Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Carroll Thompson: A Lovers Rock Story

Carroll Thompson interview
Carroll Thompson interview Carroll Thompson interview Carroll Thompson interview Carroll Thompson interview - Photo David Corio Carroll Thompson Carroll Thompson interview - Photo David Corio Carroll Thompson interview - Photo David Corio Carroll Thompson interview - Photo David Corio Carroll Thompson interview - Photo David Corio BUY NOW

While most of us spent the past 18 months completing Netflix and steaming endless music, the Queen of Lovers Rock has been busy...

Four decades after her era-defining "Hopelessly In Love" album catapulted her to stardom, Carroll Thompson used the hiatus to catch up on all the projects she's not had time for. Getting down to serious songwriting while performing onstage wasn't an option but now she estimates she now has enough material for three new albums! For most artists that alone would be a productive use of the enforced break but it doesn't stop there. The lovers rock royal has also penned a play documenting the experiences of the Windrush generation, which she hopes will hit the stage next summer. Before that, though, is the release of an anniversary edition special remastered vinyl and CD of her debut album "Hopelessly In Love" - hailed as the best lovers rock album ever - now given the deluxe treatment it deserves, includes six bonus tracks as well as sleeve notes and a number of previously unseen photos.

In a Zoom call from her London home, Thompson explains that she has enjoyed revisiting the music and had plenty of happy memories come flooding back. "It's a very emotional and personal record for me. We were just kids at the time, to go back and revisit what we created gives me a new respect for what we created. It was a great experience, I still remember it vividly. I was able to realise something I'd spent time in my bedroom dreaming about". As a young performer creating something new in a recording studio in North London, Thompson had no idea just how big the album would become. "Hopelessly In Love" sold more than a million copies following its release in 1981, and has been affectionately branded "the album that triggered the baby boom". The lovers rock sound drew influences from U.S. soul, reggae from the Caribbean and the sounds embraced by youngsters in the UK. As a result, it sounded like nothing that had come before, and the new music remains a hit with audiences to this day. But as an up-and-coming singer hoping to make her mark on the music world, Thompson was pleased just to be recording, casting her mind back to the sessions with affection. "We weren't thinking about market forces, we were just happy to get the opportunity to make music. You'd see people on Top Of The Pops, but I didn't really know what it took to get to that level". Given the creative freedom to carve out a new sound, the young group of musicians got to work at Easy Street Studios, then in Bethnal Green, and music history was made. "We were like sponges, I knew we were creating something out of sheer fun with no pressure". Recalling further, "it was a very exciting time for music, and there were a lot of influences. We had complete creative freedom, we were just creating music and to know that it resonated with people was incredible".

You can read more from Dave Burke's enthralling exclusive with Lovers Rock royal Carroll Thompson, including her thoughts on performing her iconic "Hopelessly In Love" album in order and in full after the COVID lockdowns of the last 18-months. Also, Thompson thoughts on making the album and what she felt as it reached dizzy heights all those years ago. Thompson also delivers news on new music in our latest print issue - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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TWITTER: QueenOf Lovers

INSTAGRAM carrollthompsonqueenloversrock

FACEBOOK CarrollThompsonOfficial


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Words Dave Burke

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