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Acoustic Classics
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on February 13, 2017
Richard Thompson is the English equivalent of Neil Young only better. I have wracked my brains since I received this CD to think of a musician who has continually improved over 40 years not to mention those who fell apart in 4 years and I can't think of one.

There are at least 6 songs on this disc that are beyond rating on a 5 point scale and the rest are perfect 5's. I have some versions of these songs on vinyl from back in the Richard and Linda Thompson days and even Richard's solo versions of "Down Where the Drunkards Roll." "Shoot Out The Lights" and the unbearably beautiful "Dimming of Day" are at the very least their matches. "Wall of Death" as performed by Richard himself will never be matched not to mention exceeded.

I have only one other thing to say: 1952 Vincent Black Lightning and Beeswing. If you find more tragically beautiful songs anywhere please let me know

I ordered a second copy just to be on the safe side.

My recommendation: Take the Crown off of Elvis, put it on a plane and ship it to Richard Thompson. The man is truly The King.
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on July 23, 2014
Anyone who has been lucky enough to see Richard perform live acoustic shows should be salivating over this release. I've made the pilgrimage to McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J., for three years running, and he never disappoints. In fact, at his last show, his son Teddy opened for him. While enjoyable, I was worried that Teddy's hour or so would cut into Richard's time on the stage. Nope. He still played for over two hours, leaving me humbled by his guitar skills once again. How Mr. Thompson gets his fingers to do what they do is indescribable, simply the opposite of "all thumbs."

This is an incredible album, even for Thompson completists like me. Great playing, wonderful singing (although I realize that Thompson's voice may be an acquired taste for some,) and a beautiful song selection. Even songs that may seen like tired road horses ("Vincent," for example) sparkle and shine in this context.

Long may King Richard run. I'll be there to buy his albums and see his concerts until one of us kicks the bucket. Thanks for the music.

His website is something to check out, too. Imagine my surprise when I wrote a note to his contact asking if I might be sent the setlist for a concert the previous night. I received a detailed response within hours. Amazing.

Now let us all hope that much of his back catalogue comes back into print!
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on July 30, 2014
While some may question why Richard Thompson released an album of classic material, I am not among them. I have been a big fan going back to his Fairport days, and I welcome this addition to his canon. In the old days, I would have said that the album was wearing out my turntable, but I am not sure what one says with CDs. I have listened to it three times in succession, something I have not done for years, and am not done yet.

The value of this release, to me, is to provide a different perspective on well-known RT songs. The acoustic format emphasizes both the songs and the singer, as well as the intricate fretwork that sometimes gets overlooked when the electric is blazing. This album demonstrates the great craft of the songs, as well as Richard's expressive voice, and of course his guitar. Even a somewhat slight (but guilty pleasure) song such as Wall of Death takes on new nuances. And happily for me, although to the dismay of others, it compels me to sing along with almost every song.

I also enjoy the intimate nature of the recording, which sounds as if RT were playing on a stool 10 feet in front of you. Unlike one reviewer, I found the stripped down versions compelling to listen to, and my mind does not wander at all.

I have only one complaint about the release -- that it was not a double album. There are many other RT songs I would love to hear in this manner, starting perhaps with God Loves A Drunk.

Certainly this will not replace any of the albums from which these songs came, but just like jazz performances in different formats, the acoustic versions provide an alternative look and a glimpse into the songs and the songwriter.
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on October 23, 2014
I love it (5 stars) as a good Acoustic Richard Thompson (RT) album.

If you're not familiar with Richard Thompson, it's useful to know that there are at least three distinct Richard Thompsons.
1) RT Acoustic (studio or live);
2) RT Electric Studio, which are very nicely done and elegantly recorded;
3) RT Electric Live with Band - freakin' UNBELIEVABLY good. (I've seen him/ them tear the paint off the walls - some of the live recordings come close to capturing that)

For myself, of the three RTs, the acoustic RT is my least favorite. But that's within the RT universe, only where he's competing against himself.

But in absolute terms, this is a wonderful album. And, it is my favorite among his acoustic albums.

Most people bothering to read this will likely be old hands. Richard has been recording since the 60's and has a following. And for those of us with some experience, this album is a very nice turn. "Persuasion" here is my favorite version - another one of those love songs that I suspect should come with a warning label for women. The "Wall of Death," which is about a carnival ride, comes out remarkably fresh. "Shoot Out the Lights" - which was a sheer, electric power chord scream of outrage, is translated into an acoustic version that works., which I would have not thought possible. "Walking on A Wire" which you'd think maybe at this point should be retired, is revitalized and made very human.

So, for RT fans, this is well worth getting. For newbies, this is nice. But it is a small and not fully a representative part of Richard Thompson. For instance, you'll not know "Dimming of the Day," which is here and a bit anemic. You do need to hear other versions . And you'll likely not know why RT has been popping up on best guitarists lists for 40+ years. To understand that, check out RT live with his band - the "Ducknapped" album for instance,. It is an entirely different, exhilarating experience.

1This is a good acoustic album. It's a bit "safe" given some of RT's recent output, but definitely worth getting even for so-so fans.
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on January 1, 2018
My wife & I have long been fans of Richard Thompson; seeing him perform both with band and solo, and having a number of his songs among shared favorites. So when I purchased this, I didn't know if it could match the level of perfection attained in the many albums of his long career.

All doubts were removed, as with song after song, he combines his guitar mastery with a depth of feeling in his singing, that if anything exceeds that of the original versions. While we have a LOT of very fine music in our collection (including his prior releases), this likely will be among our very favorites. I will likely get the Classics II album as a result.
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on September 22, 2014
I saw Richard Thompson over the summer and the first part of his show was Acoustic. The selection of songs is great and deals with the GHs of his entire history of recordings. In this day of digital music, it was good to see that he did something different then just kicking out a GH album. The very feel of the album was very intimate and not overproduced. It was kind of strange to hear "the bright lights" and "Down by the Drunkards", since I am so used to hearing the studio version with his ex-wife Linda doing the vocals. Overall it was a great album and should be part of any Richard Thompson fan's collection.
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on January 29, 2015
I couldn't say anything original about Mr. Thompson; I've followed his work since Fairport, and still enjoy him most when it's solo guitar and voice.
This recording has an immediacy which is sometimes harsh, but it fits the songs. "Beeswing' still gives me the shivers, even on a 20th? hearing.
The selection here is well done, covering many years of wonderful writing and music.
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on November 1, 2017
The cd is really good, it's worth buying just to listen to the guitar playing. The only negative would be that it sounds in some spots that he's forcing the vocals to make up for the fact that it's just guitar and vocals. But it's not enough to give the cd a bad review. Deffinetly a good one to pick up for some excellent acoustic guitar work.
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on September 28, 2017
Folk at its best. Brought primarily just for one song, but the rest of the album is tremendous.
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on March 6, 2018
Along with Acoustic Rarities and Acoustic Classics II this is destined to become a true classic. If you like Thompson you will love this.
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