Rolling Stone - p.704.5 stars out of 5
-- "Thompson's guitar firepower and parched wit are everywhere here....Loving archaeology, in every detail."
Entertainment Weekly - p.137
"[H]e has inhabited a dizzying number of personas...visionary hurdy-gurdy man, molten-hot electric-guitar hero, restless musical explorer, spiritual searcher, comedian." -- Grade: A
Uncut - p.1163 stars out of 5
-- "Thompson is an exceptional guitar player, a fine songwriter, and a decent singer. Listening to RT's five discs, you get the sense that the guitar is his true voice."
Dirty Linen - p.53
"[Thompson is] a thoughtful man with rare insights into the human condition who, as it happens, is a pretty fair musician and songwriter, too."
Global Rhythm (Publication) (p.45) - "The set makes a good case that he is the best guitar player in the world....but it makes an even better case for his songwriting."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1165 stars out of 5
-- "[A] true bonanza....Wit, pathos, humility and chops enough to sway Jimmy Page. Thompson had -- and still has -- it all."
Personnel: Richard Thompson.
The British folk label Free Reed are doing fans of British folk-rock a nice service by issuing box sets of the genre's most important artists, and they've done a doozy with THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF RICHARD THOMPSON. With five CDs full of rare and largely unreleased material and a beautiful 168-page booklet full of photographs, interviews, biographical information, and exhaustive notes, this collection is a monster, and a must for any devoted fan of this seminal singer-songwriter.
The CDs are organized by theme, and include autobiographical songs, live performances, cover versions of songs by other artists, and demos and outtakes. That Thompson is a uniquely skilled guitarist and a songwriter of remarkable sensitivity and craftsmanship is well known, and those qualities are presented in a new light on this mammoth set. Still, beginners will want to pick up Thompson's Fairport albums and his first few records with then wife Linda before diving into LIFE & MUSIC; rabid Thompson collectors, however, will be surprised and delighted by the wealth of excellent unreleased material included here.