Richard Thompson: 20 great covers of his songs by other artists

richard thompson covered



Richard Thompson has been so great — and so prolific — a songwriter that he always has been a favorite for other songwriters to cover. Some of the covers — most notably, The Del McCoury Band’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” — have really brought the songs to a wider audience. Others remain more obscure.

I have put together a collection of 20 of the best covers I could find — or, at least, the 20 best that I could find videos for, on YouTube. You can watch the videos below.

Thompson will perform at a benefit for, Jan. 14 at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, with his son Teddy Thompson opening. Tickets are available at

Here are the covers, in no particular order. I have, for the most part, only included one cover per song, though I have made a couple of exceptions. If you think I have missed a good one, please let me know in the Comments section, below.

(For a look at 20 of Thompson’s own best covers of songs by other artists, click HERE.)

“Dimming of the Day,” Bonnie Raitt

“1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” Del McCoury Band

“Tear-Stained Letter,” Jo-El Sonnier

“Wall of Death,” Nanci Griffith

“Withered and Died,” Elvis Costello

“Valerie,” Marshall Crenshaw

“I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight,” Susanna Hoffs

“When I Get to the Border,” Arlo Guthrie

“How Will I Ever Be Simple Again,” De Danann

“Persuasion” (co-written by Peter Filleul and Tim Finn), Christine Collister and Michael Fix

“A Heart Needs a Home,” John Waite

“The Madness of Love,” Graham Parker

“Josef Locke,” Norma Waterson

“Keep Your Distance,” Buddy and Julie Miller

“I Misunderstood,” Mary Black

“Genesis Hall,” June Tabor

“Time to Ring Some Changes,” The Albion Band

“Waltzing’s for Dreamers,” Carrie Rodriguez

“Wall of Death,” R.E.M.

“Dimming of the Day,” David Gilmour


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