Sunday, August 12, 2007

Linda Thompson and Versatile Heart

So, I fucking adore Linda Thompson. No, not Linda Thompson who used to date Elvis. The one pictured here. While I liked her most recent album, Fashionably Late, what I really love is the work she did in the 70s and early 80s when she was married to Richard Thompson and the covers she's done in more recent years. I have a low quality bootleg of her singing Cohen's Alexandra Leaving at the Brighton Came So Far for Beauty that's just fabulous. She got a wonderfully melancholy tone to her voice that is inimitable. Here are a few videos of Richard and Linda Thompson songs so that, if you're not familiar with her singing, you'll hear what I'm talking about.

A Heart Needs a Home-This really shows off her voice and the performance is from before she began suffering from the hysterical dysphonia that kept her from performing or recording for so many years:

Dimming of the Day-One of my absolute favorite songs ever, although this isn't the very best rendition of it. None of the covers stand up to the original though. On the recorded version there's something about the way she sings the first couple lines which is just brilliant and no one else can replicate it (she doesn't do it here though):

Walking on a Wire:

Anyway, she has a new album, called Versatile Heart coming out on Tuesday, which is exciting, because she's terribly far from being prolific. I downloaded it early (although I certainly do intend to buy it) and have to say it's really very good. Seriously, go buy it.

The low spot is Do Your Best for Rock 'N Roll which is typical, boring jukebox country and some other songs like Nice Cars are pleasant enough but nothing special. But there are other songs like her cover of Tom Waits's Day After Tomorrow (she's the perfect singer to cover his songs) and Beauty, which was written for her by Rufus Wainwright and features Antony (it's better than anything he put on Release the Stars). These songs, along with other highlights like Go Home make this album so much better than most of what's out there.

You can hear both Day After Tomorrow and Beauty as well as the title song on her MySpace here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

where could i get the cohen song cover from brighton? it was the best thing on the two nights by far.