In Concert November 1975 CD
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RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON In Concert November 1975 (2007 UK 15-track CD album featuring live recordings from performance in Oxford Swindon and Norwich during November 1986 with encores and new mixes of the previously released Calvary Cross and Itll Be Me complete with the picture sleeve booklet containing extensive liner notes)
Available in illegal forms for many years this concert long represented the Holy Grail to Thompson aficionados the world over. Now us average punters can also bask in its glory. While meaning no disservice to the other absolutely splendid releases that have sprung from this duo this year (Sweet Warrior from Richard and Versatile Heart from Linda) it's also fabulous to hear the couple at their peak all those years ago.
Touring on the back of their three peerless albums released between 1974 and 1975 ( I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, Hokey Pokey and Pour Down Like Silver), the couple assembled a band which was two thirds composed of Richard's old group - Fairport Convention, with Dave Mattacks (drums) and Dave Pegg (bass) joined by accordion maestro, John Kirkpatrick, filling out the sound and allowing the inclusion of a typical morris medley early into proceedings. But it's Linda's voice and Richard's way with a Stratocaster that are what you really pays yer money for here.
Still only 26 at this point, by now Richard had complete mastery of his instrument. His soloing on the extended 'Night Comes In' and 'Calvary Cross' (previously released on his Guitar, Vocal compilation) are masterclasses in restraint, tone and precision. Similarly, Linda's voice has a purity that's tempered with melancholy, perfectly fitting songs that were written with her in mind. 'A Heart Needs A Home' never fails to bring a tear to this reviewer's eye.
It's amusing to hear how shy Richard still sounds compared to his easy raconteurship at today's shows, while the band easily follows their switching of styles from country (Hank Williams' 'Why Don't You Love Me') to Chuck Berry-style rocking on 'It'll Be Me'. Anyone not yet familiar with this couple's legacy may well be advised to use this album as a perfect introduction, while the rest of us can just lie back and be reminded why we 'll always love this music. Perfect. --Chris Jones
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Top Customer Reviews
Another issue with this recording is that even based on the material then available to them, the set-list is disappointing. Of the gorgeous ballads, only "A Heart Needs A Home" is here, with concentration instead falling upon a stylistically broad range of tracks that takes in Thompson's own mid-tempo rockers, a Morris medley, and a number of cover versions that are primarily of interest for their rarity value. The presence of John Kirkpatrick on accordion will not suit all listeners; although his work with Thompson is greatly admired, it also shunts the entire concert into a folk orientation that is not always echoed by the choice of song. Sound quality is reasonable, but could be better, with Linda's vocals recessed and a rather narrow stereo image.
This, then, is a fairly specialised release that can in no way substitute for listening to the studio albums. Nevertheless, the generous running time (over seventy minutes) does allow for a clear treat which no Thompson fan will want to miss: full-length versions of "Calvary Cross" and "Night Comes In". Together, these tracks account for over a third of the disc, and those who like Thompson's slow-burn epics will need no further reason to order than their presence.
Overall, this is the sort of release that devotees can approach with confidence, but that casual listeners should probably avoid. Shoot Out The Lights and I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight are much better entry points.
of the greatest guitarists ever from the UK,but one of the best singer/songwriters we've ever had as well.I'm no folk fan but his music
transcends the limits of so-called folk music,much in the way artists like
Show Of Hands and Martyn Joseph.RT earlier this year alone produced a new album that must be rated as among the best half dozen releases of the year
Anyway to this release taken from his and his then wifes 1975 tour,it's been worth the wait because among the release are many gems such as the always beautiful'Now Be Thankful','Calvary Cross', along side almost rock n roll classics like ,Why Don't You Love Me' and 'It'll Be Me'( this gives us classic great guitar work by RT).77 plus minutes of a great tour with a great band that includes accordionist John Kirkpatrick,which has never been among sounds I've enjoyed but here adds yet another dimension to the band.A really worthwhile releases with some great songs ,great musicians
and one all RT fans will enjoy,but if your just getting into or are interested get Sweet Warrior first then try this release..what a talent !
If you weren't there, but have heard your dear old dad, or maybe grandad, say how great the Thompsons were, then have a listen to this. In those days, Richard and Linda were still speaking to one another, and Teddy Thompson was still waiting to be born. I thought Richard was the greatest guitarist in the world (and still do).
The recording quality is fantastic, and sounds better than my fading memory of actually being there. How do they do that? For me, the highlights are Linda's pure, clear voice on "A Heart needs a Home", and the Fairport standard "Now be Thankful". From Richard, the guitar playing on "Calvary Cross" is worth the price of the CD on its own.
This live compilation is truly stunning, and if you remember them, buy it now. If you don't remember them, buy it anyway. You'll love it.
I'm particularly intrigued by John Kirkpatrick whose accordion plays what would be the keyboard role in a more conventional band, filling out the treble end of the sound. There's no-one better at this style; maybe his playing is just a shade too busy at times, if anything. Don't be misled, though: this is definitely not folk, apart from the morris medley - and that doesn't really fit in.
No surprises? I'd say that covers of Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buck Owens constitute a surprise. Thompson's performance of It'll Be Me, though a fire-breather, makes him sound like a stalker ('and I'll be looking for you!'). I don't agree that the atmosphere is poor, either. There isn't the kind of hysteria that bands seem to expect today, but there's no question the people there are enjoying themselves. I envy them their evening.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
CD fine, but had one of those stickers attached which leaves a gluey/papers residue when removed.Published 17 months ago by Lawyer John
Album lacks atmosphere. Doesn't really add anything to the oeuvre.Published 18 months ago by 60 and counting
Had this as an LP aeons ago - brilliant voices these two have!Published 19 months ago by Paperbutterfly
I only heard of this CD recently somehow it had slipped through my radar.
I had the two brilliant long tracks Night comes in and Calvary Cross from Richard's Guitar,Vocal... Read more
Folk-rock with greater emphasis on the rock than the folk, In Concert November 1975 was finally released in 2007 and is a fine live recording and period piece. Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2008 by Greg Farefield-Rose
Just to fill in the blanks ... us lucky folk living in London back
then were treated to Sandy Denny joining them on stage at The Queen Elizabeth Hall leg of the tour .... Read more
I have to agree with the previous reviewers: this is an excellent recording of what was almost certainly a memorable night. However..... Read morePublished on 19 Sept. 2007 by Wakefield, 2011