Thompson, Capitol Celebrate Split With Special Disc

The marriage may be over, but in the case of Richard Thompson's split from Capitol Records, the love remains. Indeed, the breakup was so amicable that when the label releases the Thompson retrospectiv

The marriage may be over, but in the case of Richard Thompson's split from Capitol Records, the love remains. Indeed, the breakup was so amicable that when the label releases the Thompson retrospective "Action Packed: The Best of the Capitol Years" on March 27, it's making the project a priority. Thompson is somewhat surprised by his ex-label's commitment, but he's also good-natured about it. "It's bizarre, isn't it?" he tells Billboard in the March 24 issue. "But I still have a lot of friends at Capitol, and it's been fun working on this new, old record." The 19-cut "Action Packed" spans Thompson's 1988-2000 Capitol stay, which included the Grammy-nominated albums "Rumor & Sigh" (1991) and "You? Me? Us?" ('96). The set also contains three bonus cuts: a new live version of "Persuasion," featuring son and fellow guitarist Teddy Thompson (the song was heretofore available on a live fan-club-only disc), and "Mr. Rebound" and "Fully Qualified Man," both previously available only on the vinyl edition of 1999's "Mock Tudor." A vinyl pressing of "Action Packed" will be available on indie label Bong Load, which previously issued the vinyl version of "Mock Tudor." "Persuasion" is being shipped to triple-A radio and bonus live unreleased tracks have been added to CDs carried by select retailers. Capitol is also updating its Web site with new Thompson material; a new official Thompson site goes up this month. And an animated video for "I Feel So Good," from "Rumor & Sigh," will go to Shockwave.com. In March, Thompson begins a tour -- both with a band and solo -- on behalf of "Action Packed" that should last through the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the artist is seeking a new label deal. "There are some interesting choices out there," he says. "There are people who are trying to interpret the future, and some of them are doing a reasonable job. But I want to get it right. I have a bunch of songs to record -- several bunches, actually. I'd like to get the right thing in place."