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6 Reviews
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best tribute album ever ?, 5 Sep 2006
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This review is from: Beat The Retreat: Songs By Richard Thompson (Audio CD)
I have had this on tape for many years and played it to death. Richard Thompson is one of the best guitarists and songwriters of the last 30 years and this compilation is a great credit to his genius. The choice of song is near perfect, with only the majestic Beeswing missing. The range of artists is eclectic and thought provoking but they all treat the songs with due reverance. Dimming of the day is one of the greatest, most moving songs ever written and the Blind Boys version is sublime but it is only one of many highlights on this album. I'm about to buy it on CD now it is out and if you do the same you will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When it's good, it's outstanding. And when it isn't outstanding, it's still very good., 10 Sep 2011
I'm not usually a fan of tribute albums. They seem to contain too many artists you've only just heard of doing covers of songs that don't really differ markedly from the originals, which were almost always done better. But don't for one moment think that applies to this album, which is well worth seeking out.

If I have a negative comment - and I do, as I've only given this four stars - it's the flip side of one of this album's strengths; the extent to which many of the songs are played by many of the same performers behind the 'lead' name artist. This both ensures that there's a high standard of musicianship throughout the album - and so there should be in any tribute to one of the best ever guitarists - but also gives a common 'folky' sound to a number of the songs. I think this marks it down just a nadge; four-and-a-half stars, perhaps.

But don't think this applies to all the songs. Wall of Death sounds like it was written for REM; Bob Moult does a rip-roaring take on Turning of the Tide; Bonnie Raitt plays When the Spell is Broken magnificently. All three of these songs are, for me, highlights and worth seeking out in their own right.

And then there's Loudon Wainwright III and Shawn Colvin's cover of A Heart Needs A Home. I have to be careful when I play this song, as it's moved me to tears more than once (my singing it may have had the same effect on others). Magnificent stuff, one of my absolute all-time favourites and in my opinion worth the price of the album on its own.

The songs I haven't mentioned are all worth hearing, and each rather different to the original. If you're familiar with the originals, or any of the artists performing the songs, you should at least try and hear them. But better would be to by the album and let it grow on you; it will.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great covers, 31 Aug 2009
I'm not a "hard core" Richard Thompson fan, but his best stuff is really good. This covers album is imaginative, Particular highlights are REM and Dinosaur Junior. Well worth a purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Set of Richard Thompson Covers, 12 May 2014
By 
Richard Newbold (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beat The Retreat: Songs By Richard Thompson (Audio CD)
Some stellar names (Bonnie Raitt's Spell is Broken surprisingly awesome in a Tommo sort of a way!), some long-time collaborators (June Tabor, Martin Carthy) and some out-of-left field contributiond from the likes of Dinosaur Jr (I Misunderstood), make this an amazing gathering of riches. Not a duff track on the whole blinking thing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit late......., 23 May 2008
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Baz Douglas (Thames Valley, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Beat The Retreat: Songs By Richard Thompson (Audio CD)
I bought this when it first came out in the 90's. An excellent album of superb songs from an insufficiently recognised genius. The versions here are varied in style, from thrash to folk. I really like the Bob Mould and 5 Blind Boys contributions, less keen on the folky ones, but that's just me. They are all good to excellent; if you fancy a bit of a surprise treat just buy it. It's very cheap, there is much to like and it's a good intro to the dark world of RT if you've never heard his stuff.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the best tribute album ever..., 30 Sep 2008
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beat The Retreat: Songs By Richard Thompson (Audio CD)
I'd certainly agree that this is the best tribute CD I've ever heard and I particularly like the fact that many of the acts have taken chances with the songs. The title song is one of the real highlights and who would have guessed that a combination of such disparate talents as June Tabor, Martin Carthy, James Burton, Danny Thompson and David Lindley could produce such a wonderful, unified sound. My other highlights would be the duo of Loudon Wainwright III and Shawn Colvin singing "A heart needs a home" and Los Lobos doing "Down where the drunkards roll". BUT nearly every track is a highlight when the artists are as good as REM, Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne and the Blind Boys of Alabama and they have songs as good as Richard Thompson's to sing. An absolutely fabulous record.
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