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Shoot Out the Lights

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Editors’ Notes

Recorded in 1982 as the couple's marriage was unraveling, Richard & Linda Thompson's final album together turned into their most acclaimed work. A conflicting sense of regret and renewal fills these boldly sung, brilliantly played tracks, produced with a fine clear edge by Joe Boyd. Shoot Out the Lights' songs veer between emotion-charged accusations ("Don't Renege On Our Love") and pleas for sanity and balance ("Walking On a Wire") while combining folk-inspired melodies with sinewy rock instrumentation. Richard unleashes volleys of searing guitar lines on the title track and "Back Street Slide," underscoring the heartache and anger in his lyrics. Linda's richly expressive singing lends songs like "Just the Motion" a fathoms-deep poignance. The album ends with the uplifting "Wall of Death," an ode to risk taking and hard-won survival. Unflinchingly honest and unexpectedly life affirming amidst bitterness and sorrow, Shoot Out the Lights is a courageous achievement.

Customer Reviews

Essential is an understatement

For any person who takes music seriously, this album is an absolutely "must own". The songwriting is impeccable, the playing will take your breath away (Thompson really is the most underrated guitarist of the last 25 years) and passion of the record overwhelming. Although I've purchased (literally) hundreds of albums on iTunes this is the first one I've felt called to review. It's that good. Buy it -- you'll be amazed.

One of the greatest albums of all time. Really.

When Rolling Stone first reviewed this album nearly thirty years ago they called it "perfect" and an album for which "five stars is not enough." The passage of time hasn't changed that one bit. The songwriting and guitar playing are inspired beyond any words to describe them and Linda's singing is heartfelt and real. Every song is a gem. I won't waste time describing them, I will merely say that, no matter what your musical taste, no self-respecting music collection should be without this piece of work. Utterly brilliant.

The reports of his death are greatly exaggerated

The album is the best. And don't believe what the previous reviewer said. Richard is still alive and kicking!!!

Shoot Out the Lights, Richard & Linda Thompson
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Customer Ratings