Watching the Dark album cover
Watching the Dark

Richard Thompson

1969 - 1988
Hannibal Records

Watching the Dark is that most frustrating of thing for a longstanding fan: a retrospective box set that consists mainly of music the fan already owns, but also includes enough new and previously unreleased material that it’s hard to resist buying it. For relative newcomers to Richard Thompson’s music, though, this three-disc set is an unalloyed treasure. It includes highlights from his work as a founding member of Fairport Convention and from his albums with ex-wife Linda, as well as live versions of some of his best solo work and a good number of previously unreleased tracks. The highlight is a nearly seven-minute-long live version of “Tear-stained Letter” that features one of the most aggressive and inventive guitar solos of his career.

Rick Anderson

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