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Shoot Out the Lights (33⅓ #58)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In the fall of 1980 Richard and Linda Thompson (of Fairport Convention fame) had recently been dumped from their record label and were on the verge of divorce. Somehow they overcame these miserable circumstances and managed to make an album considered by many to be a masterpiece.
"Shoot Out The Lights" puts the album--from the personal history driving the songs, to the rec...more
Published June 1st 2008 by Continuum (first published May 31st 2008)
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31st out of 113 books — 37 voters

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Nice to see someone - anyone - taking notice of Richard Thompson, who's one of those best kept secrets of modern music that critics love and no one else has heard of blah blah blah Lord how many times has that been written in the last 35 years? Richard began life as a 17 year old folk rocker in Fairport Convention (he's the long haired git on the right)

then he married Linda Thompson and they became Sufis

then he divorced her hand his hair fell out...more
I HATE these 33&1/3 books when they try to use the fiction gimmick. Even more annoying in the case of this book, there are several sophomoric appendices and not one citation to anything else anyone has written about the Thompsons. Even though I agree with most of Child's musical judgments--they are utterly subjective. _Shoot Out the Lights_ truly is a masterpiece and it deserves better a better guide to the underworld than Childs's community college Virgil.
Emily Childs
Disclaimer. I was one of the early readers for the author. I assume he chose me for a number of reasons. One of them is that I'm his wife, but one of them was also that I am not a music geeek and I am not a typical 33 & 1/3 reader. The fictional device and Virgil Schlage's story pulled me along, and the Dante allegory added interest and complexity, to an already interesting journey into the lives of Richard and Linda Thompson at the time of the recording and touring for this album. When I di...more
Nov 17, 2009 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dante
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
I wasn't really convinced by the narrator in this book. Sure, I could see the tie-in to Dante, but I wanted the narrator to be more believable, to have a bit more of a relationship with the album itself, rather than just an afterthought. Still, this book wins alone for its appendices.
Joe Faust
Half autobiographical novel (?) and half term paper paralleling the album with the circles in Dante’s Inferno, this isn’t the best of the 33 1/3 series – but it’s not the worst, either.
Jan 16, 2008 Hayden added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: everyone
I wrote this! The description is inaccurate, though.

33 1/3 blog has an excerpt available online.
Interesting when he's doing a close analysis of Richard and Linda Thompson's music. Not as much so with the fictional parts and some literary pretensions.
Robbie Bashore
Jul 04, 2008 Robbie Bashore marked it as to-read
My husband might enjoy this. He's a big Richard Thompson fan. We saw him in a nice intimate club in Pittsburgh a few years ago, and it was great.
Mar 16, 2013 Don rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
These little books are supposed to be about the record. Way too much of this one is about the author.
Leonard Pierce
Hayden autographed my copy of this, so he gets five stars. See how easy this is, people?
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