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Richard Thompson — Razor Dance
Album: You? Me? Us?
Avg rating:
5.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 383









Released: 1996
Length: 2:36
Plays (last 30 days): 0
After the death of a thousand kisses
Comes the catacomb of tongues
Who can spit the meanest venom
From the poison of their lungs

Cruelest dance is the razor dance
Circle in and circle around
He said, she said, she said, he said
Thrill to put the other one down
The razor dance, the razor dance

This time, gone too far
This time, can't heal the scar
I want to break out of this spin
But gravity's pulling me in
The razor dance, the razor dance

What flies straighter than an arrow
What cuts deeper than a lance
Your wit may shine on the withering line
Cruelest dance is the razor dance
The razor dance, the razor dance

Blood boils, tears burn
Some people never learn
If time could crawl back in its shell
And mischievous tongues could untell
But that's not the meaning of Hell

Take your partners for the razor dance
Take your partners for the razor dance
Take your partners for the razor dance
The razor dance
The razor dance, the razor dance
Comments (43)add comment
That's the most diverse set of ratings I think I've ever seen on here.
Well, this is not his best that's for sure. To that you have to go back to the amazing work with Linda Thompson on Shoot out the Lights and earlier and his work with Fairport Convention. However, anyone thinking he has no talent is missing some really good songwriting and some incredible guitar work.
 manleywoman wrote:
I know lots of people/critics think Richard Thompson is amazing, but I have never ever ever been able to enjoy any of his music...hate the lyrics, hate the production quality, and truly can't stand the voice. Every time I hear him I cringe, and turn down the volume.
 

Do the lyrics to this song have no ring of truth to them? If they do, have you seen many songs with such concise yet essential capture of the futility of tearing into the other for a delicious moment of "victory"?
 profoundpronoun wrote:
Wow. Read the lyrics. Just...wow. That and the 2 chord progression and the 2/4 beat just....WOW.{#No}
 



Thanks! I was lucky to see your comment, then read the lyrics myself. Damn. I've been caught in that dance - it is cruelly disorienting and deceptive.

"Your wit may shine on the withering line."  That moment of a prideful point is sadly pointless or worse.
I can see why people whine about certain singers' voices.. Dylan, Geddy Lee, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Chris Martin - in those cases I get it (even though it's not a deal breaker for me).
 
But Thompson?  I just don't get the hate - to me his voice sounds quite nicely rounded, always hits the right notes.. in the same league as McCartney, for my money.
 
Weird how taste works. I'm also guilty: Elbow is instant PSD material for me, largely because of the guy's voice.
 manleywoman wrote:
I know lots of people/critics think Richard Thompson is amazing, but I have never ever ever been able to enjoy any of his music...hate the lyrics, hate the production quality, and truly can't stand the voice. Every time I hear him I cringe, and turn down the volume.
 
Same. I understand he has history and fans. But I really don't like his overwrought "I'm full of sharp-edged talent" pose. Weird, since Elvis Costello could be accused of the same self-aware artistry.
I think of David Bryne every time I hear his voice. Oddly, I like Richard but disappointed at the same time.
Wow. Read the lyrics. Just...wow. That and the 2 chord progression and the 2/4 beat just....WOW.{#No}
not one of his better ones
Parts of this sound like the song "Pez People" (a spoofy homage to the candy dispenser of the same, with video directed by the immortal Nick Chapman), from a hilarious movie called "The Big Picture" {Kevin Bacon as Nick Chapman, Martin Short as "the agent"}.
Richard gets funky. :eh:
This voice is annoying as hell.
ingoldsby wrote:
I actually find this song quite irritating.
I agree.
JohnErle wrote:
Wasn't this the Men Without Hats' controversial b-side of "Safety Dance"?
lol
Snagmaster wrote:
I could request some Michael Jackson for you if you would prefer that,
There's actually some really good Michael Jackson songs out there so...please do, thanks.
His 80s LPs were a rare balancing presence in that decade of electronic indulgence. He reminded me that there's something to be said for fine musicianship and thoughtful--though often amusing--lyrics.
I actually find this song quite irritating.
mm not a fan.
There aren't many guitarists/songwriters better than RT - Elvis (the living one) and Robyn Hitchcock come to mind. I'll take these fellas over Dylan and Young any day of the week.
Wasn't this the Men Without Hats' controversial b-side of "Safety Dance"? We can dance if we want to The night is young and so am I But your friends don't dance And if they don't dance Stick a razor in their eye
davie70 wrote:
Thompson does a fantastic rendition of this one on his latest DVD, Live (at Lupo's) in Providence, where he shares the stage with long-time musician-friend Pete Zorn on horns, mandolin, and backing vocals.
I've seen Thompson in concert. He's great! I have been a fan of his since his days in Fairport Convention. His voice doesn't bother me because his guitar playing is superb. My motto: if you don't like someone's performance and you think you can do better,go for it. no one is stopping you.But don't expect to "feel the love" right from the start. (My favorite Thompson album is "Hand of Kindness.")
hcg11 wrote:
ewww, this song is barely playable... :cry:
I could request some Michael Jackson for you if you would prefer that,
Thompson does a fantastic rendition of this one on his latest DVD, Live (at Lupo's) in Providence, where he shares the stage with long-time musician-friend Pete Zorn on horns, mandolin, and backing vocals.
I'm in the camp that finds RT's voice annoying. As a vocal stylist I just find him too affected. This is not a bad song, though, with the driving guitar. One of the more tolerable RT things I've heard.
i like the guitar on this, but thompsons voice grates on my nerves so much that it basically makes it unlistenable.
I know lots of people/critics think Richard Thompson is amazing, but I have never ever ever been able to enjoy any of his music...hate the lyrics, hate the production quality, and truly can\'t stand the voice. Every time I hear him I cringe, and turn down the volume.
Originally Posted by llazare: As a big Richard Thompson fan I agree with a lot of the comments here that this is not really the best song to introduce new listeners to Richard. I understand why a lot of peole have reacted with a "so what?". There's just so much great Richard material from the past 30 years that it's ashame that people might write him off because this song is not among his best work.
I agree. This guy is prolific and talented. If you want to get started with him try "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" from the album "Rumour and Sigh". He sings with such passion that I doubt you will finish the song with a dry eye. Really!
ewww, this song is barely playable... :cry:
Originally Posted by streetsintherain: I thought that I had heard good things about Thompson....I guess those folks were wrong, at least about this song... this is just annoying.
Yeah! Annoying is the word. Very chopy sounding, medicore vocals, innane lyrics - all the ingredients for annoying (at least IMHO) I have heard that Richard Thompson's guitar work is amazing - I'd like to hear more of him despite my opinion on this one.
Trying again, to not mess up the quote formatting.
Originally Posted by mrtyler: This song is just so silly. The synthy bass line and the way he pronounces "dahnce" makes it really hard to take seriously.
Those pathetic Brits! Why can't they learn to speak proper English?
Originally Posted by mrtyler: This song is just so silly. The synthy bass line and the way he pronounces "dahnce" makes it really hard to take seriously. Those frivolous Brits. Why can't they learn to speak English properly!
This song is just so silly. The synthy bass line and the way he pronounces \"dahnce\" makes it really hard to take seriously. I imagine dancing Vincent-Vega-in-Jackrabbit-Slim\'s-Twist-Contest-style to this. And yet, it doesn\'t actually work as a silly song, so it just kinda sucks.
Originally Posted by twodogs: Nope, you're thinking of Safety Dance by Men Without Hats. :D
Ah, yes, you're right! A mind is a terrible thing to waste, eh? ;)
As a big Richard Thompson fan I agree with a lot of the comments here that this is not really the best song to introduce new listeners to Richard. I understand why a lot of peole have reacted with a \"so what?\". There\'s just so much great Richard material from the past 30 years that it\'s ashame that people might write him off because this song is not among his best work.
Please, please, please, more RT. We need to tell the world about this talent!
Originally Posted by Antigone: This isn't that 80s song called Razor Dance by ... I can't remember? Help me out here with my memory!
Nope, you're thinking of Safety Dance by Men Without Hats. :D
I thought that I had heard good things about Thompson....I guess those folks were wrong, at least about this song... this is just annoying.
Originally Posted by roguewarer: Just a so-so artist, IMHO. And certainly NOT on my most favored list. (Remember, it's not nice to hate....) :rolleyes:
It's not nice to hear this song, either.
Just a so-so artist, IMHO. And certainly NOT on my most favored list. (Remember, it\'s not nice to hate....) :roll:
This isn\'t that 80s song called Razor Dance by ... I can\'t remember? Help me out here with my memory!
A grossly underplayed guitar god and songwriter. More, much more, please. :clap:
Bill: Another artist who could bear more exposure on RP. Thanks for this.
Richard Thompson is the master of the sardonic lyric. This song is an excellent display of his ferocious wit and a great addition to the playlist.