It was, I think, the influence of The Band that had some of my peers heading in search of music that could have been written and/or performed at any point in the past century or two rather than tunes that were obviously contemporary, a quest that pointed some of us towards Fairport Convention and, by extension, to the inimitable Richard Thompson.

It was a quest that led, to use a widely quoted example, a group of Latino kids in Los Angeles to realise they could use traditional material from their own Hispanic heritage in the same way Fairport had electrified English folk tunes.

Richard Thompson had already penned Genesis Hall when Fairport headed off down that traditional arr. route, and it was obvious that when you’re short of suitable traditional material or disinclined to use what’s been unearthed you could always write your own.

So, in some cases in collaboration with fiddler Dave Swarbrick, he did.

Some forty years after he left Fairport Thompson’s still at it.

Admittedly, in the extensive and impressive discography he’s built up over four decades there’s material that isn’t directly drawn from his British folk roots, but those influences have shaped the writing and playing of a man who’s probably listed in most knowledgable critics’ Top Twenty contemporary songwriters and guitarists (acoustic and electric).

That’s three possible lists, folks (writing, acoustic and electric) and there aren’t too many performers out of any era who’d end up figuring on all three. There will, of course, be critics who’ve compiled lists in one or more of those categories and left Thompson, R. off the said list, but when I happen to note one, Hughesy’s reaction is invariably to dismiss it on the basis of insufficient research or an inability to recognise individual brilliance that must bring the critic’s other conclusions into question.

That’s talking in terms of critics. For the general population Richard Thompson hasn’t been flying under the radar, it’s more or less a case of passing by completely undetected.

As a result of the need to turn a quid through the merchandise booth and on the website, the following discography features a section devoted to Cottage industry rather than major label releases. If you’re searching for some of those titles the best option I can suggest, other than the official website, is, predictably, iTunes, where around half a dozen of them may be found.

What follows here isn’t quite the complete discography, but goes close enough to what I’ve got in the CD shelves to act as another index to keep track of things discussed in various parts of the site as well as items reviewed hereabouts.

1972 Henry the Human Fly Richard Thompson
1974 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight Richard and Linda Thompson
1974 Hokey Pokey Richard and Linda Thompson
1975 Pour Down Like Silver Richard and Linda Thompson
1978 First Light Richard and Linda Thompson
1979 Sunnyvista Richard and Linda Thompson
1981 Strict Tempo! Richard Thompson
1982 Shoot Out the Lights Richard and Linda Thompson
1983 Hand of Kindness Richard Thompson
1985 Across a Crowded Room Richard Thompson
1986 Daring Adventures Richard Thompson
1988 Amnesia Richard Thompson
1991 Rumor and Sigh Richard Thompson
1994 Mirror Blue Richard Thompson
1996 You? Me? Us? Richard Thompson
1999 Mock Tudor Richard Thompson
2003 The Old Kit Bag Richard Thompson
2005 Front Parlour Ballads Richard Thompson
2007 Sweet Warrior Richard Thompson
2010 Dream Attic Richard Thompson

Live albums
1984 Small Town Romance Richard Thompson
2005 Live from Austin, TX Richard Thompson
2007 In Concert, November 1975 Richard and Linda Thompson
2011 Live At The BBC Richard Thompson featuring Linda Thompson

Cottage industry releases
1995 Live at Crawley Richard Thompson with Danny Thompson 1993
1996 Two Letter Words: Live 1994 Richard Thompson Band 1994
1998 Celtschmerz: Live in the UK ‘98 Richard Thompson 1998
2002 Semi-Detached Mock Tudor Richard Thompson Band 1999
2003 More Guitar Richard Thompson Band 1988
2003 1000 Years of Popular Music Richard Thompson 2002
2003 Ducknapped! Richard Thompson Band 2003
2004 Faithless Richard Thompson 1985
2004 The Chrono Show Richard Thompson 2004
2009 Live Warrior Richard Thompson 2007

1976 (guitar, vocal) Richard Thompson
1976 Live! (more or less) Richard Thompson
1985 Doom And Gloom From The Tomb Richard Thompson
1991 Doom & Gloom II (Over My Dead Body) Richard Thompson
1993 Watching the Dark Richard Thompson
2000 The Best of Richard & Linda Thompson: The Island Record Years Richard and Linda Thompson
2001 Action Packed Richard Thompson
2006 RT - The Life and Music of Richard Thompson Richard Thompson
2009 Walking On A Wire Richard Thompson