Richard & linda have done much better
David Sleger | West Allis, WI | 09/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, this is a decent enuf album but i cannot perceive why it is routinely regarded as one of rock 'n' roll's finest. My hunch is that one or two high profile reviewers (Rolling Stone, et.al) gave it glowing reviews back in '82 and other copycat writers simply fell in lockstep. That's generally what happens. Perhaps the compilers of such 'best of' lists realized that one of the true great artists of the late 60s and 70s wasn't represented so this album was artificially inflated. I suspect many reviewers were simply a few years late in discovering the Thompson talent so they decided to glom onto this album.
I feel that SOTL is at best Richard & Linda's 5th and perhaps even 6th best effort. 'Hokey Pokey' and 'I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight' are the two albums that best illustrate the Thompson's genious. Even 'Sunnyvista' and 'Pour Down Like Silver' are superior albums with more great songs than this one. If you haven't tapped into any of those other albums please do yourself a big favor. I'd put SOTL at the same level as their 1978 release 'First Light' - an ok album.
I'm curious what other Richard & Linda fans think. Not those of you who simply acquired this recording because you repeatedly saw it on some contrived list, but those of you who are very familiar with this duo's entire body of work. What of 'Hokey Pokey' 'I Want to see the Bright Lights Tonight' and others? How do they stack up to this ok but overrated record?"
SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS (HANNIBAL RECORDS/1982)
prospero72 | Cox's Creek, Kentucky | 02/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"REVIEW: Although read as an exclusive "behind the scenes" look into the collapse of the Thompson's own marriage: in reality the brutal, emotionally resonant songwriting on "SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS" was composed prior to Richard and Linda's subsequent divorce. So if anything: the record is PROPHETIC rather than documentary. But that doesn't mean it isn't any more incendiary to listen to. Never have the two of them worked so well together. No matter if it's the simple declaration of fidelity in "Don't Renege On Our Love"; the sexual visciousness of "Back Street Slide" (with its awesome Led Zeppelin-ish coda); the chilling tableaus of "Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed?", "A Man In Need", and the title track; or Linda's pained lament "Walking On A Wire": this is shockingly candid stuff. And even the more "lighthearted" moments ("Just The Motion", "Wall Of Death") pack a searing emotional punch. Add to that Richard Thompson's exemplary guitar work (especially on "Shoot Out The Lights"), and you've got one of the best recordings ever released in the 80's (if not for all time). It IS a shame that the couple's marriage did disintegrate shortly after the album's release, but (as it stands) "SHOOT OUT THE LIGHTS" makes for an extraordinary climax to and extraordinary musical partnership. HARSH LANGUAGE: none. VIOLENCE: about 3 instances. SEXUAL REFERENCES: only on "Back Street Slide". DRUG REFERENCES: none.
HIGHEST BILLBOARD ALBUM CHART POSITION: None
HIT SINGLES: None"