WATCH: Richard Thompson – Live at the BBC


Richard Thompson “Live At The BBC” deluxe boxset is out now on Universal (3 CD’s plus DVD). We’ve been given a sample of the folk legends live performance footage, watch below.

Remarkably, this is the first ever compilation of Richard Thompson’s post Fairport Convention BBC recordings. Only one John Peel session from 1974 has ever been released before in this collection of 61 audio tracks – plus 19 track DVD. Live At The BBC also includes exclusive new interviews with Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson.

Spanning Thompson’s solo years from his first John Peel Session (with Linda Thompson) in January 1973 through to a Hub Session for Six Music in 2009, Live At The BBC features an entire disc of sessions and concerts from Richard And Linda Thompson including an In Concert performance with a full band recorded just after the release of the couple’s classic 1982 album Shoot Out The Lights.

The remaining audio discs feature Thompson solo or with a series of great Richard Thompson Bands, drawing from all Thompson’s Island, Polydor, Chrysalis and Hannibal albums in the 70s and 80s plus Thompson’s independent releases since 2001 from The Old Kit Bag to 2009’s Sweet Warrior. Highlights include an extraordinary acoustic session for Andy Kershaw in 1987 featuring ten stunning solo versions of tracks mostly drawn from Thompson’s mid-80s albums Daring Adventures and Across A Crowded Room but stretching back to poignant performances of ‘Withered And Died’ and the ‘End Of The Rainbow’ from the first Richard and Linda Thompson album I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. From 1986, a top notch Richard Thompson Band augmented by accordionist John Kirkpatrick is captured in full flow at the Hammersmith Palais, with songs including ‘Valerie‘, ‘Wall Of Death‘ and ‘Fire In The Engine Room‘.

There are four otherwise unreleased songs written by Richard Thompson in this set: ’Dragging The River‘, 1973, ‘Modern Woman‘, 1982, ‘Kidzz‘, 2003 and ‘Time’s Gonna Break You‘, 2009. There are also several traditional songs Thompson has not recorded elsewhere, including ‘William Brown’ and ‘A Hunting The Wren’ which Thompson performed for Bob Harris in 2008 as part of his chronological music history lesson, 1000 Years Of Popular Music.

The DVD Disc features superb performances from the 70s and 80s, all unseen since they were broadcast aside from one clip of Richard & Linda performing ‘A Heart Needs A Home’ on the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975. The couple are also captured on the Jake Thackray Show and in concert for BBC Bristol’s A Little Night Music, both from 1981. A solo clip of Thompson’s ’She Twists The Knife Again’ from the Whistle Test in 1985 and a Richard Thompson Band show recorded at Barrymore’s Club, Ottowa the same year, complete the DVD disc.

Live At The BBC offers a fascinating selection of alternative recordings spread across Thompson’s extraordinary forty year solo career. He revisits one classic song after another including ‘The Angels Took My Racehorse Away‘ from his eccentric debut album Henry The Human Fly, ‘Wall Of Death‘, ’Dimming Of The Day’, ’Tear Stained Letter’, ’Gethsemane’, ’’Dad’s Gonna Kill Me’, and a rare cover by Richard and Linda of Sandy Denny’s ’I’m A Dreamer‘. Live At The BBC concludes with Thompson most renowned early song ‘Meet On The Ledge’ which he played acoustically on Six Music in 2009 – the only Fairport era song in this set.

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