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Hokey Pokey (Remastered)

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Album Review

With the release of their classic 1974 debut, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Richard & Linda Thompson set an unbelievably high standard for themselves. Although containing many of the same attributes, their follow-up, Hokey Pokey, doesn't quite reach the lofty heights of its predecessor, but then again, not many records do. The Thompsons, from the opening Irish fiddle derivation of a Chuck Berry riff, through Linda's exquisite performance of "A Heart Needs a Home," to their cover of Mike Waterson's "Mole in a Hole" which closes the record, once again create a timeless amalgam of folk and rock. Recorded at the time of the Thompsons' conversion to Islam, Hokey Pokey comes across a bit lighter than Bright Lights. Songs such as the playfully suggestive title track, the jaunty "Georgie on a Spree" and the quirky tale of "Smiffy's Glass Eye" make Hokey Pokey seem downright cheery for Richard Thompson, although even at its sunniest, themes of sex, cruelty and avarice linger just below the surface. For those more accustomed to the usual straightforward doom and gloom from the Thompsons, there's the rueful "I'll Regret It All in the Morning," the sullen, traditional tone of "The Sun Never Shines on the Poor" and the mournful ballad "Never Again." Hokey Pokey is an often overlooked gem in the Thompsons' luminous catalog. [The deluxe bonus-tracks edition of Hokey Pokey included live material, unreleased John Peel sessions, expanded packaging, and a full lyric sheet.]

Biography

Born: April 03, 1949 in Notting Hill, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For years, Richard Thompson resided in relative obscurity, while at the same time garnering vast critical praise for his magnificent guitar work and the dark wit and richness of his extraordinary songwriting. A founding member of the seminal British folk-rock group Fairport Convention, he remained with the band for five studio albums — Fairport Convention (1968), What We Did on Our Holiday (released as Fairport Convention in the U.S.) (1968), Unhalfbricking (1969), Liege and Lief (1969), and...
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