Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Number 409 - Richard Thompson


Number 409

Richard Thompson

"Can't Win"

(1988)
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408 .......Genre: Folk Rock........ 410
Stephen Delaney 1977 to 2009
Stephen Delaney was not a famous musician [Although he had the lifestyle of one] nor was he a musician at all, in fact he was tone deaf in hearing and vocals. But Steve's love for music was a big factor in his life, his love for bands like the Pixies, Linkin Park, Led Zeppelin, RHCP or even the classical Cat Stevens. As you can see his music tastes were a lot like mine, as in the sense of varied! In the mid 90's Steve and his best friend Jarrod had the terrible misfortune to flat with me in a North Shore house in Auckland. Now i was a good 10 + years on these two youngsters and we all got on fabulously, until that is, the one and only stereo we had, became the battle ground on Friday nights. No-one won, but music was eventually the winner and i did learn a lot about underground bands i had never heard of [back then] ... IE Alice In Chains, Pixies, Soundgarden etc.
Tomorrow I go to the funeral of Steve, a friend and a colleague - but most of all .... a Dad. I will probably look into Steve's sons eyes and think of my own kids and also reflect about how important it is to make someone smile. Just like Steve always did, with everyone he met. ~ crowbarred
Amnesia 1988
Amnesia was Richard Thompson's second album with producer and keyboard player Mitchell Froom, and the two sounded a lot more comfortable with each other than they did on their previous project together, Daring Adventures. This being a Richard Thompson album, the high quality of the songs and the guitar playing is a given; while Daring Adventures had a few cuts that sounded like padding, Richard comes up aces this time out, and even sounds a bit more upbeat than usual, letting his political side rise to the surface on "Jerusalem on the Jukebox" and "Yankee, Go Home" and rocking out on "Don't Tempt Me" and "Gypsy Love Songs." (Be advised that the gloriously sad "I Still Dream" and "Waltzing's for Dreamers" are on hand to remind us this is a Richard Thompson album.)
Guitar Hero
This was a good time for Thompson to be at Capitol. The label was managed by Hale Milgrim at the time and Milgrim was a fan of Thompson and his work. Thus Capitol invested more money and effort into promoting Thompson than had been the case in the past and with other labels. Froom's production makes more of a difference this time out; Amnesia sounds brighter and cleaner than Daring Adventures, with a sharp but glossy mix that truly flatters Thompson's fiery Stratocaster solos (not to mention Jim Keltner and Mickey Curry's drumming), and the blend of British folk-rock stalwarts (John Kirkpatrick, Phillip Pickett, Danny Thompson) and American session veterans (Keltner, Curry, Jerry Scheff, Tony Levin) makes for a set of tart and flavorful performances. Amnesia is one of Richard Thompson's best-sounding albums, and not a bad place for beginners; he hadn't sounded like he was having this much fun since Sunnyvista in 1979. ~ [Mark Deming, All Music Guide]
For more Richard Thompson see Number 683
Why RS ranked him 19th best guitarist in the world
Richard Thompson is the greatest guitarist in British folk rock — and that's only one of the genres he has mastered. He was eighteen when he co-founded the English folk band Fairport Convention in 1967. By the time he left, in '71, Thompson had created a seamless world music for acoustic and electric guitar drawn from Celtic minstrelsy, psychedelia, Cajun dance tunes and Arabic scales. He is also one of Britain's finest singer-songwriters. His records with his former wife Linda, made between 1974 and 1982, are marvels of hair-raising musicianship and emotional candor. Try to see him live, with an electric band: The solos run long and wild. ~ [RS: 100 Greatest Ever Guitarists]
What does Rolling Stone think about RT?
Ho-hum, another first-rate Richard Thompson album. Since he left the pioneer folk-rock unit Fairport Convention in the early Seventies, the British guitarist, songwriter and singer has released record after record of emotionally explosive music featuring powerful deliberations on love, death and tradition. On Amnesia, Thompson has the difficult task of following up 1986's Daring Adventures, his strongest record since Shoot Out the Lights, his 1982 swan song with ex-wife Linda. Yet this is a worthy successor. On the album's ten tracks, Thompson continues to wrestle with his usual obsessions, with the occasional new target thrown in (televangelists and Shirley MacLaine on the welcome, agitated "Jerusalem on the Jukebox," American imperialists on "Yankee, Go Home"), allowing him to grapple in new ways. On almost every tune Thompson takes a deep breath, turns his amp up and spits out guitar flourishes that underline what he's singing about without distracting from the song.
Thompson is that rare guitar hero: if he goes on sharp flights, it's because the song gives him reason to do so. He's not nonchalant about each new triumph – nor should we be. ~ [Source: RS, 1988, JIMMY GUTERMAN]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '409th Song of all Time' was "Crossroads" by Cream. Cream has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #554
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Other songs with reference to Richard Thompson #446, #477, #537, #579
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We thought he was just a guitarist) and the Album ranked at Number (2 Albums made the list, but not this one)
This song has a total Definitive rating of 78.3 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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