I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (studio album) by Richard & Linda Thompson
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Richard & Linda Thompson bestography
I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight is ranked as the best album by Richard & Linda Thompson.
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This album is rated in the top 2% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.4/100, a mean average of 78.9/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 80.7/100. The standard deviation for this album is 15.6.
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Favorite Tracks:When I Get To The Border, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, The Little Beggar Girl, End Of The Rainbow
I bought this after reading William Ruhlmann's review in the All Music Guide. "It seemed like a set of songs unearthed from the Dark Ages, and argued that those times had never really left." Life might disappoint, but this album doesn't.
Reminds me a lot of The Magnetic Fields. Yes, it's sad, but even more it's dainty and english.
I want to see the bright lights tonight, is my personal favourite out of all Richard Thompson albums, with or without Linda. Thompson brings a pop mentality to the tracks but still retaining his folky roots. When i get to the border, is a stunning opener, and the record never lets up from there. The cavalry cross, would become a ten minute epic in it's live incarnation. Highlights are the absolutely brilliant, the end of the rainbow, as well as, the great Valerio, withered and died, and, down where the drunkards roll. The title track is a great singalong, and, has he got a friend for me, is perfect for Linda. Why this superb didn't have more success is incredible, but as far as i'm concerned it's a seventies classic, an essential album.
Thompson's first album with wife Linda listed as a full partner, "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" remains one of his best albums.
An album that really grew on me. Many very sad songs but all the songs are good.
When Richard Thompson released this album, his first with his wife Linda, he had already a relatively long recording career behind him. As a founder member of Fairport Convention he was the group on their first five albums. His characteristic guitarplaying style can also be heard on Sandy Denny's early solo albums and he had released his own soloalbum "Henry the Human Fly" in 1972.
During his time with Fairport Convention Thompson matured a lot as a songwriter and many of the band's early favourites were either written or co-written by Thompson. His inspiration by traditional British music also became still more clear. Many of the songs on "Henry" and "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" actually sound like they were traditional folk-songs.
His collaboration with Linda lasted for 8 years and resulted in 6 great albums. This their first is often regarded as the strongest with Richard's songwriting extraordinary inspired and varied, and his distictive voice blends beautifully with Linda's on these great songs.
The terrific opener "When I Get to the Border", sung by Richard, is catchy with optimistic lyrics. A little unsual for Thompson, whose lyrics often are dark and sad. Equally catchy ( and optimistic ) is the title track which deserved to be hit beautifully sung by Linda. Heartbreakingly beautiful is also the sad ballad "Withered and Died", sung by Linda in way that makes you think of her friend Sandy Denny.
The dark side of Richard's songwriting become apprent on songs like "Down Where the Drunkards Roll", "Has He Got a Friend For Me" and especially "The End of the Rainbow" . Even the catchy "We'll Sing Hallelujah" has some pretty dismal lyrics. The budget for this album was supposedly very limited, but it does show anywhere. Great arrangements, crisp sound and best of all strong songwriting and palying from first track till the closer "The Great Valerio".
The bonus-tracks found on some versions are three 1975 live-recordings - nice to have but some may find that they disturb the very consistent feel of the original album, which I won't hesitate to call a masterpiece.
Richard talks of drunkers, loneliness, poverty, working class.... with sapience. And Linda sings with an exquisite taste these hard stories. Enormous guitars and the help of Fairport's troupe.