Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Richard & Linda Thompson - In Concert November 1975 (Universal, 1975)

The husband and wife team of Richard and Linda Thompson came out of the British folk boom of the late 1960's. Combining the intricacies of folk music with the energy of rock and roll, they were a potent combination. This live album catches them on tour in the UK in an intimate small band setting that nicely presents their vision of pop, folk and extended rock 'n' roll. They lead off with a couple of their most popular tunes, one of their most famous, "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" and one of their catchiest, "Hokey Pokey" get the crowd involved immediately and feature Linda's gorgeous vocals. Things take a darker turn with "Night Comes In" along with "Cavalry Cross" which are the two moody epics that feature Richard's signature electric guitar playing and enigmatic songwriting. They swing back to traditional folk music with a medley of Morris dancing songs and the traditional Hank Williams country staple "Why Don't You Love Me." But it is when they mix all of their influences together that the music makes its biggest impact. "Heart Needs a Home" and "Now be Thankful" are powerful ballads that meld the Britich folk tradition with American rock music. This is a fine snapshot of a couple of excellent musicians in full flower. It wasn't to last however. After making amasterpiece in the early 1980's (Shoot Out the Lights) the Thompson's parted ways. Richard went on to a very successful and influential solo career, while Linda was dogged by health problems until a recent comeback.
In Concert November 1975 - amazon.com

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