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- Posted on Nov 22nd 2010 11:30AM by Steve McLean
Through his work with British folk rock group Fairport Convention, collaborations with now ex-wife Linda Thompson, and decades spent as a solo artist, Thompson has earned a reputation as one of the best and most versatile guitarists around. His songwriting has also received wide-ranging accolades, including the esteemed Ivor Novello Award.
The London, England-born artist -- who released the live album 'Dream Attic' this past summer which he's currently touring across North America-- is held in such high regard that he's been the subject of two tribute albums and his songs have been reinterpreted by performers as diverse as Robert Plant, R.E.M., Los Lobos and the Blind Boys Of Alabama.
Of all these covers, Spinner asked the 61-year-old to list his five favourite Thompson tracks recast. Here are his answers:
5. Elvis Costello -- 'End of the Rainbow'
He's a great singer of his own songs, and also a great interpreter of other people's songs. He does a great version of that song. He captures the angst and the darkness of the song.
4. June Tabor -- 'Mrs. Rita'
The song was written for a TV series about industrial relations and wages in Britain. June is a great singer. She could sing the telephone directory and it would sound fabulous. It's a great version of the song.
3. Dinosaur Jr. -- 'I Misunderstood'
It's a way that I couldn't have imagined doing that song, which is why I like it so much. It's a different arrangement that takes it somewhere else -- I find that quite exciting.
Swan Arcade was a four-piece unaccompanied vocal group that sang sea shanties and things like that, and I thought they did an amazing job on that song because it has a difficult harmonic structure. It's on a record that came out in the '70s and it's pretty obscure. It didn't sell many copies, I have a vinyl copy somewhere.
1. Bonnie Raitt -- 'Dimming of the Day'
"She's just a fabulous singer. She makes everything sound so effortless that it's just glorious, she has great soul as well."