Looking at Richard Thompson‘s discography in the late 60’s to mid 70’s you could assume that he must have lived at Sound Techniques, Chelsea. In fact Richard stated to The Part’s You Don’t Hear that he only ever went to other studios in that period when the old milk dairy was fully booked up or a bigger studio was needed to accommodate the project. From just 18 years of age with Fairport Convention for their first 5 classic albums, then guesting on sessions for Al Stewart, John Cale, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Mike Heron, Sandy Denny and The Albion Country Band: All these being key British albums of the period and recorded at the Chelsea studio.
Throughout his time with Fairport Convention he was growing, learning and writing some of their best original material so it was only natural that he would venture into solo territory. Richard’s first solo album, the infamous Henry the Human Fly (1972) is allegedly Warner Brothers Records worst selling album of all time. Shortly afterwards though, we get the classic duo set up with then wife Linda Thompson on a series of celebrated and influential albums including I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1974) and Pour Down Like Silver (1975). Phew, what an incredible discography in under a 10 year period! You can check on his entire career and buy his new album Still! on his official website here.
This was a key interview for co-Director’s Neil Innes & Nick Turner who were literally brimming with excitement intercepting Richard just before he started rehearsals for the 50th Anniversary concerts with Fairport Convention at their festival, Cropredy in Oxfordshire. As with legendary engineer John Wood, The Part’s You Don’t Hear would not be a true documentary on the subject without Richard Thompson‘s contribution as he was on so many of the key albums. Many thanks to Richard for generously working through his jet-lag with us in Hampstead, London and many thanks to Tim Band for joining the crew for the day. We would like to add a very special thank you to Stevie Horton at Iconic Music for her generous advice and help on all things Fairport related throughout this project.