Thompson, Richard

Band members               Related acts

- Richard Thompson -- vocals, guitar




Fairport Convention

- Richard and Linda Thompson





Genre: b

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Small Town romance

Company: Hannibal

Catalog: HNBL 1316

Year: 194

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5320

Price: $10.00


I'm a big Richard Thompson fan, but will readily admit I had some doubts about this one.  Turns out those doubts were misplaced.  This is one killer collection.  


1984's "Small Town Romance" offered up Thompson in a live solo environment.  Recorded at a series of performances at New York's Bottom Line and Folk City clubs, the Folk City performances were subsequently broadcast as part of a radio special. As mentioned, the thought of Thompson (or any artist) in a solo live set made me a little apprehensive that the results would be rather plodding and dull.  Okay I was wrong.  Solo Richard Thompson was pretty damn impressive.  Even Thompson's rugged voice came off well in the solo environment and if you're into acoustic guitar this is simply a must hear release.  After hearing stuff like his Hank Williams cover 'Honky Tonk Blues' and 'I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight' anyone doubting Thompson's guitar credentials will walk away impressed.   Even more impressive was Thompson and producer Joe Boyd's decision to keep the tracks largely unadulterated which made the occasional flubs (a cough during the opening of Down Where the Drunkards Roll'') even more enjoyable.  Musically the 14 tracks served as an engaging career retrospective including his Fairport days ('Time To Ring Some Changes'), his work with former wife Linda ('A Heart Needs a Home') and the breadth of his solo work.  Some of the songs reflected significant reworkings, other remained true to the original versions. For anyone keeping track the title track and 'Woman Or a Man?' were non-LP efforts.     For you non-vinyl fans (if there are any out there), the CD version included three non-LP tracks - 'How Many Times Do You Have To Fall', the instrumental 'Roll Over Vaughn Williams' and the old Fairport Convention track 'Meet On the Ledge'.   


Rumor has it that Thompson was so unhappy with his performances and the results that he insisted Hannibal immediately let the album fall out of print.  When the few pressed copies began attracting collectors prices the set saw a 1997 reissue.


"Small Town Romance" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Time To Ring Some Changes   (Richard Thompson) - 3:04

2.) Beat The Retreat   (Richard Thompson) - 4:45

3.) Woman Or a Man?    (Richard Thompson)- 2:12

4.) A Heart Needs a Home   (Richard Thompson) - 3:32

5.) For Shame of Doing Wrong   (Richard Thompson) - 4:00

6.) Genesis Hall   (Richard Thompson) - 3:50

7.) Honky Tonk Blues   (Hank Williams) - 3:04


(side 2)
1.) Small Town Romance   (Richard Thompson) - 3:33

2.) I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight   (Richard Thompson) -- 2:43

3.) Down Where the Drunkards Roll    (Richard Thompson)- 4:26

4.) Love Is Bad for Business   (Richard Thompson) - 2:37

5.) The Great Valerio   (Richard Thompson) - 5:17

6.) Don't Let a Thief Steal Into Your Heart   (Richard Thompson) - 3:58

7.) Never Again   (Richard Thompson) - 2:14




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