For more than three decades, Richard Thompson has consistently set songwriting and performance standards others aspire to. Admired both as a sensitive writer and an innovative guitarist, Thompson has forged one of the most influential and eclectic careers in rock & roll, with a number of classic albums to his credit. He is an extremely popular concert performer, drawing devoted fans to acoustic and electric concerts, solo and band tours.
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Born in West London, Thompson grew up in post-war Britain surrounded by a family with wide musical tastes. He first came to attention as a teenaged founder of the pioneering folk-rock band The Fairport Convention, which released its eponymous debut in 1968. Playing an inventive musical mix of blues and California-style rock, the group was quickly dubbed "the new Jefferson Airplane." Fairport Convention gradually developed a more personal and British-based repertoire. In 1969, the band released Liege and Lief, a milestone of British Rock that also revealed the extent of Thompson's talent as a songwriter. Penning contemporary songs that drew upon deep traditional genres, Thompson established the style that would define his career. In 1972, Thompson released his first solo album, Henry the Human Fly, which displayed a twisted sense of humor along with his vocal abilities.
In 1972 Thompson married folk singer Linda Peters, and they went on to record six albums together over the next decade, including the classics I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Pour Down Like Silver and Shoot Out the Lights. The couple's last collaboration, 1982's Shoot Out the Lights was both a critical and commercial success and was voted one of Rolling Stone magazine's "Top Ten Records of the Decade." Thompson's music has been collected in numerous box sets, and his songs have covered on several tribute albums, including Beat the Retreat, featuring REM, Los Lobos and Bonnie Raitt, among others. His recent albums include the 2003 studio LP The Old Kit Bag and The Chrono Show: Live Versions of Vintage Favorites. 2005 will bring a new solo acoustic album, and a DVD of his recent, wildly popular club tour "1,000 Years of Popular Music."