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Richard Thompson, Looking Back

Richard Thompson's new box set Walking on a Wire contains four discs designed — and compiled by the folk-rock legend himself — to provide a comprehensive look at his 40-year career. Today, Fresh Air takes a similar approach: We'll explore Thompson's life and work in excerpts from interviews and in-studio performances we've recorded with him over the years.

The box set includes songs from every CD Thompson has put out, from the beginnings of his career with the folk-rock group Fairport Convention, through his recordings with his now-ex-wife Linda Thompson, and continuing into his years as a solo artist. The styles within the set are just as varied, including rock 'n' roll, jazz and even a waltz here and there.

A prolific songwriter, Thompson has been named one of the Top 20 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. Among those who have covered his songs are R.E.M., Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and Los Lobos.

These excerpts were originally broadcast in June 1991, February 1994, August 1999 and September 2002.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.