Thompson rose to prominence in the mid-’70s with a run of albums recorded with her then-husband, former Fairport Convention member Richard Thompson (recorded as Richard & Linda Thompson). Following the dissolution of their marriage, Thompson was diagnosed with a rare condition known as hysterical dysphonia, causing her to lose her voice. She returned in 1985 with the solo album One Clear Moment, then largely disappeared from the public eye until returning in the early 2000s with a pair of solo albums. In 2007 she released Versatile Heart, with guest appearances by Martha Wainwright and Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, among others.
Her latest album, Won’t Be Long Now, will be released on October 15th, the same day as her appearance at the Grammy Museum, where she’ll appear with vice president of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Scott Goldman to discuss her music and the new record.
Aaron Detroit, Buyer at Amoeba Hollywood. I've worked in Hollywood for eight years, but started my time with Amoeba - way back in 1998 - at the San Francisco store. This is my extensive list of 2012 releases that I fell in love with or had serious affairs over the past 365 days. 2012, for me, was a surprising and amazing year in music. Nearly all 50 releases here could have been a Top-Ten contender almost any other year, and the Top Ten is full of records that could easily have been #1.
50 Essential Albums of 2012
1. SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch (4AD)
The 6-year-long wait was well worth it, as is usually the case with Walker. This isn't the latest indie background music du jour - It's an Absurdist's symphony. Melody is eschewed for repetition, but you still walk away with the damned thing in your head. E-bows, machetes as percussion and disturbing (as well as amusing) scatological metaphors are some of the unlikely ingredients that make up this terrifying (and weirdly infectious) beauty. There's really nothing else like it, so enjoy figuring it out for the rest of your life.
According to a recent interview with NME, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons is exhausted and burnt out at the idea of touring again. After his lengthy tour supporting his last album, The Crying Light, he took a year off to recuperate and now has only booked one date, in NYC, thus far, even though he has a brand new album just-out, Swanlights. If you are in NYC, head out to the Alice Tully Starr Theater on Oct 30! Who knows when we'll be able to see Antony perform live again.
On The Crying Light there are some beautifully unexpected moments and, as always, a lot of vocal vibrato. Through it all, we glimpse Earth though the eyes of a keen observer of the natural world, who penetratingly sees both its agony and ecstacy. Strings abound on the first track "Everglade," while the second song "Epilepsy is Dancing" is delicate and features guitar and wind instruments. "Aeon" is an awesomely gorgeous torch song and plea dedicated to the universe and its eternity. One of the record's centerpieces, "Another World" (also included on this past fall's ep Another World), longs for a place beyond our planet, a place that is not so limiting and broken. There's a quite a bit of sonic variation for someone who has been so critically defined merely by the timbre of his voice. No doubt, that voice is there in all its smoky, vibrating glory. It blankets every track in its special, warm glow. The release, the silences, the showiness of it all is just perfection. But the music that flows through this album is just as glorious as the otherwordly vocals.