RICHARD THOMPSON – Acoustic Rarities (Beeswing Records BSW016P)

Acoustic RaritiesOctober 6th will see the third instalment of Richard Thompson’s Acoustic series, and having seen two instalments of Classics, our attention is now turned to some of the more obscure works in Thompson’s catalogue, with Acoustic Rarities due for release on the singer’s Beeswing label. Like Classics, Rarities is made up of brand new recordings, but mainly those which have previously been unavailable or only available as cover versions.

Among the previously covered works, there is the beautiful ‘Rainbow Over the Hill’ recorded by The Albion Band for their late ‘70s Long-Player, Rise Up Like The Sun (but included only on the 1992 CD reissue) and the unsettling narrative, ‘Seven Brothers’, covered by Derbyshire-born singer songwriter, Blair Dunlop on his Blight And Blossom debut. It is likely no coincidence that the song crossed Dunlop’s path; he’s the son of Fairport Convention’s Ashley Hutchings, active in the early days of the group alongside Thompson. Indeed, Thompson-authored selections of the Fairport discography also make the cut; ‘Sloth’ and ‘Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman’, both recorded for the 1970 album, Full House. ‘Sloth’ is half the length of the Fairport version and although missing the brilliance of the late Dave Swarbrick’s violin virtuosity, it is a fantastic take which is most welcome on the collection; as is ‘Poor Will…’ – a song deleted from Full House at the request of Thompson.

Works composed during his bittersweet marriage to Linda are represented on the collection too, with new (solo) recordings of ‘Never Again’ and ‘The End Of The Rainbow’, as well as a re-working of ‘Poor Ditching Boy’ taken from Thompson’s 1972 solo debut. Although the track is not a million miles away from the Henry The Human Fly version, the vocal take is superior and sits very nicely in the mix, successfully carrying the song’s narrative. While re-workings are interesting to say the least, for some, the album’s appeal may lie in the previously unreleased content. Highlights here include the record’s bookends, ‘What If’ and ‘She Played Right Into My Hands’, not to overlook a newly-penned personal favourite, ‘They Tore The Hippodrome Down’.

As British folk royalty, one has come to associate brilliance with most of Thompson’s work and it is absolutely no surprise to say that this new recording of hard to find, unreleased and revisited rarities lives up to the benchmark.

Christopher James Sheridan

Artist’s website: www.richardthompson-music.com

‘The Poor Ditching Boy’ – the way it used to be:

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Richard Thompson – Acoustic Rarities link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

 

Richard Thompson announces Acoustic Rarities

Richard Thompson
Photograph courtesy of Mojo magazine

Following the release of Acoustic Classics Vol. II to great reviews in August, Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Rarities (Beeswing via Proper Distribution) on October 6, just ahead of his UK tour that month. Acoustic Rarities is new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions.

Richard Thompson was recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time and is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received multiple awards, including Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards and the US and UK Americana Music Association Awards, as well as Mojo’s Les Paul Award and an Ivor Novello Award for song writing. Thompson was appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded his songs.

In addition to releasing Acoustic Classics Vol. II in August, Richard played a glorious Cropredy Festival, celebrating the 50th anniversary of ground-breaking group Fairport Convention, which he co-founded as a teenager in the ‘60s. A hugely popular live performer, Richard looks forward to hitting the road in October for his solo shows.

Tracklisting

1.What If (unreleased)
2.They Tore The Hippodrome Down (unreleased)
3.Seven Brothers (covered by Blair Dunlop)
4.Rainbow Over The Hill (covered by the Albion Band)
5.Never Again (released in 1975 on Richard & Linda Thompson album Hokey Pokey)
6.I Must Have A March (unreleased)
7.I’ll Take All My Sorrows To The Sea (from the orchestral song suite Interviews With Ghosts)
8.Poor Ditching Boy (released in 1972 on Richard Thompson album Henry The Human Fly)
9.Alexander Graham Bell (unreleased)
10.Sloth (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
11.Push And Shove (unreleased)
12.End Of The Rainbow (released in 1974 on Richard & Linda Thompson album I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)
13.Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
14.She Played Right Into My Hands (unreleased)

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the Richard Thompson – Acoustic Rarities link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

ORDER – [CD]

As close as we’ll get to a representative video: ‘Sloth’ – live with Dave Swarbrick:

Artist’s website: http://www.richardthompson-music.com/