CD Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson (CD 1177370),
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Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson

  • 1. Shoot out the Lights - X
    2. Wall of Death - R.E.M.
    3. When the Spell Is Broken - Bonnie Raitt
    4. Turning of the Tide - Bob Mould
    5. For Shame of Doing Wrong - Evan Dando/Syd Straw
    6. Down Where the Drunkards Roll - Los Lobos
    7. Beat the Retreat - June Tabor
    8. Genesis Hall - June Tabor
    9. I Misunderstood - Dinosaur Jr.
    10. Madness of Love, The - Graham Parker
    11. Just the Motion - David Byrne
    12. Valerie - Beausoleil
    13. Heart Needs a Home, A - Loudon Wainwright III/Shawn Colvin
    14. Dimming of the Day - The Five Blind Boys of Alabama
    15. Farewell, Farewell - Maddy Prior/Martin Carthy
    16. Great Valerio, The - Maddy Prior/Martin Carthy
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 3674712

  • Credits

    Producers: John Chelew, X (track 1); R.E.M., John Keane (track 2); Bonnie Raitt, John Chelew (track 3); John Chelew (tracks 4-8, 10, 12-16); J. Mascis, John Chelew (track 9); David Byrne, Mitchell Froom (track 11).
    Engineers: Joe Schiff (1, 4-8, 10, 12-15); John Keane (track 2); Rik Pekkonen (track 3); J. Macsis, John Agnello (track 9); Tchad Blake (track 11).
    Recorded at Ocean Way Studios and Capitol Studio B, Hollywood, California; Electric Ladyland, New York; John Keane Studios, Athens, Georgia; Seven 'N Seven, Tucson, Arizona.
    All songs written by Richard Thompson.
    Personnel: David Hidalgo (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel guitar, accordion, percussion); David Byrne (vocals, guitar); Bonnie Raitt (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Graham Parker (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Loudon Wainwright III, Martin Carthy, Shawn Colvin (vocals, acoustic guitar); J Mascis (vocals, electric guitar, drums); Bob Mould (vocals, electric guitar); Michael Doucet (vocals, violin); John Doe (vocals, electric bass); Clarence Fountain, Evan Dando, Exene Cervenka, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Curtis Foster, Jimmy Carter , June Tabor, Maddy Prior, Michael Stipe, Syd Straw, George Scott, Bobby Butler (vocals); Peter Buck (guitar); David Doucet (acoustic guitar, background vocals); James Burton, Jamie Hoover, John Jorgenson, Tony Gilkyson, Fred Tackett, Cesar Rosas (electric guitar); David Lindley (slide guitar); John Keane (steel guitar); Jimmy Breaux (accordion); Mike Mills (piano, electric bass); Mitchell Froom (keyboards); Danny Thompson (double bass); Graham Maby (electric bass, background vocals); Conrad Lozano, Mike Watt , Tommy Comeaux, James "Hutch" Hutchinson, Duke McVinnie (electric bass); Louie Prez, Victor Bisetti (drums, percussion); Gary Burke (drums, background vocals); D.J. Bonebrake, Bill Berry, Ricky Fataar, Alan Bezozi, Tommy Alesi (drums); Billy Ware (percussion).
    Audio Mixers: J Mascis; John Angello; John Keane; Niko Bolas; Rik Pekkonen; Tchad Blake.
    Recording information: Capitol Recording Studios, Studio B, Hollywood, CA; Capitol Studio B; Electric Ladyland, New York, NY; John Keane's Studio, Athens, GA; Ocean Way Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Ocean Way Studios, Hollywood, CA; Seven 'N Seven, Tuscon, AZ.
    Richard Thompson is surely one of the greatest songwriters and artists never to achieve any measure of commercial fame. However, his high reputation among musicians is unchallenged, and Beat the Retreat is a fine collection of covers of some of Thompson's greatest songs. There are two kinds of successes on this record. The first kind is when artists completely re-envision Thompson's original compositions. Good demonstrations of this are such tracks as Bob Mould's take on "Turning of the Tide," which puts a punk spin on Thompson's paean to a seaside prostitute. In a similar manner, the Dinosaur Jr. version of "I Misunderstood" transfers the angst of the original into a Generation X cry of despair. The second kind of success on Beat the Retreat are straight-up covers that are just excellently and passionately performed. The Maddy Prior/Martin Carthy readings of "Farewell, Farewell" and "The Great Valerio" are simply chilling in their intensity. Likewise, Bonnie Raitt's gritty voice adds an appealing bluesiness to "When the Spell Is Broken." The Shawn Colvin/Loudon Wainwright III cover of "A Heart Needs a Home," though lacking the subtlety of Thompson's version, has a sweetness and a purity that is truly revelatory. There are moments on this record that don't work, like X's cover of "Shoot out the Lights" or David Byrne's "Just the Motion," but June Tabor's lovely a cappella "Genesis Hall" or Los Lobos' insightful "Down Where the Drunkards Roll" make this record worth its purchase price for all who have been seduced by Thompson's genius. ~ Daniel Gioffre

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (3/9/95, p.64) - 3 Stars - Good - "...Over a nearly 30-year career...Richard Thompson has established himself as a guitar virtuoso and extraordinary songwriter. BEAT THE RETREAT contains some energized renditions of his material..."
    Q (11/94, p.126) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...The range of performers involved here underlines the reach of Thompson's art....BEAT THE RETREAT achieves a continuity of mood that places it above most `tribute' albums..."
    Dirty Linen (12/94-1/95, p.62) - "...BEAT THE RETREAT shows just how much a great song can ignite the creative spark within even the most mainstream artists..."
    Option (3-4/95, p.93) - "...does justice to a darkly masterful songwriter and guitarist..."
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