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Baker's Dozen

Full House: Richard Thompson's Favourite Albums
Jude Rogers , October 3rd, 2018 11:29

As Fairport Convention alumnus and folk rock hero Richard Thompson tours his new album he speaks to Jude Rogers about 13 favourite records, from The Watersons to Squeeze, Moby Grape, Offa Rex, Marissa Nadler and Crowded House


Watersons – Frost And Fire: A Calendar of Ritual and Magical Songs
I first heard The Watersons at the Black Bull Folk Club in West London in about 1965, and they were like nothing else I'd ever heard. Folk harmony singing came a little later in the folk revival – first, you had the Ewan MacColl style, which was quite prescribed, usually solo, quite dramatic, then the influence of people like the Copper Family down in Sussex started to come through. The Watersons – I genuinely believe this – were and are geniuses. Mike Waterson [who died in 2011] was one of the truly underrated singers. I don't know if he was schooled, but he had a very unusual style of harmonising and it was one of the most extraordinary sounds you could possibly hear. Lal also turned to to be one of the greatest singer-songwriters this country has ever produced. It was such an honour to be part of the recording of Bright Phoebus [Lal and Mike's album in 1972]. I had flu for the entirety of the recording of it – I felt like shit – but it still was an amazing experience hearing those strange songs come to life. Lal should be an honorary Bronte. And the fact that it was recorded straight to stereo I think, or as live, with minimal overdubs, gave it a certain power. I was so happy when it finally got put out again [in 2017]. And Norma's the greatest living Englishperson bar none. Put that in!