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Richard & Linda Thompson

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(1973 – 1982)

From 1973 to 1982, British folk legend Richard Thompson (having quit Fairport Convention in 1971) recorded as a duo with his wife Linda Thompson. This period saw a great amount of critical praise for Richard’s songwriting and Linda’s voice, though not much popular success. Following their divorce, both pursued solo careers.

The Thompsons recorded three albums I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1974), Hokey Pokey (1975) and Pour Down Like Silver (1975) before they decided to leave the music business and moved to a Sufi commune in East Anglia. Songwriting was by Richard throughout, lead vocals generally by Linda,and backing by a consistent core band of English folk-rock stalwarts

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight showed a clear development from Richard Thompson’s first solo effort Henry The Human Flywith Linda’s vocals adding grace, as well as the opportunity for Richard to write from a female perspective. Although Thompson’s trademark gloom is already evident, the lightness and beauty of the arrangements counterbalances this to produce moments of great beauty. The use of brass, from the renowned CWS silver band in particular takes forward Thompson’s continuing crusade to find a more contemporary and ordinary expression of Englishness in music,(as opposed to say the forays into the Morris form of his Fairport contemporary Ashley Hutchings, solo and with The Albion Band).

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