Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Richard Thompson - Action Packed (Capitol, 2002)

Action Packed is a "best of" collection covering singer-songwriter-guitarist Richard Thompson's tenure on the Capitol label. Despite his talent, he remains something of an underground figure. He was able to get some exposure through this major label deal, but in the end he was dropped and moved to an indie label (and made a great record for them - so there!)

Both of the main aspects of Thompson's musical personality are on display here, the acoustic balladeer is well represented by tracks like "Beeswing" and fan-favorite "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." He is also know as one of the most talented songwriters and electric guitarists in comtemporary music. While none of his extended guitar improvisations are found here, some of the full band performances of note are the gloriously malicious "I Feel So Good" and the near-blues shuffle "Cooksferry Queen."

This disc makes for quite a serviceable sampler for Thompson's Capitol period. While fans are likely to quibble over the songs that were left out, if that encourages others to seek out the original albums, all the better.

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