Five discs of rarities and live recordings from nearly four decades worth of Thompson...
Chris Long 2003
Its an impressive achievement when your career has been so fruitful that an entire box-set can be made up of your rarities, but then this is Richard Thompson, the archetypal folk troubadour.
Dipping into live performances, demos and long-forgotten tapes, the 90-odd tracks take in his entire career from his days with Fairport Convention, through the years with former wife Linda, to his solo work.
There's several beautiful surprises in here, not least a fuzzed-up take on Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi", and a live medley of Who songs, which give more than enough to satisfy even the most die-hard Thompsonite.
There's little doubt that the reliance on low quality live recordings does become grating, but this box-set does something you wouldnt expect for an artist of Thompson's stature; it gives a chance to listen with fresh ears.