CD The Best of Richard & Linda Thompson: The Island Records Years (CD 982981),
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The Best of Richard & Linda Thompson: The Island Records Years
1. Roll Over Vaughn Williams
2. Poor Ditching Boy, The
3. When I Get to the Border
4. Withered and Died
5. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
6. Down Where the Drunkards Roll
7. End of the Rainbow, The
8. Great Valerio, The
9. Hokey Pokey
10. Never Again
11. Heart Needs a Home, A
12. For Shame of Doing Wrong
13. Night Comes In
14. Beat the Retreat
15. Dimming of the Day
16. Calvary Cross
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 542456
Personnel includes: Richard Thompson (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, acoustic & electric dulcimers, oud, accordion, Fender Rhodes piano, harmonium); Linda Thompson (vocals); Andy Roberts (dulcimer); Nic Jones, Aly Bain, Sue Draheim (fiddle); Ian Whiteman (flute, shakuhachi, piano, organ); Jack Brymer (clarinet); John Kirkpatrick (accordion, Anglo concertina); Brian Gullard, Richard Harvey (krummhorn); Pat Donaldson (bass); Timi Donald (drums, percussion); Dave Mattacks (drums); Trevor Lucas, Royston Wood (background vocals).
Producers: Richard Thompson, John Wood, Simon Nicol.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded between 1972 & 1975. Includes liner notes by Clinton Heylin.
Digitally remastered by Suha Gur (Universal Music Studios, Edison, New Jersey).
Personnel: Simon Nicol (vocals, guitar, electric 12-string guitar, dulcimer, autoharp, piano, organ); Linda Thompson (vocals, background vocals); Aly Bain, Nic Jones, Sue Draheim (fiddle); Ian Whiteman (flute, piano, organ); John Kirkpatrick (accordion, concertina); Jack Brymer (clarinet); Dave Mattacks, Timi Donald (drums); Royston Wood, Trevor Lucas (background vocals).
Audio Remixer: John Wood .
Recording information: Oxford Polytechnic (??/??/1972-11/27/1975); Sound Techniques, Ltd., London, England (??/??/1972-11/27/1975).
There's never really been a definitive Thompsons compilation, the WATCHING THE DARK box being more of a collector's grab bag full of interesting rarities. Focusing as it does on the Thompsons' Island recordings, this collection omits anything from SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS, precluding true comprehensiveness. Aside from that, though, THE BEST OF RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON is pretty damn close to perfect. Nearly all of the folk-rock duo's highlights are here.
Richard's acidic lyrics and stinging guitar find their perfect complement in wife Linda's dulcet tones. THE BEST OF bears out a Thompson trademark--the underlying sense of dread in even ostensibly upbeat or romantic songs. There's a sense of danger amid the revelry of "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight," and an intimation of mortality on the gorgeous love ballad "Dimming of the Day." Appropriately, the disc closes with a scorching live version of "Calvary Cross" where the darkness bursts free in the form of Richard's soul-searing guitar pyrotechnics. The lack of previously unreleased material will chase off hardcore Thompson fans, but this is an excellent entry point for the curious.
Entertainment Weekly (8/4/00, p.87) - "...Focusses on his 1st four post-Fairport albums, with then wife Linda's crystalline voice providing an ideal vehicle for her husnband's eloquent invocations of fatalism and faith..." - Rating: A
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Island (Label) IMCD 270
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