The Little Beggar Girl
Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
The first collaboration by the doomed lovers is, not surprisingly, rife with the bleak imagery, wrist-slashing lyrics and celebration of life's endless misery that, as baleful as it is, make the Thompsons' music a treasure of sorts. Richard is one of the key figures in folk rock, and Linda's voice alone makes her every bit his equal. This album is their best work: The title cut is on the short list of greatest breakup songs ever; "When I Get to the Border" is nothing less than mythic; and you can hear Will Oldham being born as "The Calvary Cross" trudges its way to the gallows.