What does it sound like?:
A sequel of sorts, or perhaps that should be an addendum to, the two Acoustic Classics sets. This, as the title suggests, attempts to gather together some of the obscurities in Thompson’s song writing catalogue along with a few more well known pieces, with six of the fourteen songs here being previously unreleased. The remainder are gathered from songs which have been covered by other artists such as The Albion Band, or appear in their original incarnations on either Fairport or Richard and Linda Thompson sets, but of course here they appear in sparse, stripped down arrangements. This more back to basics approach highlights how well crafted these songs are, and Thompson’s vocal dexterity and story telling skills are well complemented by the deceptive simplicity of his guitar playing.
If you’ve seen RT live over the years, then you’ll have come across some of these songs before. Poor Will and The Jolly Hangman, and a much shorter version of Sloth are both reworkings of songs from Fairport’s Full House, while Never Again and End Of The Rainbow are based on the familiar Richard and Linda Thomson tracks. However, it’s the previously unreleased material that is the icing on this particular cake. For example, They Tore The Hippodrome Down is just fantastic, a real classic, Alexander Graham Bell is well known from his live sets over the years, while She Played Right Into My Hands is a lovely note to close the album on. Only I Must Have A March slightly misses the target for me.
What does it all *mean*?
All in all, this album showcases more styles than the Acoustic Classics albums, and as a consequence is sometimes a little uneven. However, it’s good to hear some new takes on familiar songs combined with some great ‘new’ material.
Goes well with…
A quiet night in with nobody criticising your reviews.
Might suit people who like…
Fairport, folk, the usual suspects.