Exposé Online banner

Richard Thompson — 1000 Years of Popular Music
(Beeswing BSW-003, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01

1000 Years of Popular Music Cover artWhen the end of the millennium started creeping up, lots of people started making lists. When it comes to the subject of popular music, most of us are only familiar with that of the 20th Century, with little idea even what constituted “popular music” in 1350, for example. As the story goes, Playboy asked a bunch of musos for their end-of-the-millennium lists, and, knowing well that they really meant only the last 100 of the 1000 years, Richard Thompson took them at their word and dug back into the beginnings of music as we know it. After compiling the list, he decided it would make a nice show, and this live recording, in addition to documenting the history of Western popular music, is testament to the the man’s broad knowledge and good taste. Aside from the occasional presence of Judith Owen’s voice or Michael Jerome’s percussion, it’s solo Thompson, full of the wry humor and stellar guitar playing for which he’s known. You can take as given that the quality of the performance is high, so the choice of material becomes the defining factor – Thompson manages to represent most of the ten centuries, from “Summer Is Icumen In” (documented in the 13th Century and likely much older) to “Oops! I Did It Again” from the waning days of the 20th. Songs in English (of whatever century) dominate, from folk to music hall to jazz to rock and roll to rhythm and blues to “disposable” pop. I’m now waiting for Volume Two...

Filed under: New releases, Issue 29, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Richard Thompson

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Germinale - Germinale – One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues