Shoot Out the Lights

Shoot Out the Lights

4.0 2
by Richard & Linda Thompson
     
 

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Ironically, the final collaboration of Fairport Convention cofounder Richard Thompson and his then-wife Linda marked the artistic high point of their musical collaboration, as well as their commercial breakthrough. Recorded as the pair's marriage was breaking up, the eight-song album is an elegantly craftedSee more details below

Overview

Ironically, the final collaboration of Fairport Convention cofounder Richard Thompson and his then-wife Linda marked the artistic high point of their musical collaboration, as well as their commercial breakthrough. Recorded as the pair's marriage was breaking up, the eight-song album is an elegantly crafted yet emotionally raw song cycle that compellingly surveys the darjer margins of the human heart, thanks to Richard's incisive songwriting, searingly inventive guitar work, and brooding vocals, which are balanced by Linda's aching, crystalline delivery. Indeed, the immediacy and empathy of the duo's performances are all the more remarkable in light of the emotionally fraught circumstances of the album's recording. "Don't Renege on Our Love," "Walking on a Wire" and the starkly explosive title track resonate with vulnerability and recrimination, while Linda's remarkably graceful "It's Just the Motion" holds out the solace of acceptance amid life's emotional storms, and Richard's pun-filled "Wall of Death" closes the album on a typically barbed note of hope and resolution.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Richard & Linda Thompson's marriage was crumbling as they were recording Shoot Out the Lights in 1982, and many critics have read the album as a chronicle of the couple's divorce. In truth, most of the album's songs had been written two years earlier (when the Thompsons were getting along fine) for an abandoned project produced by Gerry Rafferty, and tales of busted relationships and domestic discord were always prominent in their songbook. But there is a palpable tension to Shoot Out The Lights which gives songs like "Don't Renege On Our Love" and "Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed" an edgy bite different from the Thompsons' other albums together; there's a subtle, unmistakable undertow of anger and dread in this music that cuts straight down to the bone. Joe Boyd's clean, uncluttered production was the ideal match for these songs and their Spartan arrangements, and Richard Thompson's wiry guitar work was remarkable, displaying a blazing technical skill that never interfered with his melodic sensibilities. Individually, all eight of the album's songs are striking (especially the sonic fireworks of the title cut, the beautiful drift of "Just The Motion," and the bitter reminiscence of "Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed"), and as a whole they were far more than the sum of their parts, a meditation on love and loss in which beauty, passion, and heady joy can still be found in defeat. It's ironic that Richard & Linda Thompson enjoyed their breakthrough in the United States with the album that ended their career together, but Shoot Out The Lights found them rallying their strengths to the bitter end; it's often been cited as Richard Thompson's greatest work, and it's difficult for anyone who has heard his body of work to argue the point.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/1991
Label:
Hannibal
UPC:
0031257130325
catalogNumber:
571303
Rank:
21273

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Richard & Linda Thompson   Primary Artist
Richard Thompson   Indexed Contributor,Dulcimer,Guitar,Accordion,Vocals,Hammered Dulcimer
Martin Carthy   Background Vocals
Watersons   Background Vocals
Clive Gregson   Background Vocals
Simon Nicol   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Dave Pegg   Bass
Brian Jones   Cornet
Stephen Barnett   Trombone
Stephen Corbett   Cornet
Mark Cutts   Trombone
Phil Goodwin   Tuba
Dave Mattacks   Drums
Linda Thompson   Vocals,Track Performer
Lal Waterson   Background Vocals
Mike Waterson   Background Vocals
Pete Zorn   Bass,Background Vocals
Lal Carthy   Background Vocals
Mike Carthy   Background Vocals
Norma Carthy   Background Vocals
Norma Waterson   Background Vocals
Norma   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Joe Boyd   Producer
Toby Mountain   Remastering
Bill Gill   Engineer
Gered Mankowitz   Cover Photo

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