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Shoot Out the Lights Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, July 1, 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
What gets overlooked in the conventional wisdom of this album being a chronicle of gloom and doom is that there's also a lullabye of great peacefulness in the middle ("Just The Motion") and an affirmation of living life to the upmost at the end ("Wall of Death"). Of course, the darkness and pain is there aplenty in "Walking On A Wire," "Don't Renege on Our Love," and "Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed?" but the point is, "Shoot Out the Lights" is a balanced, complete whole. It's about life, period, as all great art is.
As much fine work as Richard (though sadly, not the retired Linda) has done since this 1982 album, he's never topped this one, and the only albums in his catalog that rival it are "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight," "Pour Down Like Silver," and "Hand of Kindness." It's a must-own.
Richard Thompson's songs are often scarifying; but even at their most dark and doom-laden, there's something purifying and uplifting about them as well.
Add his incredible guitar skills -- when he plays live acoustic, one would not be surprised to find that he has two extra hands hidden away somewhere -- and his own harrowed/harrowing vocals and Linda's beautiful floating voice and you have one hell of an album.
But, as i said, it's a difficult album -- i owned this album for almost a year before i stopped listening to it and started *hearing* it.
"Did She Jump?" is terrifying.
"Walking on a Wire" is full of the pain of *knowing* that your relationship is going bad, *knowing* that there's *nothing* you can do about it... and still hoping, dreaming futilely otherwise.
"Don't Renege on Our Love" rings with the knowledge that no matter how much you plead, he/she is still going to let it all go.
And "Wall of Death" -- while many see it as a song of hope and affirmation, of living life to the fullest -- comes across, in my hearing, as almost a case-study in depression.
All sounds pretty much like an album you'd go a long way to avoid, doesn't it? But it is, somehow, overall a defiance of that black fog, an affirmation of life, a celebration of hope against hope and fiercely loving even when love may be doomed...
If you're ready to step beyond simple boy/girl, moon/June/croon stuff and pop treacle; if you want some vitamins and some roughage in your musical diet, well, then...
This Is The Stuff.
When this review was written it was still cheaper to order this through Rhinohandmade.com
As many fans know this was the second attempt to make the album the first was with Hugh Murphy (and Gerry Rafferty)and Richard wasn't happy with the result. He, Linda and producer Joe Boyd started all over again. The first disc is the original album (unfortunately none of the earlier tracks are here and "Living in Luxury" hasn't been added back to the CD. It was never on the album but was a b-side to the single).
The second disc consists of the surviving live recordings taken from the multitracks for the San Francisco, Santa Cruz appearances and from soundboard cassetttes. The multitracks were damaged for most of these performances (some of them irrepairably)but Ed Haber working with the Rhino team managed to restore some of these for this set. Sound quality is surprisingly good given the various sources and damaged state of some of these tapes and Haber along with input from Richard and Linda Thompson has assembled the best surviving performances for an 11 track CD:
2. Backstreet Slide
4. I'll Keep It with Mine
5. Borrowed time
6. Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?
7. I'm A Dreamer
8. Honky Tonk Blues
9. Shoot Out the Lights
10.Read more ›
Any criticism of the content of the CD would simple be ludicrous. This album is one of the best in rock. Walking on a Wire, Just the Motion, Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed, and the Wall of Death are strong statements about humans and their behavior, and the conditions that brings.
This album is as clean and economical as they come. No note is here that doesn't need to be (economical) and nothing is lost in the mix. I strongly recommend "Shoot Out the Lights" as an essential part of any music collection. 6 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd rather listen to Bob Mould who is heavily influenced by ThompsonPublished 7 months ago by HifiJunkie
Excellent album. They split up as a couple but make great music together. I love Fairport Convention - the group they were in years ago,Published 12 months ago by Warren J.
...to contemplate the nature of man/wife relationships & why they deteriorate- with the most incredible songs/performance/ production- just get this. Read morePublished 12 months ago by One KING
I first appreciated RIchard and Linda Thompson's other record, "I want to see the bright lights tonight," for its honest, gutsy feel and personal texture. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dave Mellow
Although not his most famous album, this one is my personal favorite Richard Thompson work. I bought it for my buddy for his birthday, and he liked it as well!Published 21 months ago by Aldie Levine
Had the vinyl along time ago, then got a 3-CD Richard Thompson compilation. I figured I wouldn't really want "Shoot Out the Lights" because the compilation had my... Read morePublished 24 months ago by LightZinger
One of the best albums of all time! Every song is great, I'm sure its all about there breakup. Just think of did she jump or was she pushed.Published on April 12, 2013 by Kindle Customer
Consistent mood throughout with a real depth of feeling. Great guitar playing by Richard Thompson. A must have album for fans or a great starting point for those new to his work.Published on February 6, 2013 by Greg A. beckett
Every song is complex lyrically and musically and they stay in your head for ever. Richard Thompson is a superb songwriter and his wife (at the time) has it all vocally. Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by R. E. Wolford
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