Action Packed: Best of (Vinyl) Import
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Ex-Fairport Convention guitarist Richard Thompson is one of the few '60s rockers to remain vital and relevant into the '80s and '90s, and this new 19-track collection chronicles his work for Capitol, where he's recorded since the late '80s. Includes an unreleased track and two others never on CD in the U.S., plus Turning of the Tide; Waltzing's for Dreamers; King of Bohemia; The Ghost of You Walks; Razor Dance (voltage enhanced); Cold Kisses; Cooksberry Queen , and more. A true guitar hero!
Action Packed is a collection that's been long overdue. A brilliant, albeit subtle, guitar genius, Richard Thompson writes wonderful songs that are sometimes rocking, sometimes haunting and sometimes a little bit of both. And he presents them all in a voice that can only be called unique. Unlike most guitar heroes, Thompson is less based in the blues than he is in folk--dating back to his early years with the seminal Fairport Convention--but his has always been a folk music with bite and soul, adding things to the folk lexicon like rockabilly and zydeco. "Cooksferry Queen"--one of the 19 tracks on this compilation culled from the six albums Thompson released on Capitol between 1988 and 1999--features a guitar solo that's downright punk. Tracks such as the semi-hit "I Feel So Good", "Razor Dance" and "Bathsheba Smiles" remain as exhilarating as anything you're apt to hear. Longtime fans will need to hear the three tracks previously unreleased on CD, including a new duet with son Teddy Thompson on "Persuasion" (cowritten with Tim Finn) that is absolutely gorgeous. Ultimately, one longs for a box set that encompasses all eras (and labels) of this master's career, but Action Packed proves that the recent last third of it has been top-notch. --Bill Holdship --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
If this is the first music you buy by Richard Thompson, then the great news are that you will really enjoy it, and believe me there are many other great tracks in each individual album as good as what you get here, so deep yourself into the amazing world of RT.
For this reason alone I would give it 5 stars... but if you, like me, happen to have those individual albums and is attracted to this package for the 3 extra tracks stuck at the end of this collection, then I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.
The two last tracks in here are taken from the limited vinyl edition of Mock Tudor and are not that great to be honest, and the beautiful song "Persuasion", known to many for its live version by RT, but not included in a studio album (it only appeared as an instrumental piece for a movie soundtrack), is presented here as a collaboration with Richard's son Teddy Thompson.
The problem with this "duet" is that after Richard singing the first verse and chorus, his participation is greatly diminished... Teddy takes over the song for the whole remaining of it. Even in parts where Richard joins him for harmony, his vocals are mixed way down, so you mainly hear Teddy.
Teddy's voice is good and easy listening, but it makes the song sound too pop for my taste.... very much in line with the today's pop singers, with voices with little personality compared to people like RT, Neil Young or Cat Stevens...
The kind of voices Roger Daltrey refers to as "making listening comfortable".
This song was my main reason to buy this compilation, for this is one of Richard's best songs ever, but I didn't like this recording at all...Read more ›
These songs are loaded with the brooding, riveting power that Thompson projects with his dark baritone voice and lyrics, and his guitar playing is a complex blend of slashing, tornado rhythms and dancing acoustic nimbleness. I'm strongly reminded of Mark Knopfler's touch, or The Band's Robbie Robertson-these guys would make a terrific showing as a trio on a mixed bill. His imagery captures the boldness and adventure of his rugged ancestry (he hails from the south country of England)-try and imagine a Celtic Warren Zevon's wild ways with a raging fire at his back, calling up all the spirits and magic that lurk in the legacies of Britain. Additionally, Thompson also rides the razor's edge of the human psyche with obsessive power struggle memories from relationships that tore out his heart. His love songs stay clear of the mainstream "happy days" or "my love is gone"; instead, they prowl through intense dangerous alleys of jealousy, lust, and aloofness, and tell of bad men's renegade adventures: arrogant, proud, and tough. When Richard literally explodes with adrenalin macho swagger ("Fully Qualified to be Your Man"), he's the primal bull elk with the biggest rack.Read more ›
"Beeswing" from Mirror Blue is an absolute career highlight. What I didn't expect however, was to be so blown away by the songs from Mock Tudor!! "Bathsheba Smiles" and "Walking the Long Miles Home" find him suceeding with a more upbeat roots-rock style and in the 'LP only' track "Mr. Rebound" he convincingly takes us "...into the arms of mystery" to great effect. Of course, one could gripe about song selection and the length (a double CD would've been nice) but all in all this is an enormously rewarding listen. If you're new to RT, pick up this and "Best of Richard & Linda Thompson" for a decent career overview. If you're already a fan, keep your eyes open for a copy of "The World Is a Wonderful Place", 1 of 2 tribute albums put out around 10 years ago. The title track (#13-not listed) is an AMAZING song performed by Richard & Linda. From a long career of gut wrenching, heart breaking songs, this one surely takes the cake, if you can believe it. Happy hunting and cheers!
"Beeswing" from Mirror Blue is an absolute career highlight. What I didn't expect however, was to be so blown away by the songs from Mock Tudor!! "Bathsheba Smiles" and "Walking the Long Miles Home" find him suceeding with a more upbeat roots-rock style and in the 'LP only' track "Mr. Rebound" he convincingly takes us "...into the arms of mystery" to great effect. Of course, one could gripe about song selection and the length (a double CD would've been nice) but all in all this is an enormously rewarding listen. If you're new to RT, pick up this and "Best of Richard & Linda Thompson" for a full career overview. If you're already a fan, keep your eyes open for a copy of "The World Is a Wonderful Place", 1 of 2 "tribute" albums put out around 10 years ago. The title track (#13-not listed) is an AMAZING song performed by Richard & Linda. From a long career of gut wrenching, heart breaking songs, this one takes the cake, if you can believe it. Happy hunting and cheers!
Most recent customer reviews
Some reviewers may niggle over the selection, but this is a solid collection for anybody who wants an economical survey of this phenomenal musician. Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by Vaughan Otter
My taste usually runs more towards the virutoso guitar slinger. While RICHARD THOMPSON isn't in that vain, he is a most inventive guitarist who creates beautifull melodies and some... Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2003 by HANS D HARMS
I often wonder how this guy isn't twice as popular, then I decide I like being part of the secret. Thompson sets many a mood on here with his quick fingers. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2003 by H3@+h
.. and it still shines !
When I got Action packed, I didn't know his solo work quite well .. And, funnily enough, my first thought when I listened to it was that, given the... Read more
"Action Packed" chronicles Thompson's solo work from 1988 to 2000, and it's a brilliant collection of material that subtly confirms the exalted status Thompson has had as... Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2002 by Domer89
I'm a huge Richard Thompson fan, I own all the albums and also the far better (out of print) collection, "Watching the Dark". Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2001 by Rob Damm
While it's true that there are some odd choices on this collection (the other reviews have said it: some of my favorite Thompson tunes aren't here), as someone who has nearly all... Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2001 by Robert R. Veith