6/4/2009 (updated 6/4/2009)


Release Dates:
August 10: UK
August 17: other European territories
August 18: US/Canada
Australia/New Zealand/Japan: TBD

[His] "official catalogue" is a long trail of genius"
Rolling Stone

Los Angeles, CA-On August 18 Shout! Factory will pay tribute to the legendary Richard Thompson with a career-spanning 4-CD box set, Walking On A Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009). Thompson has had an illustrious career that stretches back over 40 years. Songs from every Richard Thompson album are represented on Walking On A Wire, beginning with the trail-blazing folk-rock group Fairport Convention, of which he was a founding member as a teenager, to his duo albums with then-wife Linda Thompson, as well as his 20 plus years as a critically acclaimed solo artist. Thompson will tour the US and UK this spring and summer.

The songs chosen for this selection of his work were carefully assembled and aim to provide a real sense of Richard Thompson, as well as to celebrate the diversity of his music - rock 'n' roll with folk, jazz, rockabilly and the odd waltz thrown in - the scope of his songwriting, and the sheer virtuosity of his playing. Walking On A Wire impressively includes 71 tracks from albums released by 15 different labels, and includes a 60 page booklet with new notes by Patrick Humphries.

Early on in his career Thompson was singled out as a songwriter of distinction; as a guitarist, he was being compared by critics to more established "guitar heroes" such as Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. He reached a new level of critical and commercial success in the 80's and 90's during his Capitol Records period, during which he recorded what is perhaps his signature song, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning."

Declared by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of all time, the iconic British folk-rock legend is one of the world's most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Thompson's songs, of which he's written more than 400, have been covered by R.E.M., Elvis Costello, the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, and many more. Thompson has been received by rock royalty, such as Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello, as well as by real royalty, Queen Elizabeth II. Thompson is also the recipient of an Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting, the Orville Gibson Award for guitarists, and the 2006 BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Richard Thompson has carefully chosen his projects over the years, including the score for Werner Herzog's film Grizzly Man, 2003's stripped-down The Old Kit Bag, which included the sombre "Gethsemane" and the atmospheric "A Love You Can't Survive," and 2007's Sweet Warrior (Shout! Factory), from which the final three tracks of this collection are taken, and which featured the provocative reflection of the Iraq War "Dad's Gonna Kill Me," the ballad "She Sang the Angels to Rest," and "Needle and Thread," which recalls prime Fairport. Walking On A Wire: Richard Thompson (1968-2009) finally provides fans a comprehensive collection of Thompson's work.

View Track Listing Here!

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture – The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company's audio catalogue boasts GrammyR -nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists and lovingly assembled album reissues. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. For more on Shout! Factory, visit