Watch: Richard Thompson – 1000 years of popular music

A wonderful live version of an album originally released as a Fan club and boutique label release in 2003. Date and location unknown.

22 January 2023 |James Porteous | Clipper Media News

1000 Years of Popular Music is a 2003 live album by Richard Thompson.

The album was originally conceived after Richard Thompson, along with many other artists, was asked by Playboy magazine to nominate his choice of the best songs of the millennium in anticipation of the year 2000.

Although the magazine intended the use of the term “millennium” to be hyperbole that emphasized the end of the 2nd millennium, Thompson, in an act of malicious compliance, followed these instructions exactly as they were worded, and produced a list which did span 1000 years of music, including the oldest-known English-language songs, a medieval Italian dance tune, and various other folk songs, alongside slightly more contemporary fare.[

The list was never published by Playboy; it was subsequently released into CD format.[1] 

The songs comprising the track list cover a roughly thousand-year period, 1068–2001, starting with “Sumer Is Icumen In“. The most recent song included on the album is Britney Spears‘ hit “Oops!… I Did It Again“.

The songs, arranged for play on a single guitar, are played by Thompson, vocalist Judith Owen, and percussionist Michael Jerome, when needed.

A DVD with the same name was released in 2006. This was recorded sometime later during a different tour, has a slightly different track listing and features Debra Dobkin replacing Michael Jerome on percussion and vocals. (Wikipedia)


“Sumer Is Icumen In” (trad., arr. by Thompson) 2:30

Interview 4:40

“King Henry” (trad., arr. by Thompson) talk 7:40 song 9:50

“So Ben Mi Ca Bon Tempo” (Orazio Vecchi, arr. by Thompson) talk 14:27 Joke at 15:24 song 16:25

“Bonnie St. Johnstone” (trad., arr. by Thompson) talk 19:20 song 21:00

“O Sleep Fond Fancy” (Thomas Morley) talk 26:53 song 27:40

“Remember O Thou Man” (Thomas Ravenscroft) 29:50

“Shenandoah” (trad., arr. by Thompson) 33:50

“Blackleg Miner” (trad., arr. by Thompson) 39:00

“I Live in Trafalgar Square” (C.W. Murphy) 43:25

“There Is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast” (from The Mikado) (W.S. Gilbert/Arthur Sullivan, arr. by Thompson) 47:45

“Java Jive” (Ben Oakland/Milton Drake) 50:50

“Night and Day” (Cole Porter) 54:30

“Orange-Coloured Sky” (Milton DeLugg/William Stein) 1:00:54

“Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” (Granville “Stick” McGhee/J. Mayo Williams) 1:03:20

“A-11” (Hank Cochran) 1:06:28 “See My Friends” (Ray Davies) talk 1:10:59 song 1:11:50

“Friday on My Mind” (George Young/Harry Vanda) 1:16:39

“Tempted” (Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook) 1:20:14

“Oops!… I Did It Again” (Max Martin/Rami Yacoub) 1:25:09

“Cry Me A River” (Arthur Hamilton) 1:30:15 “1985” (Jaret Reddick/John Allen/Mitchell Scherr) 1:35:50 Interview 1:39:40

“Sam Hall” (trad., arr. by Thompson) 1:41:42

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