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Pour Down Like Silver

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 1991
$17.92 $6.52

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Editorial Reviews


Pour Down Like Silver offers a fascinating glimpse of one of England's most seminal musicians steeped in a consuming passion. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Richard Thompson and his wife Linda had converted to the mystical Islamic discipline of Sufism when they recorded this stark, riveting folk-rock album, which retains its powers as a uniquely spiritual document long after the couple's subsequent divorce and Richard Thompson's migration beyond its shaping doctrines. Modern listeners are left with a bracing essay noteworthy for such classics as "Streets Of Paradise," the brooding valentine of "For Shame Of Doing Wrong," the classic folk-rock love song, "Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair," and the powerful dirge of "Night Comes In," which transforms the image of dervishes dancing toward enlightenment into a deliberate yet hard-rocking climax worthy of Neil Young--with accordion, no less. --Sam Sutherland

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Streets In Paradise
  2. For Shame Of Doing Wrong
  3. The Poor Boy Is Taken Away
  4. Night Comes In
  5. Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair
  6. Beat The Retreat
  7. Hard Luck Stories
  8. Dimming Of The Day/Dargai

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B00000063R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,276 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
OK, you've heard "Shoot Out the Lights," the greatest album R&L made when they didn't like each other. Now hear the best one they made while they were still in love.
"Pour Down Like Silver" is an incredibly warm, intimate album, and is strangely underrated. It was recorded at a strange time in the Thompsons' musical career--it reflects the Sufi Muslim spirituality that Richard and (less so) Linda embraced at the time, but it still retains the earthier aspects of their earlier work. The songs of regret over love departed ("For Shame of Doing Wrong" and "Beat the Retreat") are haunting--the pain is all too real. As is the devotion of a song like "Dimming of the Day." There's also humor ("Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair"), disgust ("Hard Luck Stories"), and moral outrage ("Streets of Paradise"), but the album avoids crossing the line into preachy self-righteousness, unlike the following pair of R&T albums.
And the music! So stark, yet shimmering. The instrumentation is far more spare than on the first two Thompson albums, every part on the record means something. Richard's guitar playing is more prominent than on "I Want To See the Bright Lights" or "Hokey Pokey"--this is more of a rock album, yet it's hardly typical. The singing is sublime, as good as any they've ever done.
"Pour Down Like Silver" tends to get lost in the (justified) hype of "Shoot Out the Lights," but it's arguably a better, more lasting album. Virtually every song is a classic and many have stayed in Richard's setlist for years. Treat yourself to one of the truly great albums and get this disc!
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Format: Audio CD
Unfortunately, I never bought Richard & Linda Thompson's first three albums (I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, Hokey Pokey and this album, Pour Down Like Silver) when Rykodisc released them in the early 90s. I don't know why, really. I guess because I was stuggling financially and emotionally, and I had bought the LPs when Hannibal released them in '83. I cursed myself when they went out of print, and vowed that, should they ever be released again, I would not miss the chance a second time.

Imagine my pleasant suprise when it actually happened, although at a hefty import price. I swallowed hard at the price tag, and told my wife THIS was what I wanted for my birthday. She rolled her eyes and complied, and I excitedly put it on. It sounded flat and horrible. I decided I must be tired, stopped the player and put it on again the next morning. Same thing; flat and horrible. Well, I know that listening is not a strictly physical occurrance, so I decided to pull out the old LP and make my detemination as objective as possible. Well, the old LP, which was remastered good but not great (the cuts on the Richard Thompson box Watching The Dark proved that, they sounded SO much better than my LP), just blew this "newly remastered" import CD right out of the water.

Look, I don't know what happen. This is not the first time I've bought an Island remaster. I bought several of the Traffic remasters that came out several years ago, and they were marvelously done...great fidelity. But I can assure you that something went very wrong here. I know this album, in it's original mix and release, sounded a bit boxy and flat, but this is much, much worse.

I know that there are a lot of Thompson fans out there, and I'm rather surprised no one has yet reviewed this.
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Format: Audio CD
This was Richard and Linda's last statement before disappearing from the music world for three years. While the remastering is far from perfect on this edition of the album (it sounds like they a used copy of the master not the original master), the album itself is a classic. Thompson's guitar playing is more restrained here possibly reflecting his new mind set; he and his wife Linda joined a communal Sufi Muslim sect. Either way, the pared down approach of the arrangements works well in favor of the emotional directness of the songs. The mood is dark at times but the melodies and lyrics are compelling. "Streets of Paraidse", the beautiful "Dimming of the Day" and "Night Comes In" all remain just as powerful as when they were first recorded.

This remastered edition suffers from a number flaws but that shouldn't detract you from picking up some edition of the album. The mastering is, indeed, flat and, in fact, sounds like it's done from a second or third generation copy of the original mastertape. The sonic detail is decent enough it just doesn't have the depth I expected. The bonus tracks are tacked on at the end almost as an afterthought. While they are great live performances two of them were previously released on "Guitar, Vocal". The two new tracks are worthwhile additions to any Thompson fans collection and sound pretty good given the age of the recordings and the recording conditions. Thompson had wished that Island had not included the bonus tracks or put them on a separate CD allowing the original album to stand alone. As it is they are presented without a gap and begin immediately after the stunning conclusion of the album disrupting the flow of the album.
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