Written the day the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, “Shoot Out the Lights” is the title track of Richard Thompson’s 1982 album, the last with his then wife Linda. It became RT’s signature tune (at least until “1932 Vincent Black Lightening” came along) and a staple of his live set for many years.
With it’s stark arrangement and Thompson’s aggressive Strat (on the bridge pickup) enhanced by amp tremolo and slap back echo, “Shoot Out the Light’s” rhythmically recalls Link Wray’s “Rumble” with simple, sustained power chords. The solos use E minor and E major pentatonic and a heavy pick attack to heighten the already tense, uncomfortable mood.
Download a .PDF of the transcription here:
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