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Shoot Out the Lights (33⅓ #58)

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3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  13 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 recor
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Paperback, 116 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Continuum (first published May 31st 2008)
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33⅓
35th out of 114 books — 47 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 130)
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Paul Bryant
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)

http://tinyurl.com/6ko745

then he married Linda Thompson and they became Sufis

http://tinyurl.com/6h8apw

then he divorced her hand his hair fell out
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Richard
Jul 07, 2008 Richard rated it it was ok
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
Jul 11, 2008 Emily Childs rated it it was amazing
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
Christopher
Nov 23, 2014 Christopher rated it it was amazing
What do you look for in rock criticism? Do you want Lester Bangs style autobiography? Do you want a minute explanation of the sounds you're hearing by a musical know-how? Or a scene know-how? Or an anthropological musical know-how? Do you want something that improbably ties the sound of an electric guitar to a Great Works of literature? Do you want gratuitous but wholly righteous swipes at Eric Clapton?

Whatever it is, Hayden Childs has thrown everything into this book, and it all completely WORK
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Kevin Summers
Apr 30, 2015 Kevin Summers rated it it was ok
Overall, this book was disappointing. The music criticism in this book was decent, but the fiction aspect of the story was not good.

Sample quote: "Bonny didn't die the night I went to murder her, but twenty-five years later she did. Sandy Denny didn't die the night she fell down the stairs, but a month later. After the fall, it doesn't matter whether you fell on your own or if there was a hand there to push you. What matters is who you touched along the way, and how fast they'll come running whe
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John
May 06, 2016 John rated it liked it
Interesting, but the thread where the author pretends to be a failed musician going through his own version of Dante's Inferno in some sort of strange parallel with Richard Thompson's deteriorating relationship with his wife, Linda, during the recording and release of this album, is unnecessary, if not distracting. Better to miss your contracted page count than to burden an otherwise compelling narrative with this detour.
Nathan
Nov 17, 2009 Nathan rated it liked it
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
Jun 23, 2011 Joe Faust rated it it was ok
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.
Hayden
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.
Dave
Jun 18, 2008 Dave rated it liked it
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.
Don
Mar 16, 2013 Don rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
These little books are supposed to be about the record. Way too much of this one is about the author.
Leonard Pierce
Jul 02, 2008 Leonard Pierce rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
Hayden autographed my copy of this, so he gets five stars. See how easy this is, people?
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Co-editor & co-founder, The High Hat online journal of pop culture: http://www.thehighhat.com

Blog for Shoot Out The Lights at http://shootoutthelights.blogspot.com
More about Hayden Childs...

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