they call "characteristically stormy". Rolling Stone write that Thompson has not mellowed with age with songs "still full of dangerous women and treacherous con men"; the Independent call Still "a brilliant, nigh-on faultless work from an acknowledged master", stating that "his songwriting, too, is as good here as it’s been". Mojo named Still their Album of the Week, writing that "if this was a new act, people would be falling over themselves to sing its praises, but Thompson raised the bar so high so many years ago that this is what’s expected of him. All tracks written by Richard Thompson, except "Guitar Heroes" by Thompson and containing interpolations of "Melodie au Crepuscule" by Django Reinhardt, "Caravan" by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington, "Brenda Lee" by Chuck Berry, "Susie Q" by Stan Lewis, Dale Hawkins and Eleanor Broadwater and "F.
B. I." by Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Jet Harris. "She Never Could Resist a Winding Road" — 4:28 "Beatnik Walking" — 3:54 "Patty Don’t You Put Me Down" — 4:30 "Broken Doll" — 3:51 "All Buttoned Up" — 4:07 "Josephine" — 3:24 "Long John Silver" — 4:00 "Pony in the Stable" — 2:44 "Where’s Your Heart" — 4:05 "No Peace No End" — 4:15 "Dungeons for Eyes" — 3:49 "Guitar Heroes" — 7:39Variations EP"Fork in the Road" — 4:26 "Wounding Myself" — 3:58 "The May Queen" — 5:15 "Don't Take it Laying Down" — 6:53 "Fergus Laing" — 4:36 Richard Thompson - vocals, accordion, mandolin Jim Elkington - guitar, piano Taras Prodaniuk - bass Michael Jerome - drums, percussion Siobhan Kennedy - harmony vocal Sima Cunningham - harmony vocal Liam Cunningham - harmony vocal Jeff Tweedy - guitar, mellotron, GuitarOrgan, OPI
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
The double bass, or the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. It is a standard member of the orchestra's string section, as well as the concert band, is featured in concertos and chamber music in Western classical music; the bass is used in a range of other genres, such as jazz, 1950s-style blues and rock and roll, psychobilly, traditional country music, bluegrass and many types of folk music. The bass is a transposing instrument and is notated one octave higher than tuned to avoid excessive ledger lines below the staff; the double bass is the only modern bowed string instrument, tuned in fourths, rather than fifths, with strings tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2. The instrument's exact lineage is still a matter of some debate, with scholars divided on whether the bass is derived from the viol or the violin family; however the body shape where it curves into the neck matches the viol family whereas in the rest of the violin family, the body meets the neck with no blending curve.
The double bass is played by plucking the strings. In orchestral repertoire and tango music, both arco and pizzicato are employed. In jazz and rockabilly, pizzicato is the norm. Classical music uses the natural sound produced acoustically by the instrument, as does traditional bluegrass. In jazz and related genres, the bass is amplified; the double bass stands around 180 cm from scroll to endpin. However, other sizes are available, such as a 1⁄2 or 3⁄4, which serve to accommodate a player's height and hand size; these sizes do not reflect the size relative to 4⁄4 bass. It is constructed from several types of wood, including maple for the back, spruce for the top, ebony for the fingerboard, it is uncertain whether the instrument is a descendant of the viola da gamba or of the violin, but it is traditionally aligned with the violin family. While the double bass is nearly identical in construction to other violin family instruments, it embodies features found in the older viol family. Like other violin and viol-family string instruments, the double bass is played either with a bow or by plucking the strings.
In orchestral repertoire and tango music, both arco and pizzicato are employed. In jazz and rockabilly, pizzicato is the norm, except for some solos and occasional written parts in modern jazz that call for bowing. In classical pedagogy all of the focus is on performing with the bow and producing a good bowed tone. Bowed notes in the lowest register of the instrument produce a dark, mighty, or menacing effect, when played with a fortissimo dynamic. Classical bass students learn all of the different bow articulations used by other string section players, such as détaché, staccato, martelé, sul ponticello, sul tasto, tremolo and sautillé; some of these articulations can be combined. Classical bass players do play pizzicato parts in orchestra, but these parts require simple notes, rather than rapid passages. Classical players perform both bowed and pizz notes using vibrato, an effect created by rocking or quivering the left hand finger, contacting the string, which transfers an undulation in pitch to the tone.
Vibrato is used to add expression to string playing. In general loud, low-register passages are played with little or no vibrato, as the main goal with low pitches is to provide a clear fundamental bass for the string section. Mid- and higher-register melodies are played with more vibrato; the speed and intensity of the vibrato is varied by the performer for an emotional and musical effect. In jazz and other related genres, much or all of the focus is on playing pizzicato. In jazz and jump blues, bassists are required to play rapid pizzicato walking basslines for extended periods; as well and rockabilly bassists develop virtuoso pizzicato techniques that enable them to play rapid solos that incorporate fast-moving triplet and sixteenth note figures. Pizzicato basslines performed by leading jazz professionals are much more difficult than the pizzicato basslines that Classical bassists encounter in the standard orchestral literature, which are whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, occasional eighth note passages.
In jazz and related styles, bassists add semi-percussive "ghost notes" into basslines, to add to the rhythmic feel and to add fills to a bassline. The double bass player stands, or sits on a high stool, leans the instrument against their body, turned inward to put the strings comfortably in reach; this stance is a key reason for the bass's sloped shoulders, which mark it apart from the other members of the violin family—the narrower shoulders facilitate playing the strings in their higher registers. The double bass is regarded as a modern descendant of the string family of instruments that originated in Europe in the 15th century, as such has been described as a bass Violin. Before the 20th century many double basses had only three strings, in contrast to the five to six strings typical of instruments in the viol family or the four strings of instruments in the violin family; the double bass's proportions are di
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight is the second album released by Richard Thompson and the first including and credited with his wife, Linda Thompson as Richard and Linda Thompson. It was released by Island Records in the UK in 1974. Although never commercially successful and critically ignored upon its release, it is now considered by a number of critics to be a masterpiece and one of the finest works of both Richard and Linda singularly or together; the album has been included on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. After the marked lack of success achieved by his first album, Henry the Human Fly, British singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson started a personal and professional relationship with Linda Peters, a session singer. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight was the first album by the duo of Richard and Linda Thompson. Sessions for the album took place in Spring 1973 at the Sound Techniques studio, in Chelsea, London with house engineer John Wood co-producing with Thompson.
The album, provisionally titled Hokey Pokey, was recorded on a shoestring budget in a matter of days, but because of vinyl shortages, the album was not released until 1974. Where his first album was treated harshly by the critics, the second was hailed as a masterpiece, it is now regarded as one of the Thompsons' finest achievements. In the sleeve notes for the 2004 CD re-release, David Suff writes: "Throughout the album Richard's sombre, dark songs are driven by his masterful understated guitar and Linda's haunting spiritual vocals; the songs detail a beautiful yet desolate world of life before the fall, the lives of the homeless, the thief and the inebriate. The songs are English in their mood and responsibility, wry observations of the hopelessness of the human condition." Considering the song "End of the Rainbow", Suff writes: Richard denies that the song is pessimistic, "there's always hope in the third verse of my songs" yet the overall effect is a magnificent evocation of disillusionment.
Thompson's songs are despairing but not self-pitying, leaving the listener with an abiding sense of peace and, paradoxically hope. Ignored by reviewers, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight came to be regarded. Robert Christgau rated it when it was re-released as one-half of Live! Noting that " don't sentimentalize about time gone—they encompass it in an endless present." When it was re-released in 1984, along with other albums in the Thompsons' catalogue, Kurt Loder writing in Rolling Stone described it as a "timeless masterpiece" with "not a single track that's less than luminous". More recent reviews are complimentary. AllMusic notes that the album is "nothing short of a masterpiece" and calls it "music of striking and unmistakable beauty". Q: "After his 1971 departure from Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson found his ideal foil in recent bride Linda. A hugely inventive guitarist, he gives full vent to his talent on this dark. Indeed, he never quite recaptured the murky demons inside the likes of'Withered and Died' again."
In 2003 the album was placed at number 479 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album appeared in the Mojo "100 Greatest Albums Ever Made"; the title track has been covered by, among others, Lucy Kaplansky, Dori Freeman, Weddings Parties Anything, Arlo Guthrie, Matt Pond PA, Ocean Colour Scene, Julie Covington and Sleater-Kinney. Caitlin Cary, Kate Rusby and Elvis Costello have all covered "Withered and Died". Kelly Willis has sung an acapella version in concert. Costello has covered "The End of the Rainbow," as has Barbara Manning. Maria McKee covered "Has He Got a Friend for Me" on her first solo album Maria McKee; the Fatima Mansions covered "The Great Valerio" on their 1991 mini-album Bertie's Brochures. All tracks written by Richard Thompson. Bonus tracks were recorded at the Roundhouse, London, on 7 September 1975. Richard Thompson – guitar, Hammered dulcimer, tin whistle, electric piano, harmonium Linda Thompson – vocals Timmy Donald – drums Pat Donaldson – bass guitar John Kirkpatrick – accordion, concertina Simon Nicol – dulcimer Brian Gulland – krummhorn Richard Harvey – krummhorn Royston Wood – harmony bass vocals Trevor Lucas - harmony vocals The CWS Silver Band Bonus tracks: Richard and Linda Thompson with John Kirkpatrick, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks.
John Wood - producer and engineer Richard Thompson - producer Cover design - unknown2004 CD re-release: Tim Chacksfield - research and project co-ordination Joe Black - project co-ordination for Universal David Suff - sleeve note and archive assistance Phil Smee - CD package design Richard Thompson – The Biography by Patrick Humphries. Schirmer Books. 0-02-864752-1 The Great Valerio – A Study of the Songs of Richard Thompson by Dave Smith. 1001 Albums by Robert Dimery and Michael Lydon