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I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

Recorded on s shoestring budget over the course of a few days in May 1973, I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight sat on the shelf for one year. But when it was released it immediately changed the course of Richard Thompson’s career. It was his first proper album since leaving Fairport Convention, and his first album with his new wife Linda. Few husband-and-wife teams have burned as intensely. Infused with the folk sensibility of his early career but ignited by a renewed love for rock music, Bright Lights hews to a singular vision that is mournful, but elegant. Collectively, the songs form a portrait of luckless tavern life, but the Thompsons treat the material with such warmth and grace that even the most doomed scenes are lit as if by candelabra. The three live bonus tracks — taken from a show at London’s Roundhouse in September 1975 — show the couple bringing a few of these singular barroom ballads back to their natural element.

Customer Reviews

Songwriting, guitar work of the highest order. A simply indispensable album.

Beautiful from start to finish, lyrically as well as well as musically. "See that lover standing, staring at the ground / He was looking for the real thing, lies were all he found / You can have the real thing, it will only cost a pound / Down where the drunkards roll." Linda sings these words with such heartfelt emotion it floors me to listen to her over thirty years after first having heard it. Richard's guitar work is fabulous, as always, On this album, however, it's the quality of the songwriting that shines through. Just a great, great album. Nobody ever regrets buying this.

one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Albums of the 20th Century...

Richard and Linda Thompson are the only artist(s) who had two albums land in Rolling Stone Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of the 20th Century. Seriously. Not even the Rolling Stones, the Beatles or Jacko can claim that honor. This album, and their later release, "Shoot Out the Lights." They're both magnificent, and the review quoted above pretty much says it all (although I do disagree that "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" is their darkest - I think "Shoot Out the Lights" is a bit darker, actually).

you can get the real thing...well'll only cost a pound

I love this album. It has immense and tender beauty at times. This and Pour Down Like Silver are my favorites by Richard and Linda by a long shot. I know the later Shoot out the Lights is favored by alot of critics, who like to cite their impending divorce at that time as a catalyst for their 'best' album. However, I like the glimmering spirituality and dark folk of their earlier work, such as this, their first album together, much better. Linda Thompson's voice is a gift. On the slower ballads here that she sings, I can just let myself go into her voice over the haunting and stirring playing. There is still a rousing celtic folk flavor to some of the upbeat parts of this album (brought from Richard's Fairport Convention days), but over time it is stirring, not cheesy. If you're unfamiliar, then download "Down where the Drunkards Roll". If you like it, the rest will grow on you. One day iTunes will put Pour Down Like Silver on here, and I'd recommend that whole album as well. It's strange, though, to have such stirring and substantial music here on iTunes like this. If it gets new people introduced to the "real thing", then it's worth the "pound".

Biography

Born: April 3, 1949 in Notting Hill, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For years, Richard Thompson resided in relative obscurity, while at the same time garnering vast critical praise for his magnificent guitar work and the dark wit and richness of his extraordinary songwriting. A founding member of the seminal British folk-rock group Fairport Convention, he remained with the band for five studio albums — Fairport Convention (1968), What We Did on Our Holiday (released as Fairport Convention in the U.S.) (1968), Unhalfbricking (1969), Liege and Lief (1969), and...
Full Bio