Entertainment Weekly - 4/6/01, p.121
"...Sifts a string of gems from his 1988-2000 period and adds a trio of worthy rarities....it's hard not to be moved..." - Rating: A-
Q - 5/01, p.1374 stars out of 5
- "...This is a collection of savorous, sweet-sour subtlety....Affirms his place as a writer of insight rather than old ritual..."
Personnel includes: Richard Thompson (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, hurdy gurdy, accordion, keyboards); Teddy Thompson (guitar, background vocals); Simon Nicol, Tchad Blake (guitar); Lovely Previn, Aly Bain, Tom McConville (fiddle); Alistar Anderson (pipes); Dave McMcKelsy (harmonica); Peter Adams (piano, organ); Mitchell Froom (harmonium, keyboards); Danny Thompson (acoustic bass); Jerry Scheff, Atom Ellis, Richard Gates (bass); Joey Waronker, Dave Mattacks (drums); Alex Acuna, John Bergamont (percussion); Christine Collister, Clive Gregson, Judith Owens (background vocals).
Producers: Mitchell Froom, Tchad Blake, Tom Rothrock, Rob Schnapf, Tom Dube.
Compilation producers: Cheryl Pawelski, Richard Thompson.
Engineers: Tom Rothrock, Rob Schnapf, Tom Dube.
Includes liner notes by Rob Bowman.
Digitally remastered by Rob McMaster and Tom Rothrock (2001 Capitol Studios).
Personnel: Richard Thompson (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, mandolin, keyboards); Teddy Thompson (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Simon Nicol, Tchad Blake (guitar); Lovely Previn, Aly Bain, Tom McConville (fiddle); David McKelsy (harmonica); Philip Pickett (shawm); Peter Adams (piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Mitchell Froom (harmonium, keyboards); Danny Thompson (double bass); Pete Thomas , Dave Mattacks, Jim Keltner, Joey Waronker, Mickey Curry (drums); Alex Acu¤a (percussion); Christine Collister, Clive Gregson, Judith Owen (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
This disc chronicles Richard Thompson's '90s recording career on Capitol Records. Much of the work Thompson did during this period was with producer Mitchell Froom, who adds a slight studio sheen to Thompson's folk-rock sound, but never in an excessive or unwelcome manner. Thompson had honed his songwriting and already virtuosic guitar playing to a razor's edge, venturing occasionally into the kind of traditional British folk style favored by his old band Fairport Convention, but also tossing off searing electric leads with disarming ease.
The outlaw biker narrative "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and the bittersweet lost-love lament "Beeswing" showcase Thompson's ability to pen timeless-sounding folk tunes. "I Feel So Good" and "I Misunderstood" find him exercising enough sophisticated pop melodicism and ironic lyricism to rival Elvis Costello. While Thompson's late-'70s/early-'80s work is generally his most celebrated, ACTION PACKED makes it clear that his creativity has never waned.