Walking On A Wire: 1968-2009

A perennial dark-horse contender for the title of Greatest Living Rock Guitarist, Thompson has been boxed before — 1993's triple-disc Watching the Dark and the five-disc 2006 rarities set, RT. While fanatics will debate omissions ("The End of the Rainbow," "ASailor's Life," "When the Spell Is Broken"), normal folks should be sated by this excellent 71-track primer, which also shows the U.K. vet as a world-class songwriter. (Is there a more beautifully bleak song than "Withered and Died"?) A ripping Who cover and a heady instrumental show an old dog with plenty of tricks left.

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