ARTIST: Richard Thompson
TITLE: Hand of Kindness
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #186
SINGLES: The Wrong Heartbeat, Tear Stained Letter
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I doubt it, really
LINEUP: Richard Thompson, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, John Kirkpatrick, Aly Nichol, Pete Thomas, Pete Zorn.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After the breakup of his marriage and partnership with Linda Thompson, Richard Thompson releases his second official solo album and erases some of the gloom that inhabited the work with his ex-wife.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: No longer part of a duo (professionally and personally), Richard Thompson resumes his solo career in an unexpectedly bright sounding album. Reunited with his old bandmates (Pegg, Mattacks, and Nicol), and adding sax, accordion and violin, Thompson’s sound is somewhat jaunty. That masks some of the lyrical content about bad relationships and marital issues.
Yet, Thompson himself sounds sunny and energized. The opening “Tear Stained Letter” would have surprised anyone who had been following his duos with Linda Thompson, as here Thompson has a fire and wink in his voices. His guitar playing is stellar, of course, but he also allows his band chances to be out front as well.
The playing is fun for the most part, and while some songs are a bit down and depressing (can’t always be happy), the mood is upbeat. The songs aren’t his best for the most part, but the music world was glad he emerged relatively unscathed from his marital hell.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The guitar he’s holding on the cover was made by Danny Ferrington
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE B: Not the best song-wise, but it will please any Thompson fan.