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Richard Thompson's Bravest Moment: 1000 Years of Popular Music

Pamela Littky
New West Records

With a career that dates back to the late 1960s Richard Thompson has recorded in numerous musical idioms and earned accolades for virtually every turn he's taken, but perhaps his most impressive moment as a recording artist came in 2002 with the album 1000 Years of Popular Music.

Circa 1999, Playboy asked Thompson­­and a number of other recording artists ­­for their favorite songs of the millennium. Thompson has said that he knew the editorial staff was really asking for his favorite recordings from the contemporary era although he delivered a listed that covered the whole millennium, ­­or most of it anyway.

Although Playboy didn't print his list he remained inspired and, a few years later, recorded the songs ­­ranging from the mid-13th century rota "Sumer Is Icumen In" to "Oops! I Did It Again" ­­and achieved one of his widest-ranging records to date. Percussionist Debra Dobkin and vocalist Judith Owen joined Thompson for a live performance that was released as a DVD, which contained 22 songs, some of which were not included on the initial CD release.

Among the highlights featured on the original CD are Squeeze's "Tempted," the traditional number "Shenandoah," and Henry Purcell's "When I Am Laid In Earth."