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Action Packed: Best of the Capitol Years Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 27, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ex-Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson is one of the few '60s rockers to remain vital and relevant into the '80s and '90s, and this new 19-track collection chronicles his work for Capitol, where he's recorded since the late '80s. Includes an unreleased track and two others never on CD in the U.S., plus Turning of the Tide; Waltzing's for Dreamers; King of Bohemia; The Ghost of You Walks; Razor Dance (voltage enhanced); Cold Kisses; Cooksberry Queen , and more. A true guitar hero!

Eric Clapton had better marketing. That's the only way to explain why Richard Thompson isn't as famous as that other British guitar god. A brilliant, albeit subtle, guitar genius, Thompson writes wonderful songs that are sometimes rockin', sometimes haunting, and sometimes a little bit of both. And he presents them all in a voice that can only be called unique. Unlike most guitar heroes, Thompson is less based in the blues than he is in folk--dating back to his early years with the seminal Fairport Convention--but his has always been a folk music with bite and soul, adding things to the folk lexicon like rockabilly and zydeco. "Cooksferry Queen"--one of the 19 tracks on this compilation culled from the six albums Thompson released on Capitol between 1988 and 1999--features a guitar solo that's downright punk. Tracks like the semihit "I Feel So Good," "Razor Dance," and "Bathsheba Smiles" remain as exhilarating as anything you're apt to hear. Longtime fans will need to hear the three tracks previously unreleased on CD, including a new duet with son Teddy Thompson on "Persuasion" (co-written with Tim Finn) that is absolutely gorgeous. Ultimately, one longs for a box set that encompasses all eras (and labels) of this master's career, but Action Packed proves that the recent last third of it has been topnotch. --Bill Holdship

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Turning Of The Tide (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Waltzing's For Dreamers (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I Misunderstood (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I Feel So Good (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 3:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Keep Your Distance (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. King Of Bohemia (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 3:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. I Can't Wake Up To Save My Life (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 3:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Beeswing (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 5:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Ghost Of You Walks (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Razor Dance (Electric) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Cold Kisses (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Bathsheba Smiles (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 3:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Cooksferry Queen (24-Bit Digitally Remastered 01)Richard Thompson 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Uninhabited Man (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Walking The Long Miles Home (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. PersuasionRichard Thompson Featuring Teddy Thompson 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Mr. Rebound (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Fully Qualified To Be Your Man (24-Bit Remastered 01) (2001 Digital Remaster)Richard Thompson 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 27, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005A9KU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Richard Thompson is one of the most gifted musicians and songwriters of the past 40 years, but remarkably (and for reasons that defy understanding) he is largely unknown other than to a devoted coterie of fans and to a slew of serious musicians in the know (Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne, Los Lobos, Michael Stipe, Bob Mould). This new collection, which covers the past 12 years of his 35 year career, is a fine introduction to an incomparable talent.
It's hard to compare him to anyone, because his talents are so broad and his sound so distinctive. (The Amazon review of this disc invokes Eric Clapton, but that comparison does a disservice to Thompson -- Clapton, as we all know, is a fine guitarist, but he isn't in the same league as Thompson as a singer or songwriter, and he lacks the originality, wit, fire, darkness, richness, complexity and depth that are hallmarks of the Thompson sound.) Thompson is also unlike his peers in that, at the age of 50+, he continues to crank out records that sound fresh and bold, most recently the wonderful "Mock Tudor."
He has been around for a long time -- in the 60s he was a young guitar prodigy with the legendary Fairport Convention, before embarking on a brilliant solo career that included session work for the late, great Nick Drake and a series of magical albums with his ex-wife Linda culminating in the magnificent "Shoot Out the Lights". (The recent "Best of Richard and Linda Thompson" is a decent introduction to this period.) His extraordinarily fertile Capitol period began with 1989's "Amnesia" and concluded with his most recent release, "Mock Tudor." The enduring mystery is how a talent like this can have eluded the ears of so many over the years.
What makes the guy so great?
Read more ›
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Two of my favorite artists are Bruce Cockburn and Richard Thompson. They are both gifted guitarists and songwriters who have been producing superb music for the past thirty years and neither one of them could get arrested if they marched naked in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! Unfortunately, both artists--now in their fifties--are probably doomed to the artistic purgatory of being critis' darlings and cult favorites. And that's a shame.
Thompson's Action Packed: The Best of the Capitol Years (which follows in the footsteps of last year's well assembled The Best of Richard & Linda Thompson: The Island Years) samples all five of his Capitol albums from 1988's Amnesia through 1999's excellent Mock Tudor.
I bought this CD for two reasons. One, I already own everything Thompson has ever released, including his live recordings only available through the Richard Thompson newsletter Flypaper. But most of my purchases prior to 1996 were either vinyl or cassette. It's nice to have these recordings on CD. Two, you get one new track, "Persuasion," which features his son Teddy on guitar and shares lead vocals. [Based on this song alone, I'd like to see them do an entire album together.] In addition, you get two tracks, "Mr. Rebound" and "Fully Qualified To Be Your Man," which were both previously available only on the vinyl release of Mock Tudor. And with concert favorites like "Turning of the Tide," "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and "Beeswing," you get a generous 19-track sampling of Thompson's music of the past thirteen years. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rob Damm on November 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'm a huge Richard Thompson fan, I own all the albums and also the far better (out of print) collection, "Watching the Dark". I bought this to get the three "new" tracks, whick range from good to great, so I guess I got my money's worth.
I really must take issue with the track selection, though. For instance, it includes only 2 tracks from "Amnesia"... sure, "turning of the tide" and "waltzing's for dreamers" are great, but almost any other song on the original album is better (that's how good it is). I certainly would have liked more tracks from "You? Me? Us?", and less tracks from "Mock Tudor". It's not that I don't like "Mock Tudor", but (a) It's very recent and maybe doesn't need such heavy representation in a retrospective yet, and (b) is a semi-"concept" album that works much better as a whole.
The sound is audibly and obviously improved on tracks from "Amnesia" through "Mirror Blue" which is remarkable proof how much more engineers have been able to eek out of the old' 16-bit redbook CD format in recent years. On later tracks, the difference is either subtle or non-existent.
Maybe it seems that I'm being a bit hard on this CD, but, as the man said, you have to be cruel to be kind. I think RT is one of the great musical talents of the past 50 years, and he deserves better. Much better. Also, remember, Capitol dropped him from the label after "Mock Tudor", so "Action Packed" is a last-ditch, crass cash-in on the part of his old label. Of course, Capitol has let most of these albums go out of print, so newcomers may have no other recourse but to buy this set.
Another suggestion? RT sells wonderful "live" discs on his own label. Find these and buy them. "2 letter words", "Live at Crawley" and "Celtshmerz" will all give you a more complete picture of this brilliant guitarist.
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Action Packed: Best of the Capitol Years
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