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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hans Reichel & Eroc - The Return of Onkel Boskopp – Careful. This is Hans Reichel; not to be confused with another German experimentalist - Achim Reichel. The Reichel featured here is known for constructing home made string instruments, and performing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues