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Give Me a Sad Song

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, 2 Apr 2001
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Amazon's Linda Thompson Store

Product details

  • Audio CD (2 April 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Fledg'ling
  • ASIN: B00005BCFC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,517 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Story of Isaac
  2. Down River
  3. Fire and Rain
  4. From A City Balcony
  5. Get Back
  6. Sometimes It Happens
  7. Embroidered Butterflies
  8. After Frost
  9. You Missed The Sunflowers At Their Height
  10. Restless Boy
  11. The World Is A Wonderful Place
  12. Abandoned
  13. Hell, Highwater & Heartache
  14. Her Father Was A Sailor
  15. When I Mention Love
  16. Give Me A Sad Song
  17. Aimless Love

Product description

Product Description

Previously unreleased demos and rare tracks from Linda Thompson, one of Britain's finest interpretive singers. Recorded between 1970 and 1986, these songs highlight the wonderful voice of one of England's finest female singers performing at the height ofher powers. Includes demos written by Richard Thompson for a proposed stage musical in the mid-1970s. Contributing players include Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Andy Roberts, Neil Innes, Gerry Conway, John Taylor, Dave Richards and Betsy Cook.A soaring powerful voice with an unmistakable hint of heartbreak.


Everyone has obscure corners and hideaway moments in their lifetime. Linda Thompson, as she gazes out from the cover of Give Me A Sad Song, has a naïve, wistful look in her eye that almost challenges you to guess at her quiet secrets. It's a challenge that, once accepted with the evidence before you, is absorbing and in a couple of respects, surprising. Hints of what has been locked away have emerged over the years, the cuts from her abandoned Columbia album in 1987 for example, her poetry work with Brain Patten, though far more obscure are the sides she cut with Martin Carthy at Christmas 1970 and the songs written for a Jewish inspired musical. And those are only for starters. The people at the Fledlg'ing label are masters at this sort of archaeology, the sleeve notes from Ed Haber the stuff of curator-like detail. That's all to the good as some of the material is so off the wall it does need a deal of explanation. However most of the tracks are open and breezy and you wonder why they haven't seen the light of day before. "Fire And Rain", with Carthy's percussive picking, is a gleeful roll as is "Get Back", the vocal clear and full. Whilst not particularly memorable in terms of melody, if nothing else the work with Patten shows what an adaptable voice Linda Thompson has and how she can wring emotion from any form of lyric. Something she definitely does on "Hell, Highwater & A Heartache", a stark, acoustic take she worked up for Granada television in 1983, also the following demo "Her Father Was A Sailor". Linda's vocal is fractured and nervy; there's only Betsy Cook's keyboards for accompaniment but you don't need any more that gorgeous ache of a voice fills the speakers. "When I Mention Love", a previously ignored Hugh Murphy demo, is a real revelation and why it wasn't given some kind of a release beggars belief! She's at her most vulnerable, her most hurt and most poignant; the sleeve note says it all: "Songs don't come much more self explanatory than this." It sends a shiver down your neck to hear lines like " I don't know where love begins but I know where it ends". Again Cook's piano and synthesizer lend just the right amount of support. The final two tracks have her heading off in a neo-country-cum-troubadour direction and she covers John Prine's "Aimless Love" as a finale. Personally, I've always thought hers was a voice that was at its finest handling something with a home ground root. Shame room couldn't be found for a track from her brief time with hippie folksters Tudor Lodge as that would have fitted snugly in the early running order, but really that's a minor carp. Give Me A Sad Song is a fine slice of history and all the more fitting as its release heralds new product from Linda Thompson. --Simon Jones

© fRoots Magazine all rights reserved -- fRoots, October 2001

2 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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29 June 2015
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
18 January 2015
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.1 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
Denver B. Cornett
4.0 out of 5 starsfemale singer/songwriter
16 May 2014 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsCollectorama
21 July 2001 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
19 people found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsPretty good, but not a first purchase for this artist.
30 March 2005 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
4 people found this helpful.
Mark Fleischmann
5.0 out of 5 starsWorth five stars
29 January 2013 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
2 people found this helpful.