Richard Thompson | Artist

Richard Thompson | Artist

Tags: Era_1970s, Gender_Male, Genre_Folk, Genre_Pop_Rock, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

Richard Thompson OBE is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist born 1949 in Notting Hill, London. He was one of the original members of Fairport Convention which he co-founded at the age of 18. Serving between 1967-1971, Thompson was principal musician and songwriter on many of Fairport's finest albums. He then worked in the husband-wife duo Richard & Linda Thompson, after which he pursued a successful solo career. Thompson's father, a Scot, was a Scotland Yard detective, and an amateur guitar player; several other family members had also played music professionally. Young Richard was exposed to and embraced rock and roll music at an early age, and was exposed to his father's jazz and traditional Scottish music record collection. At the age of 18 Thompson co-founded folk rock group Fairport Convention, along with Simon Nichol, Ashley Hutchings and Martin Lamble. Largely on the strength of Thompson's playing, American producer Joe Boyd took them under his wing and, with the later addition of the great Sandy Denny, they soon became one of the UK's greatest ever and most loved folk-rock bands. After departing the group in 1971, Thompson released his debut solo album Henry the Human Fly in 1972. The next year, he formed a duo with his wife Linda Thompson, formerly Linda Pettifer, who is also a gifted folk singer/songwriter. The duo produced six albums, including the critically acclaimed I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974) and Shoot Out the Lights (1982). After the couple's divorce and dissolution of the duo, Thompson revived his solo career with the release of Hand of Kindness in 1983. He has gone on to release over 25 solo studio albums, including several film soundtracks. Outstanding solo albums include Henry the Human Fly (1972), Hand of Kindness (1983), Amnesia (1988), Rumor and Sigh (1991), Mirror Blue (1994), Mock Tudor (1999), and The Old Kit Bag (2003). Also recommended are the compilations (guitar, vocal): A Collection of Unreleased and Rare Material 1967-1976 (1976), Watching the Dark: The History of Richard Thompson (1993), and Walking on a Wire 1968-2009 Boxed Set (2009). Thompson is one of the world's finest guitarists and has played on many seminal English folk/rock albums. Commenting on Thompson's guitar talents, Joe Boyd said "He can imitate almost any style, and often does, but is instantly identifiable. In his playing you can hear the evocation of the Scottish piper's drone and the melody of the chanter as well as echoes of Barney Kessel's and James Burton's guitars and Jerry Lee Lewis's piano - but no blues clichés." Thompson was awarded a royal OBE in 2011 for services to music, and in 2021 his memoir Beeswing: Losing my Way and Finding my Voice, 1967-1975 was released, published by Algonquin Books. As a footnote, Thompson formed his first ever band while attending William Ellis School in Highgate, London. The band, Emil and the Detectives, included classmate Hugh Cornwell, who later became lead singer and guitarist of The Stranglers.

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Featured Albums: Richard Thompson

Related Artists: Fairport Convention, Richard & Linda Thompson, Linda Thompson, Sandy Denny, The Bunch

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