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Mock Tudor Import

80 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, August 24, 1999
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$5.06 $0.42
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out-of-print in the US. EMI.

Few musical charms compare with those of Richard Thompson's better albums. Mock Tudor easily ranks amongst them, thanks in part to inventive producers Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, who help strike a melodious balance between Thompson's genre-hopping instrumental subtleties and the gritty rave-ups that characterize his full-flail live shows. Together again with Fairport drummer Dave Mattacks and bassist Danny Thompson (and with help on guitar and vocals from son Teddy), Thomspon is set free. There's a delightful, modal minisolo on "Sibella"; "Uninhabited Man" finds the former student of Sufism holding down a Led Zep-ish Eastern groove; and every other song is a subtle, midtempo, sure-fire hit in an alternate universe. Lyrically, Thompson sticks to dark-side-of-the-street subject matter; the majority of the songs describe a relationship gone over the edge or about to (Elvis Costello is Thompson's only peer when it comes to charming, post-Dylan misanthropy in song). Women are goddesses ("Cooksferry Queen"), a bad match ("Sibella," "Two-Faced Love"), evil temptresses ("Bathsheba Smiles," "Hard on Me"), and about to dump the protagonist any second now ("Crawl Back Under My Stone")--and that's just the first six songs! In "Cooksferry Queen" when Thompson sings, "People speak my name in whispers--what higher praise can there be," the singer-songwriter might well be describing himself. --Mike McGonigal

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Europe Generic
  • ASIN: B00000JPEU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,482 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By N. D. A. Grie on April 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
What a discovery Richard Thompson was! I checked out this CD at a music store and simply could not believe the consistent power and quality of this music. Only later did I learn of Richard's long history in the English folk scene, and I have since sampled his earlier work, but Mock Tudor is rock music of the highest order. The range of expression on guitar goes from nimble-finger picking to power slashing, and Richard's vocals are deep and strong, with words that are sometimes exuberant, often bitter, always literate. In particular, he dissects the painful contrariness of love with a misfit like himself.
"Cooksferry Queen" is his raucous celebration of the blue-collar alley-girl to whom he will commit himself: "In a town that has no future, that is where my future lies." "Sibella" has a driving beat and guitar solo reminiscent of Neil Young's "Southern Man": "Bathsheba Smiles" is one of the very best, about a woman wielding immense social power as she works a room. "Two-Faced Love" is another winning rocker and "Hard On Me" is the hardest-hitting of them all - one has to be in the mood for this. "Under My Stone" is a sarcastic jab at a former benefactor, slick with resentment, "Riff raff crawling from the slums, right there in front of all your chums...You won't have to introduce me...I'll crawl back under my stone." The closing finger picking electric guitar and organ is subtle, very effective rock. "Uninhabited Man" is a song of hopeless aching and longing and great beauty. It speaks of the devastation left behind by a love affair so awful that it guts the essence out of a man, leaving him an empty shell unable to respond to a new offer of love. "I'm left no skill no art, to meet you heart to heart, you'll find no me beneath the skin. And if there's no me then there's no sin.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Being a musician, and a fairly skillful guitarist to boot, I take a lot to impress. Mock Tudor was simply the finest, most expertly layered, best-produced rock album I had heard in years.
This is hard rock of the pop genre, loosely speaking, but neither the subject matter nor the instrumentation (nor especially the raw emotion of Richard Thompson's vocals, let alone that snarlingly expressive guitar of his) are for the faint-hearted! A warm, modal buzz from Celtic folk roots shares the stage with near-punk sensibilities as angry as the Clash, but with more of a vocabulary. I had never heard Thompson before, except in the context of Fairport Convention (an excellent British folk-rock band), so I expected folk-rock; I was completely unprepared for how much of an edge this would have. If you feel like banging your head open against a wall, the song "Hard on Me" will match you! If you are contemplating the emptiness of your existence, "Uninhabited Man" gives constructive poetry to fill the void. "Bathsheba Smiles" talks about whores...and celebrates their awesome power. And those three hardly scratch the surface of all that is communicated in Mock Tudor, yet their instrumentation alone is more impressive than most things you'll hear these days. Best album of '99, if not the decade. Not happy music, but good enough to make you happy again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Richard Thompson's last album for Capitol Records was one of his best (arguably vying for first place with 1991's "Rumor and Sigh"). But what a way to go out. 1999's "Mock Tudor" contains incredible songs and poingant lyrics that revolve around a theme of growing up in the London suburbs. Consequently, the album, like much of Thompson's work, swims with Briticisms that might elude Americans.

That leads to "Cooksferry Queen" the album's scorching bluesy opener. It builds to an infernal creshendo replete with frenetic guitars, blasting harmonica, and Thompson's intensifying plea that "She's my Cooksferry Queen!" So what's "Cooksferry"? Internet searches suggest that the song was inspired by a jazz, R&B, and blues pub from Thompson's formative years in North London. The bluesy feel of the song supposedly sets the scene. The song also contains the great reference to a woman's "pre-Raphaelite" curls.

"Sibella", an extremely catchy song, waxes on a bizarre love affair where the narrator finds himself "strangely true" though "we don't make sense together". "Bathsheba Smiles" probably fits the mold of "hit" more than any other song on "Mock Tudor". It seems to explore the seductiveness of women with reference to the famous Biblical woman with whom King David committed adultery.

"Two Faced Love" bounces along happily and contains the great lines: "You don't make my blood run cold / You don't fit my jelly mold". "Hard on Me" features an anvil-pounding rhythym, teeth-gritting vocals and an unforgettable angst. Supposedly Thompson wrote it with his father in mind.

Next comes the album's most seriously funny song, "Crawl Back (Under My Stone)"; a claws-open rip at class society: "I want to be middle class / floor and ceilings made of glass / I just want to be free".
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By on August 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I don't gush often, but this is that rare album fully deserving of 5 stars (and may be more). "Mock Tudor" stands head and shoulders above every other solo RT album I've heard--and many are very good themselves. This is a fully satisfying musical experience.
First, there is not a weak track to be found anywhere on this disc. Usually, RT's records include a duffer or two and/or a joke song that goes stale. Every song on "Mock Tudor" is an absolute gem that rewards repeated listenings. You are likely to have a new favorite song every time you listen to it. I have now listened to the album so much that I cannot name a favorite--they are all that good.
Second, as has been mentioned in other reviews, the production finally works. I don't have anything against Mitchell Froom per se (his work with Elvis Costello and others is often quite good), but his heavy handed style never seemed to mesh with RT. The sound created by Rothrock and Schnapf is absolutely perfect for this material.
If you have ever had any interest in Richard Thompson, buy this record today. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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