Watching the Dark

Watching the Dark

Infobox Album | Name = Watching the Dark
Type = Compilation album
Artist = Richard Thompson

Released = 1993
Recorded =
Genre = Rock
Length = 2:04:11
Label = Hannibal
Producer = Edward Haber
Reviews =
Last album = "Rumor And Sigh"
This album = "Watching The Dark"
Next album = "Mirror Blue"

"Watching the Dark" is an album by Richard Thompson released in 1993.

This 3-CD retrospective set was compiled with Thompson's co-operation and consent. Thompson has often been reluctant to look backwards at his career and dig through the archives, but he took the pragmatic view that if somebody wants to assemble a set of this nature they'll do it anyway and so you might as well collaborate with them if possible. He had right of veto over the selections, and recorded one track ("Poor Wee Jockey Clark)" specially for the project.

The set is perhaps compromised by having to be all things to all people. Creating a "greatest hits" style compilation was going to be difficult because Thompson never really had any hits. Besides, a pure "best of" compilation would have had only minimal interest to Thompson's loyal and supportive fans. So about 1/3 of the selections are live, and 5 had never been released - at least not on any official Thompson release. Some of the material was donated by collectors of Thompsonia.

The set extends chronologically from 1969, when Thompson was a member of Fairport Convention, through to 1992. However it is not sequenced in chronological order.

Notable inclusions are
* A live version of "Can't Win" with an extended guitar solo that is regarded by fans as being one of the finest Thompson solos committed to CD.
* "From Galway To Graceland", a fine Thompson song that had never made it onto a commercial Thompson release
* A live version of "A Heart Needs A Home" from 1975.
* Solo, live versions of "Jennie" and "Devonside"
* An unreleased recording, thought to have been lost, of "A Sailor's Life" by Fairport Convention
* Three tracks from the un-released, Gerry Rafferty produced version of the "Shoot Out The Lights…" album.

The set includes a booklet with details of each recording, some rare photographs and an essay by Greil Marcus.

Track listing

All songs written by Richard Thompson except where noted otherwise

Disc A

#"A Man in Need"
#"Can't Win"
#"Waltzing's for Dreamers"
#"Crash the Party"
#"I Still Dream"
#"Bird in God's Garden/Lost and Found" (Hakim Conrad Archuletta/Frith)
#"Now Be Thankful" (Swarbrick/Thompson)
#"A Sailor's Life" (traditional, arranged by Denny, Thompson, Nicol, Hutchings and Lamble)
#"Genesis Hall"
#"The Knife-Edge"
#"Walking on a Wire"
#"Small Town Romance"
#"The Shepherd's March/Maggie Cameron" (traditional, arranged by Richard Thompson)
#"Wall of Death"

Disc B

#"For Shame of Doing Wrong"
#"Back Street Slide"
#"Strange Affair"
#"The Wrong Heartbeat"
#"Borrowed Time"
#"From Galway to Graceland"
#"Tear Stained Letter"
#"Keep Your Distance"
#"Bogie's Bonnie Belle" (traditional, arranged by Richard Thompson)
#"Poor Wee Jockey Clark" (traditional, arranged by Richard Thompson)
#"Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair "
#"Dimming of the Day"
#"Old Man Inside a Young Man"
#"Never Again"
#"Hokey Pokey (The Ice Cream Song)"
#"A Heart Needs a Home"
#"Beat the Retreat"

Disc C

#"Al Bowlly's in Heaven"
#"Walking Through a Wasted Land"
#"When the Spell Is Broken"
#"Little Blue Number"
#"I Ain't Going to Drag My Feet No More"
#"Withered and Died"
#"Nobody’s Wedding"
#"The Poor Ditching Boy"
#"The Great Valerio"
#"The Calvary Cross"
#"The Hand of Kindness"
#"Two Left Feet "
#"Shoot Out the Lights"


*"Richard Thompson - The Biography" by Patrick Humphries. Schirmer Books. 0-02-864752-1

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