What does it sound like?:
I’ve always been a fan of acoustic versions of songs in general – I used to love the MTV Unplugged albums that were so much in vogue at one time. My concern with this album was that RT had already used all his best material on the first acoustic classics set a few years back. Happily I can report this is very much not the case!
This second volume contains a mixture of material from his solo work, the Fairport years and his collaborations with Linda Thompson, giving fourteen songs in total. There’s a particularly haunting version of Meet On The Ledge, a beautiful A Heart Needs A Home and a fantastic attempt at Gethsemane, but the highlight for me is this new version of Crazy Man Michael, which really gives the piece a different perspective. Thompson’s voice has an appealing cracked quality to it these days, which perfectly suits these renditions and is the ideal counterpoint to his exemplary playing.
To hear these songs stripped back to their inner core of music, vocals and lyrics is a revelation and something to be savoured. These aren’t just second rate copies or pale imitations of the original electric versions, these are pieces that succeed in their own right in their new incarnations.
What does it all *mean*?
A good song will always show its true strengths when stripped to its bare bones and performed acoustically.
Another album, Acoustic Rarities, is set to follow later this year.
Goes well with…
Fans of the Randy Newman Songbook albums might also like this set, and vice versa.
Might suit people who like…
Fairport, RT solo albums, his work with Linda of course.