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Number 252

Richard Thompson - Strict Tempo (Elixir LP1)

In 1981, after a decade of releasing such notable albums as Henry the Human Fly, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, Hokey Pokey and Pour Down Like Silver, some of the most notable albums of his career, the last three with his then wife Linda, Richard Thompson found himself for the first time without a record deal and so to make ends meet founded his own label Elixir and set about recording a series of instrumentals. Playing all the instrumentals himself, except for the drums and piano, which were both left in the capable hands of former Fairport band mate Dave Mattacks, STRICT TEMPO! features a dozen guitar and mandolin workouts of some of Thompson's favourite tunes, mostly based on traditional airs, together with a Duke Ellington tune which has subsequently served as a trusty theme tune to the Northern Sky Vaults radio show ever since, which is over 400 shows. The LP also features one of Thompson's most impressive originals, The Knife Edge.