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  • Walking on a Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009)
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Walking on a Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009) Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, August 18, 2009
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performance of "Haul Me Up" with Greeting

Biography

No artist to emerge in the second half of the ’60s has gone on to have a more productive and vital career than Richard Thompson. The England-born, L.A.-based artist has amassed an astounding body of work comprising more than 40 albums, containing artfully shaped material that seamlessly and expressively integrates traditional and contemporary modes. And Thompson is among the most ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Thompson Store

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Walking on a Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009) + Acoustic Classics
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B002D1GNFU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,956 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Time Will Show The Wiser - Fairport Convention, from Fairport Convention
2. Meet On The Ledge - Fairport Convention, from What We Did On Our Holidays (U.K.), Fairport Convention (U.S.)
3. Genesis Hall - Fairport Convention, from Unhalfbricking
4. Crazy Man Michael - Fairport Convention, from Liege & Lief
5. Sloth - Fairport Convention, from Full House
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Dimming Of The Day/Dargai - Richard & Linda Thompson, from Pour Down Like Silver
2. A Heart Needs A Home - Richard & Linda Thompson, from (guitar, vocal) (U.K.), Live! (More Or Less) (U.S.)
3. Don't Let A Thief Steal Into Your Heart - Richard & Linda Thompson, from First Light
4. Strange Affair - Richard & Linda Thompson, from First Light
5. Sunnyvista - Richard & Linda Thompson, from Sunnyvista
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Little Blue Number, from Across A Crowded Room
2. She Twists The Knife Again, from Across A Crowded Room
3. Valerie, from Daring Adventures
4. Turning Of The Tide, from Amnesia
5. I Still Dream, from Amnesia
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Hide It Away (Voltage Enhanced), from you? me? us?
2. Last Shift - Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson, from Industry
3. Big Chimney - Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson, from Industry
4. Lotteryland - Richard Thompson and Danny Thompson, from Industry
5. Persuasion (Live), from Celtschmerz (Live UK '98)
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Career-spanning four CD box set from the British Folk Rock legend spanning the years 1969-2009. The songs chosen for this selection of his work were carefully assembled and aim to provide a real sense of Richard Thompson, as well as to celebrate the diversity of his music - Rock 'n' Roll with Folk, Jazz, Rockabilly and the odd waltz thrown in - the scope of his songwriting, and the sheer virtuosity of his playing. Produced by Richard Thompson, Walking On A Wire impressively includes 71 tracks from albums released by 15 different labels, and includes a 60 page booklet with new notes by Patrick Humphries.

Review

"A perennial dark-horse contender for the title of Greatest Living Rock Guitarist.... folks should be sated by this excellent 71-track primer, which also shows the U.K. vet as a world-class songwriter. 4.5 Stars" -- Rolling Stone, August 9,2009

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
The one great lack in the discography of Richard Thompson has been a collection of his best work.
Robert Moore
The four CDs don't have any special packaging, but the tall and slim 60-page booklet is very nice, with a long essay and tons of rare photos.
Surferofromantica
I love music and love lots of different kinds of music, but I cannot think of another box set that is top to bottom this good.
TK from Roch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By TK from Roch on August 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Who is reading this? If you are an RT fan, as I have been since Fairport days, was your first reaction the same as mine: why? I mean, I have every song in this box set on some other cd(s). But I had to have it anyway (as another review noted). It is a great career overview, the recording is pristine - these songs have never sounded better. And when I play RT now I tend to gravitate to his live releases. So I am really enjoying re-visiting these great songs. I would recommend this for the sound quality alone.

If you are not a big fan, or have heard the hype but do not really know his music, it is all warranted. Fairport Convention was a "folk rock" band from the 60's. (I italicize that because they were really so much more). There are only a few songs from this period here. (The box set A Fairport History has a much more comprehensive selection of RT from this period). The tracks here range from the upbeat rock of Time Will Show the Wiser to the folk of Genesis Hall and Crazy Man Michael to the long dirge Sloth, with it's ending guitar workout, RT already showing his chops (and Dave Swarbick adding his usual astounding fiddle). Then a couple tracks from RT's 1st solo effort, which was a great mish mosh of styles (in a good way).

His next period after leaving Fairport was with his wife Linda Thompson. This era produced some of the finest adult rock music ever. The songs are quite varied, acoustic and electric, happy and sad. Actually, together they recorded (lyrically) some of the most realistic love songs I have heard: Walking on a Wire; The Great Valerio; Did She Jump or Was She Pushed; Withered and Died; For Shame of Doing Wrong. This is not greasy kid stuff. These are mature songs for folks whose hearts have been around the block a few times and know the joy and pain of love.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kevin D. Rathert on August 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Richard Thompson is without question one of the world's greatest guitarists. Box sets are nothing new for Thompson. Rykodisc released the 3 cd "Watching The Dark" in 1993, Free Reed released "RT" a 5 cd totally unreleased set in the mid 2000s, and now the wonderful people at Shout Factory have added Thompson to the list of musicians they have honored with boxed sets. Thomposon himself along with former Rhino producer David McLees produced this 71 track compilation. The immaculate digital remastering was done by former Rhino sound man Bob Fisher. While both the 3 and 5 disc Thompson sets shone due to the number of previously unreleased tracks, "Walking On A Wire" shines because it contains selections from all 34 albums released by Thompson between 1968 and 2007. This means numerous albums by Fairprort Convention, several lps done with ex-wife Linda Thompson, and many solo Thompson efforts. The result is an amazing amalgamation of musical presentations. It appears that if an instrument has strings Thompson is a master of it. The same can be said of all the different musical styles presented in "Walking On A Wire." Rated as the 20th greatest guitarist by Rolling Stone magazine, Thompson certainly proves the point here. From gentle folk to full blown rock and roll and everything in between Thompson shines on each and every track. Some may complain at the lack of unreleased material, but to them I say, buy this set, give it a listen, and I dare you to say the tunes have ever sounded so good. And unless you own each and every album individually this set should be absolutely essential to your collection. A true musician's musician, Thompson doesn't have a big name, has never the fame he so richly deserves, and in fact seems to have done everything in his power to remain out of the limelight.Read more ›
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Richard Thompson has been the recipient of a rare honor, a third box set while still at the height of his powers and while still producing quality original music. But I think the case for this particular box set is strong. The first two box sets were not intended for people unfamiliar with Richard Thompson's music, but for long-term fans. Both WATCHING THE DARK and RT contained scads of performances not previously released, and relatively few of his familiar great songs. WALKING ON A WIRE, on the other hand, has virtually all of Thompson's finest music, whether with Fairport Convention, with his ex-wife Linda, or from his solo career. This instantly becomes the number one Richard Thompson album, the one essential introduction to his genius.

I sort of miss the late seventies and early eighties, when some of us who were huge fans could shock people who were unfamiliar with his work by playing them a few of his best songs. Rolling Stone put is well a few years later upon the re-release of several of his best albums, including I WANT TO SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT. They asked people to imagine never having heard of artists of the caliber of Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Hendrix, or Pete Townshend, but that their albums were suddenly released out of nowhere. That was what they compared the release of several of Thompson's best albums twenty years ago. Thompson is astonishing on three levels. First, he is a shockingly great guitarist, admired by his fellow musicians everywhere. Second, he is one of the most acclaimed songwriters in music, his songs performed by many of the world's finest musicians. Third, he is a highly accomplished singer, able to sing his and others' compositions with tremendous passion. As a guitarist, he has few peers.
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Topic From this Discussion
French/Frith/Kais...
Good question...I'm actually rather hoping that this box set heralds a full reissue campaign of Thompson's albums. Not the Island material; that's been covered quite sufficiently already. I was thinking of the 2 Chrysalis albums (First Light and Sunnyvista), Strict Tempo!, the 2 Polydor albums... Read More
Aug 15, 2009 by William M. Feagin |  See all 2 posts
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