Saturday, August 17, 2019

Richard Thompson - Invisible Means (with French, Frith, & Kaiser) - Alternate Version (1990)

In the late 1980s, Richard Thompson was a member of "the world's most obscure supergroup:" French, Frith, Kaiser, and Thompson. A few months ago, I posted a Richard Thompson-centric version of that band's first album, "Love, Life, Larf & Loaf." Basically, I kept all the Thompson songs and removed the rest.

The album does the exact same thing, except with the band's second (and last) album, "Invisible Means." Like the band's other album, the original album is fairly long. So if one keeps just the Thompson songs, and adds a couple of bonus tracks, it ends up being 40 minutes long, which is a  nice album length.

French, Frith, Kaiser, and Thompson (FFKT) were deliberately arty and experimental, and thus they had a niche audience only. I think a lot of Richard Thompson fans stayed away. But Thompson's songs aren't that different from his usual fare. So, just as last time, you get a solid "lost" Richard Thompson album. He does get experimental on a couple of songs, such as "March of the Cosmetic Surgeons," which is kind of a mock opera, and "Days of Our Lives," which means fun of soap operas. But they're still good songs, just different.

"Now That I'm Dead" is a song written by John French of the FFKT quartet. On the original "Invisible Means" album, there is a studio version sung by him. Personally, I think it's a great, funny song, but his vocal delivery totally ruined it. Luckily, Thompson sings it in concert as a bonus track that was added to a later edition of the album, and I've added that here.

All the other songs are Thompson originals, with the exceptions of "Loch Lomond" and the other bonus track "Love Has Made a Fool of You - Iko Iko."

01. Peppermint Rock (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thomps)
02. March of the Cosmetic Surgeons (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thompson)
03. Begging Bowl (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thomps)
04. Loch Lomond (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thompson)
05. Days of Our Lives (French, Frith, Kaiser, Thompson)
06. Killing Jar (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thomps)
07. Now that I Am Dead (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thompson)
08. Love Has Made a Fool of You - Iko Iko (French, Frith, Kaiser & Thompson)

For some unknown reason, there have been two totally different official album covers for this album. You can see the more popular one in the Wikipedia entry for the album. I've chosen the lesser known one.

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