Linda Thompson Returns After 17 Years

Excerpted from the magazine for

There's more than just a little irony in the title of Linda Thompson's new album, "Fashionably Late": The CD, which Rounder issues July 30, is her first album of new material since "One Clear Moment" came out in 1985. Since that time, Thompson has suffered from hysterical dysphonia, a psychological disorder that prevented her from producing speech.

"I suppose it's still a factor -- a bit like stage fright," she says, noting that reactions to her performances in Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas's musical "Mirror Man" in England and on the production's 1999 soundtrack album have been "incredibly supportive."

"Whatever foibles I have now," she adds, "I work them into the show." Thompson is looking ahead to September for her first U.S. tour dates since she joined her ex-husband, Richard Thompson, in support of their 1982 masterpiece, "Shoot Out the Lights."

"Fashionably Late," she notes, "harks back to the earlier things I did with Richard, back to where my heart is in music: pretty firmly lodged in acoustic stuff, story telling, and good, old-fashioned melodies and lyrics."

Thompson redirected her energies back to music following her mother's death three years ago. "I started writing a bit and decided to put some tracks down," continues Thompson, whose initial demos for the disc were covers. "But me and [son Teddy Thompson] started writing a few things together, and it escalated from there."

Most of the material on the Edward Haber-produced "Fashionably Late" was co-written by Linda and Teddy, who also performs on the album, as does Linda's daughter, Kamila. Other notable guests include Van Dyke Parks, Rufus Wainwright, fellow Brit-folk alumni Martin and Eliza Carthy, and even Richard Thompson, who pitches in on guitar and vocals on lead track "Dear Mary."

Excerpted from the July 27, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the members section.

For information on ordering a copy of the issue, click here.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.