Richard Thompson – RT: The Life and Music of Richard Thompson
Finally! I ordered it weeks ago, and it finally came yesterday. This is a release primarily for fans, but wow, this is a rich treat for us. Mostly taken from live performances (with a few demos and rareties thrown in for good measure), this thing is a motherlode of greatness.
Lemme start with what I don’t like: the artwork. Once you crack the box, the discs look like shitty passed-around-the-record-show-a-few-too-many-times bootlegs. The booklet needed at least one more run past an editor, too, because the construction is confusing (in that some sections refer in shorthand to events that will be covered in later chapters, leaving the reader thinking, “What? When did they talk about that?”) and there’s more than a fair share of typos.
But what’s on the discs is phenomenal. The sound quality is occasionally cruddy (and I think a good mastering studio could have cleaned these up significantly), but almost all of the performances are breathtaking. The third disc in particular (called “Shine In The Dark – Epic Live Workouts”) captures exactly what it promises – the sort of guitar craziness that a fan like me has been pining for. That’s not strong enough by a large margin. I wept. I renounced years of gleeful agnosticism. The version of “Calvary Cross” is so hotshit amazing that I can barely believe it didn’t melt the mixing board.
The booklet (book? It’s pretty long) is quite informative (and will directly contribute to my book, so I’m writing this off my taxes: YEAH!), and there’s a brochure for Vincent motorcycles thrown in for the fun of it. I bought one guaranteed to have the mail-in postcard for a limited-edition bonus 6th CD.
Yes, I am in sonic heaven today.
Oh, I’ve finished two more books recently, but haven’t yet written about them. Coming soon.