Tuesday, July 10, 2007

315. Richard And Linda Thompson - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1974)

Track Listing

1. When I Get To The Border
2. The Calvary Cross
3. Withered And Died
4. I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
5. Down Where The Drunkards Roll
6. We Sing Hallelujah
7. Has He Got A Friend For Me?
8. The Little Beggar Girl
9. The End Of The Rainbow
10. The Great Valerio


Richard Thompson was a big part of what made Fairport Convention work so well as a folk-rock band, not only as a guitarist but also as a lyricist. Both of those skills are again displayed to great effect in this album. He has the participation of his wife, Linda, who has a voice surprisingly similar to that of Sandy Denny.

Don't think this is another Fairport album however, it is very different, and unfortunately in my opinions the changes aren't for the better. Richard is well known as a writer of sad songs, and this album explores the seamy underbelly of Britain like no other folk album at the time. This also means that a lot of the light of Fairport is completely lost here, this albums is just too relentless in its wallowing.

This said it is still a quality folk album, by a great guitarist, and although he is not a great vocalist, Linda does the part just great. The album is worth it for some inspired songwriting, as well as some great arrangements, the silver band in the title track is a stand out for example. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
2. When I Get To The Border
3. The Great Valerio
4. Poor Little Beggar Girl

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Where his first album was treated harshly by the critics, the second was hailed as a masterpice. Recorded on a shoestring budget in a matter of days, it is now regarded as a classic of English folk-rock and one of Thompson's finest achievements.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 479 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The title track has been covered by Weddings Parties Anything and Ocean Colour Scene, whilst Kate Rusby and Elvis Costello have both covered 'Withered and Died'.

Richard Thompson solos I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, I quite dislike his voice, Linda is much better:

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