Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oops... I Did it Again

Song: Oops... I Did it Again
Artist: Richard Thompson
Album: 1,000 Years of Popular Music

Richard Thompson is a folk-rock legend. He has been at the forefront of the genre since he started making records in the mid-sixties with Fairport Convention. I will be honest and say that I knew little of him until 1991’s “Rumor and Sigh.” Since getting into that record I got subsequent releases and enjoyed them all. While he is put into the genre of folk, he does write straight out rock songs, sometimes with a country/rockabilly vibe.

“Oops… I Did it Again” comes from his 2003 live album “1,000 Years of Popular Music,” a concert of covers from… well, 1068 A.D. to now. While wink-wink ironic covers are the faves of the indie rock set, and covering Britney Spears has been done before (Travis’ also live, also pretty great “Baby… One More Time”) nothing has been done quite like this, put into this context.

This is by no means the best intro to Mr. Thompson, so here please find him performing one of MY favorite songs he does, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” live at the Wickham Folk Festival. The song is from the aforementioned “Rumor and Sigh” and really highlights the kind of story teller/songwriter he is.

“Rumor and Sigh” marked the beginning of a three album trilogy with producer Mitchell Froom and engineer Tchad Blake that represent the favorites of what I am familiar with of his work. That album is a great place to start, but “Mirror Blue” and the sprawling double album “You? Me? Us?” are also pretty amazing.



Anonymous said...

Fun. Gives meaning to fluff.

Alan Wagman said...

Beg to differ but little RT does is fluff. He is an extremely wry man who chooses his songs carefully. His British wit is integral to understanding his song selection. See him live, either solo or with a band, and you'll understand. Cy, check out his earlier work. The period you refer to is generally regarded as his lesser work (even though it gave us his best song,1952 Vincent Black Lightning), especially based on the production by Froom. If you can get it, his work with his ex-wife Linda may be his best. Shoot Out the Lights is an amazing record that everyone should own. Finally, I'll leave it that RT is probably the greatest guitarist most people have never heard. As good as his songs are, he can play guitar like there's no tomorrow.

Alan Wagman

Anonymous said...

Alan - I guess I struck a chord!

The "fluff" to which I was refering was Britney Spears.

Thanks for the RT education. Perhaps you can loan me a copy of Shoot Out The Lights.