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Richard Thompson - Hand of Kindness Click here to see this CD at!

By Sam Sutherland

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Richard Thompson and then-wife Linda had achieved a cruel victory with their final album together, Shoot Out the Lights, a riveting classic drawing much of its power from frank allusions to their disintegrating marriage. That preoccupation with the Thompsons' personal history may explain why at the time fans scrutinized the first Thompson solo album after the breakup, 1983's Hand of Darkness, for fresh wounds ("A Poisoned Heart and a Twisted Memory") and new evidence ("Tear Stained Letter"). Fans thus missed a more fundamental issue--the de facto reunion of Thompson's first band, Fairport Convention, with Fairport's original producer Joe Boyd at the controls. Only violinist Dave Swarbrick is missing, with Simon Nicol, Dave Peggs, and Dave Mattacks all present and accounted for, augmented by twin saxes, John Kirkpatrick's always-evocative accordion, and Clive Gregson's, John Hiatt's, and Bobby King's vocals. Hardly surprising, then, that this set should hold up so well, or that its nine solid Thompson originals should be so fully realized.

1. Tear-Stained Letter6. Wrong Heartbeat
2. How I Wanted To7. Hand of Kindness
3. Both Ends Burning8. Devonside
4. Poisoned Heart and a Twisted Memory9. Two Left Feet
5. Where the Wind Don't Whine


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Artist: Richard Thompson

Released: July 7, 1983

Availability: CD, Vinyl


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