Monday, February 21, 2011

JDIZZY's 365 # 287: From Galway To Graceland

From Galway To Graceland - Richard Thompson (1993)

When you've been in the game as long as Richard Thompson, there could come a time where you might rest on your laurels, release a few bad albums, and tour indefinitely on the back of elder success stories.

Richard Thompson does not subscribe to this career arc.

Now going on over forty years in the business, Thompson continues to build onto his legacy with work after work of staggering perfection. One of his greatest songs, today's track has never been officially released on one of his albums. It was delegated as an extra track to his 1993 career retrospective Watching In the Dark.

But its life as an album orphan certainly has been profound. No song has ever captured the essence of the devout fandom of Elvis Presley better than this hauntingly beautiful ballad about an Irish woman's unhealthy zeal for the king. If you want an example of great modern storytelling, you really need look no further.

Thompson is one of those artists that rewards exploring, from his first solo disc Harry the Human Fly up through last year's Dream Attic, an album he recorded of completely new material live in front of an audience. Here be riches galore, me hearties!

This song can sound good in the hands of anyone, as the three covers below show.

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