Thursday, April 8, 2010

Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out The Lights (1982)

Whoever said the '80s were a bad decade for music was totally full of shit. Yeah, there was some tragic fashions associated with rock n' roll and probably a little too much cocaine; plus the role of the synthesizer may have been a little overstated, but there was also a ton of fantastic music.

Often overlooked when talking about great guitar players is one Richard Thompson, the brains behind Fairport Convention as well as he and his wife Linda's wonderful (if too short) collaborative recording careers. I'll take I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight as their best record together, but this one has the honor of being their last together. After spending most of the '70s living in Sufi Islam communes around the world living a deeply spiritual life and trying to keep a music career going while trying to keep a marriage together, the strain proved to be too great a burden on the couple, as their relationship deteriorated sometime between the writing of and subsequent recording of this record (it's incorrectly considered a "break up" album; in fact 6 out of 8 of these songs were written in 1979- the title track is actually about the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan).

Richard's guitar work on sections of this record are quite magnificent (the title track is amazing); give it a listen and decide for yourself where the man fits with the Claptons and the Richards of the world...


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