Richard Thompson

Born Apr 3, 1949

Richard John Thompson OBE is a British songwriter, guitarist and recording and performing musician. Highly regarded for his guitar techniques and strange, darkly-funny lyrics, Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Richard Thompson.

  • Is Tyranny Around The Corner?
    NYTimes - May 12, 2016
  • S default mini
    Joan Baez Celebrates 75th Birthday With A Batch Of Old Friends And Great Songs (Bob's There In Spirit)
    Huffington Post - May 05, 2016
  • Viking's Choice: Cian Nugent, 'lost Your Way'
    NPR - Dec 08, 2015
  • Richard Thompson On Mountain Stage
    NPR - Apr 21, 2015


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Richard Thompson.


1949 Birth Born on April 3, 1949.


1967 18 Years Old He made his début as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. … Read More


1969 20 Years Old By early 1969, when Fairport's second album What We Did on Our Holidays was recorded and released, Thompson was starting to emerge as a songwriter of distinction. … Read More
1971 22 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1971 Thompson announced that he was leaving Fairport Convention. … Read More
1972 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In April 1972 he released his first solo album Henry the Human Fly, recording with Sandy Denny, Pat Donaldson, Sue Draheim, John Kirkpatrick, Barry Dransfield, Ashley Hutchings, Linda Peters, Andy Roberts, and others. … Read More
1973 - 1974 2 More Events
1977 28 Years Old Thompson started to re-engage with the world of professional music in 1977. … Read More


1980 31 Years Old Gerry Rafferty had booked the Thompsons as the support act for his 1980 tour, and had also used Richard as a session player on his Night Owl album. … Read More
As an interim measure, Richard Thompson decided to arrange for a low-key tour of the U.S. This tour was set up by Nancy Covey who had been in the UK in 1981 trying to sign Thompson to play at the famous McCabe's guitar shop in Santa Monica.
1983 34 Years Old In 1983 and 1984 he toured the USA and Europe with the Richard Thompson Big Band, which included two saxophone players in addition to the more usual rhythm section, second guitar and accordion. … Read More
1985 36 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1985 Thompson returned to the big league when he signed with PolyGram and received a sizeable advance. … Read More
1986 37 Years Old In 1986 he released Daring Adventures, which was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Mitchell Froom. … Read More
1988 39 Years Old 1988 saw the release of Thompson's first album for Capitol, Amnesia. … Read More


1991 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Thompson appears on Willie Nile's 1991 Places I Have Never Been album.
1992 43 Years Old In 1992 he performed with David Byrne. … Read More
1994 45 Years Old Mirror Blue was released in 1994, to often negative reviews sparked by the production decisions that Thompson and Froom took. … Read More


1999 50 Years Old Thompson continued recording for Capitol until 1999, when Mock Tudor was recorded and released. … Read More
2001 52 Years Old In 2001 Thompson declined the option to renew his contract and parted ways with Capitol.
2003 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2003 the BBC produced a documentary about Thompson's long musical career, entitled Solitary Life, directed by Paul Bernays and narrated by John Peel. … Read More
2007 58 Years Old In May 2007 Thompson released Sweet Warrior. … Read More


In early 2010 Thompson assembled a band and did a string of shows showcasing new material. … Read More
Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music. … Read More
2013 64 Years Old 1 More Event
In early 2013 Thompson released Electric, recorded in Nashville with Buddy Miller producing. … Read More
2014 65 Years Old In 2014, Thompson released Acoustic Classics, an album featuring acoustic renditions of 14 songs from his back catalogue, on his Beeswing label. … Read More
2015 66 Years Old 1 More Event
Thompson released Still in June 2015, an album produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and recorded in Tweedy's The Loft Studio.
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