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Shoot Out the Lights Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

73 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, July 1, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Real life intruded on Richard and Linda Thompson and turned Shoot Out the Lights into a harrowing masterpiece. The collection was difficult to create. Tracks from an aborted first attempt to record the album ended up on the Richard Thompson anthology Watching the Dark and the history of Linda Thompson Dreams Fly Away. It also became their final record together, lending extra poignance to such classically grim Richard Thompson titles as "Did She Jump or Was She Pushed" and "Wall of Death." The combination of Richard's inventive guitar work; his ragged vocals; and Linda's fragile, beautiful singing, all suffocatingly emotional, backed for the most part by longtime Thompson associates from Fairport Convention, make Shoot Out the Lights essential. --David Wolf
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B000000612
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,845 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"Shoot Out the Lights" is one of the finest, most organically perfect albums ever recorded, and the place to start for Richard and Linda Thompson novices, both for its devastating emotional impact and its rock orientation, which makes it their most musically accessible album. Not to mention that Richard's guitar playing has never been more ferocious or expressive as it is here, especially on the epic title track. As John Mellencamp once said about this album, RT's lead guitar adds another voice that expresses almost as much as the voices singing the words.
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.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Fairportfan on February 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a dark, brooding and, above all, wonderfully, brilliantly difficult album.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
They should have called their concert appearances to support this album "The Divorce Tour" or "Break Up Tour. "Shoot Out the Lights" remains a seminal 80's album and one of Richard and Linda Thompson's finest achievements. Although it wasn't written about their martial discord, "Shoot Out the Lights" certainly reflected the aftermath of failing marriage. A spare, brilliantly written/performed/produced album and one of the Thompson's towering achievements.

When this review was written it was still cheaper to order this through

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:

1. Dargai
2. Backstreet Slide
3. Pavane
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
Read more ›
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Goldsmith on September 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an album I've had for sometime. I have it in the regular format, a gold disc, and then had to hear it in the hybrid format. It was worth every penny and them some. The hybrid version is definitely the cleanest, bringing out every nuance of voice and instrument.

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.
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