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I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Richard Thompson

Linda Thompson

1974

I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Album Summary

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight is the second album released by Richard Thompson and the first including (and credited) with his then-wife, Linda Thompson, as Richard and Linda Thompson. It was released by Island Records in the UK in 1974. Although never commercially successful and critically ignored upon its release (and not released outside of the UK until Hannibal Records in 1983), it is now considered by several critics to be a masterpiece and one of the finest works of both Richard and Linda singularly or together.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.01

Votes

10969

Genres

  • Folk
  • Country
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

My one complaint about this album has always been that it's not long enough.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Nice, folksy, and calm. Linda Thompson's name should also be included in the Artist name here.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
4

I think this might be around the pinnacle of this era and genre of neo-folk. My one objection is that it comes in so strong, with When I Get to the Border and The Calvary Cross, that it's tough for the still very good remainder of the album to quite match it.

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Wed Nov 11 2020
5

folk music.......................good melancholic, kinda sleepy album. good fit since im tired rn and am usually vaguely sad if poked the right way. not much else to say. nice to have a more ""normal"" album after weird proto everything white light white heat and minimal weirdo pop non stop erotic cabaret. just Folk 9/10

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Now that's the reason I started with the project - finding unknown classics. I have not heard at all about this album, yet I recognized its influence on more recent albums. Some songs sound very similar to Neutral Milk Hotel which I really like. Great album!

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Mon May 02 2022
5

I think this album is amazing. One of the most emotionally intense folk albums I've ever heard. I love it all but "Calvary Cross" is the one that really hits me hardest. Also one of my favorite album covers of all time.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
5

Surprised to find this is from a former member of Fairport Convention, a band I've been lukewarm on through this list (being generous). I don't think these tracks do anything super new, but I do think they are super well written and just overall great tunea. Reminds me of Frightened Rabbit, a little, especially the wonderful downer of "The End Of The Rainbow". Favorite tracks: "When I Get To The Boarder", "The Calvary Cross", "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight", "The End Of The Rainbow"

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Very nice album. Charming and heartwarming. Could imagine hearing them in a cosy pub with a beer and an open fire. Some very emotionally charged tracks, slightly haunting in places. Very well written and arranged.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

Liked this album a lot. Pretty haunting and moody throughout, simple instrumentals and great vocals.

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Sun Jun 25 2023
3

It's alright, some of the less dull old folk we've had on the list

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Wed Apr 17 2024
2

I don't know these people but I really like the reverb guitar, gentle background vocals, and occasional falsetto on The Calvary Cross. The title track is very catchy. The rest of the album is pleasant for a listen, except for "The Little Beggar Girl" like who green-lights songs like this. The last track was a royal bummer.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
1

F**k music. Can’t stand it. It always sounds like someone caricaturing themselves, with the vocal mannerisms particularly. Nothing about this grabbed me. I tried.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

Like the original angus and julia stone. Loved the harmonies.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Great British folk. Really heartwarming in places. Strong Neil Young and nick drake vibes in places.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

Don't tell anyone about this album which is by far and away one of the greatest kept secrets in music. I have listened to it hundreds of times and it just never lets me down. It was like revisiting an old friend with whom you never quarrel. The transition to Calvary Cross has to be one of the greatest in modern music history. Try not to cry when the existential wall hits you and you now know there is 'Nothing at the End of the Rainbow'. I always want to know more. Who were the Thompsons? Why were they so good? How come they never got famous? But I decided a long time ago intentionally NOT to open any of those boxes and potentially spoil the music. So dense and each song standing so alone that every song is like an album. If I was trapped on a desert island and could only have five albums, this would probably be one of them.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

Perfect Saturday/Sunday morning music

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Wed Oct 12 2022
5

Aldrig hört talas om men det var ju jättebra. Tyckte det lät så mycket Fairport Covention. Efter litte googlande så förstår jag varför.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

Hitting the right spot today

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Wed Jan 18 2023
5

First thought - well, the cover is extremely reminiscent of the graffiti you come across in the Last of Us, but particularly the TV iteration, the 1st of which we watched last night. To the music - Wonderful. I love this, and I was caught unawares. Never listened to any Fairport Convention to speak of (I guess I'll look forward to that when they come up). The vocals, the instrumentation, the songs, the lyrics, all pretty much perfect. I listened to it twice on repeat. I think getting heavily into Richard Dawson in recent years, and into this kind of folk in general, has primed me for this little masterpiece. Faves - Title track, Calvary Cross, Has he Got a Friend For Me, End of the Rainbow.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Looking at today's album cover, and having no idea who Richard and Linda Thompson are, I wouldn't have guessed that I was in for a folk record, but that is what I got. Not only a folk record, but a phenomenal folk record that mixes country and blues sensibilities into its sound as well! Turns out Richard Thompson was the lead guitarist and songwriter for the band Fairport Convention, before he broke off and did his own thing with his then wife Linda. The harmonies they can achieve, and the music they created on this record is amazing. Linda has a beautiful voice, and it adds a hint of beauty to Richards bleak songwriting style. The End of the Rainbow is a particularly bleak, but beautiful song. Every song on this record is amazing in its own right. From the fast paced, upbeat I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight to the slow ballad Withered and Died where Linda took the role of lead singer. Overall, thoroughly enjoyed today's album. So much so, that I listened to it three times cover to cover, and found something new to love about it each time. I will definately revisit this one, and will add it to my regular listening. Favourite songs: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, We Sing Hallelujah, The Calvary Cross, When I Get To the Border, Withered and Died, Down Where the Drunkards Roll, The Little Beggar Girl Least favourite song: The Great Valerio 5/5

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

I Want to See the Bright Lights" is the second album by English singer/songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson and the first with his then wife Linda Thompson. The album was not commercially successful and was not released outside the UK until 1983. Apparently, a vinyl shortage in 1974 contributed. It is now considered a classic of English folk rock. Yeah, lots to like here. Lyrically dark songs. Linda's haunting vocals and, of course, Richard's guitar. We started out rollicking with the pub-style "When I Get to the Border." Uplifting and great, great guitar. An accordion. A mandolin. A tin Whistle. Linda Thompson's backing vocals. And A Crumhorn. Yes! Oh, about a guy drinking himself to death. Linda takes the lead on "Withered and Died." The slide guitar takes this in a country direction. An abandoned woman at the end of her rope. Richard let's loose with he electric guitar on the rockin' "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight." Cascading horns. Work's over; it's time to party. "The Little Beggar Girl" sounds like a traditional folk song. Linda on lead vocals. Richard on backing. Mandolin. Acoustic guitar. I think disdain for the rich. You can barely hear Richard on the somber "The End of the Rainbow." Slow. A father telling a newborn of the disappointments that lay ahead. The album ends with "The Great Valerio." Stark with basically only Richard's guitar and Linda's vocals telling the story of toghtrope walker The Great Valerio and how the audience is not willing take a similar chance. This album is worth listening to just for Richard's guitar. The lyrics on this album are dark but brilliant. The music varies. A definite must listen. It's been awhile since I listened to "Shoot Out The Lights." I'll need to put that on soon.

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

Great folk rock. Linda's strong voice perfectly complemented Richard's inventive guitar, and the songs themselves struck a nice balance of hope and hopelessness.

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

Önskar att jag köpt Fairport och Thompsonplattor i stället alla Jefferson Airplane… sent skall syndaren vakna.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

I liked the exotic folksy feel of this album and Richard and Linda’s voices. Very nice!

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

Delightful. A ray of sunshine, with a bit of shadow. Just the way I like it.

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Mon Apr 03 2023
5

Absolutely fantastic album, love it love it love it

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Sat Jun 24 2023
5

Brilliant singer songwriting, earthy and witty, even slaps on occasion, shows that the genre is not staid and repetitive. ‘A couple of drunken nights rolling on the floor Is just the kind of mess that I'm looking for’ is a terrific line.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Might have just been in the mood for this but loved it, atmospheric folk 4.6

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Brass is exquisitely played in Bright Lights Tonight, vocals twist unexpectedly for something that seems straight forward. Very surprising. They couldn't be better matched to draw so much out of each other. No rush, just time for a song to be.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

Absolutely loved this. Great songwriting and the Thompsons add so much character to each song. I want to give this 4 stars because they’re British but I’ll let it slide this time.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

Not a big fan of country music style

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Sun Oct 29 2023
5

Great fun :) I like this kind of stuff, just a good vibe. I would definitely immediately get this album if I see it in a second hand store ^^ Perfect to turn on when doing some light household tasks.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
5

None of my favorite Thompson songs are on this album (Beeswing, 1952 Vincent) but it's still fun. The variety of styles and harmonies are really beautiful.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

I really liked the album, it had a slower melancholy feel to the songs that I enjoyed. I liked Has He Got A Friend For Me and The Great Valerio the best.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

Highlights: The Cavalry Cross I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight Withered and Died

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

I first heard this on another list of great albums and remember enjoying it. That didn’t change this time. Very good listen.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
5

Folk dueling vocals, sharp lyrics and timeless melodies. A winner then and a winner now.

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

Pretty good country / folk album! Catchy tunes mixed in with sadder and more emotional songs. I couldn’t tell which I prefer, haha. The pacing, the writing, the instrumentation, it’s all great. This just really good, honestly.

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

The title song has been stuck in my head since I first listened to it a couple years ago. So warm and nostalgic.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
5

9/10 Liked this one a lot, completely new to me Great idea, well executed: do a Celtic folk album with aspects of the contemporary 70s rock, country, even prog Very good production, loved the choices and deployment of the traditional instruments, great musicianship throughout Vocals were at their best when both were singing Preferred the uptempo stuff to the ballads This is the first album in a while from a genre I don’t know that was an obvious classic Best: I Want to see the bright lights tonight

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

Stunningly beautiful album. Wonderful songs, performed brilliantly.

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Thu May 02 2024
5

Keep going back to this lovely understated album. Quintessentially English and a breath of fresh air.

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Sat May 11 2024
5

This was a wild find. never heard it before and i dug it. Very 70s.

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Mon May 20 2024
5

Oh this is fantastic Wonderful folk tunes and some great guitar work

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Thu May 23 2024
5

This is what country should be. Amazing folk. Just spectacular production, lyrics and themes. Perfection.

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Tue Sep 22 2020
4

Folk's not really my thing, but this felt like it would make a really high-quality soundtrack to something. The words I caught were nice. The live tracks were very nice.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

I've listened to and enjoyed this before, so falling asleep to it after a day where I was feeling anxious for no reason is actually a huge compliment imo. Plus the title track is an all time classic.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

I had a good time discovering this album

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Didn't think I'd like it but it's stunning!!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Production: 11/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 10/20 Bangers: 15/20 Emotional response: 15/20 = 66 Pleasantly surprised

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

Okay, I by and large loved this! Now I’m thinking I maybe didn’t give the Fairport Convention album a fairport chance, guys. I’ll see what I can do about that. But in the meantime I’ll leave you with this little pearl of wisdom: “Lightning Crashes” by Live is “Calvary Cross” with more shouting. Prove me wrong.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Du bon folk rock ! Un classique que je ne connaissais pas. 4.5.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Have a few beers and a sing around the campfire, and the chards morph into this album. Enjoyed the vocals and much of the guitar

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

Didn’t love didn’t hate, it was cute

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Great album, not quite remarkable enough to warrant a 5.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

First listen I thought this was good but not outstanding, however I’ve ended up putting it on at least four times over the day. Probably my favourite of the albums I was hearing for the first time during this.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

When this album came up, I knew that I know some of Thompsons music. I tried to remember what I've heard before. I don't think it was anything from this album. I have listened to several tracks from Thompson, but I've never heard a full album. This was a solid, and enjoyable experience. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" was my favorite track. I would listen to this album again.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Couple of solid tunes, great atmosphere, but some of it lands a bit flat.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Pretty mellow, good acoustic ballads and nice use of brass for some background

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

Nicht das ganz große Meisterwerk, dass der englische Wikipedia-Artikel wie so oft etwas zu vollmundig versprochen hat (obwohl das bei Solid Air von John Martyn völlig gestimmt hat), aber doch eine 4.

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Sun Aug 08 2021
4

Sou uma luz pequenina. Leva-me à estação onde as malas carregam pessoas rumo ao sul Sou uma luz pequenina. Uma que não escreve que pouco fala que fica em chamadas para o oeste distante chama acesa e potente à espera de um sopro. "Dirty people take what's mine / I can leave them all behind" MotA: Down where the drunkards roll

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

Didn't stick the way Fairport Convention did, but I'd be willing to give it another try to see if anything does. It still sounded very pleasant.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

Classic folk with an amazing guitarist. What's the best thing to do when breaking up with the missus? Make an album about the break up obviously. Best Tracks: When I Get To The Border; I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight; Down Where The Drunkards Roll

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

Solid folk with great vocals. Best track: Down Where the Drunkards Roll

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

I thought I'm gonna force myself to listening to this album, but it was actually really good. Not my type, but I enjoyed it. Very good.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

Not heard it for a while but some great songs.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

This was a nice vocal jazz album to listen to. Wasn't mind blowing but calming. 7/10.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
4

Хороший плотный альбом гитарной американской музыки

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

Fantastic folk rock by the guy behind Fairport Convention. Tracks are diverse with unusual instruments and non-traditional techniques that reminds us the genre is called folk... so why not use instruments from centuries ago? Vocals are great by both of them, supplemented with excellent songwriting. Length is short enough to make for a pleasurable experience without getting tired of it. I'm not a huge fan, but it grows with each listen. There is little to complain about.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Very cool Irish folk music. I spent 10 days in Ireland years ago, and this album brought me right back to the pubs. Wont be everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoyed it

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

A new slant on electric folk - a stunning guitarist.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
4

Best album to come from this list in a long while. Great folk, vocals, and instrumentation. Will be returning to this.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
4

It sounds good, I guess. But come on, it's 1973, and they are basically making folk? Kind of boring.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

Very enjoyable Folk album. Liked the celtic influences as well as their hamonies. Album got a bit weaker at the end when the songs turned slower and more sad

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Fri Apr 01 2022
4

Great folk album. I loved the melodies and harmonies and shared vocals. The instrumentation was great.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

A cool like country roots album. "I need to spend some money and it won't wait" The title track is a good groove with excellent and grabbing lyrics.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

I really liked the folksy refrains. Reminded me a lot of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

Not exactly Liege and Leaf, but sneakily and steadily good. The quieter cuts are best – ”Withered and Died,” “Has He Got a Friend,” The End of the Rainbow.” The cultural reclamation tunes (“The Cavalry Cross” “We Sing Hallelujah”) also work well in context. RT isn’t much of a singer, but the excellent and subtle playing, song selections and overall plan more than make up for it. 3.6 > 4

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Mon May 02 2022
4

An unexpected change of pace - new to me. I could get into this. Loved the opening track, lost some steam by the end.

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Tue May 03 2022
4

This review has taken a few days. I knew I liked it very much straight away, but there was some wavering, some irresolution on my part, and I couldn't grasp exactly why. I still feel twinges of uncertainty, but hopefully bashing out some words will clarify things. Fairport Convention are not really a group that has entered my orbit; this is not due to any preconception about folk, but just that every time I always found another act that stirred my curiosity more. Sorry Fairport Convention, but I'd rather check out Alice Cooper and Jacques Brel at this minute. Anyway, Richard Thompson left Fairport Convention and started his solo career, and then a duo with his new wife Linda (fun fact: Linda Thompson used to be Nick Drake's girlfriend). And I found Linda to be the standout, the main reason the album works so well. Please understand that this is not meant as a slight against Richard: his songwriting on this record, notable for its air of despair, continually impresses, as does his fretwork. But Linda's singing is what I truly adore about this album: just listen to how eerie and unnerving her voice is on the last, best track, The Great Valerio. But why have I paused? With most of the folk albums I love (e.g., Five Leaves Left or Jackson C. Frank's one album), I raised my skirt for them first time unquestioningly. With this, it has had to work a little to seduce me. Also, I wish it would last longer. There's not so much a sense of a journey across this album, but rather ten fine songs. When the end came, I was taken by surprise: was it already over? I wish I didn't have to be this critical; I would love to eulogise this, and there is real gold here. Perhaps more time with it would drive me to bump it up to the highest perch, but I already have about 900 more albums to sort out.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

This was a surprise. I don't care for folk (or even folk rock, generally). I was aware of the reputation of this album (and, even more so, Shoot Out The Lights). I thought it would be a case of an album I could appreciate but not love. But I listened to this through three times in a row, and then picked out my faves (The Great Valerio, title track, When I get To The Border, Calvary Cross, Down Where The Drunkards Roll). I very quickly became familiar and loved this record. While steeped in folk, Richard Thompson's use of electric guitar (and occasionally electric piano) really lift this. Linda's voice is so terrific, and she clearly deeply understands these songs. I really came around to loving this record. I'm putting it on my wantlist.

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Thu May 19 2022
4

most people don’t know this but spotify actually made this album to replace Neil Young and Joni Mitchell

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

I was lukewarm on this bleak sounding collection the first time through. As a fan of British Folk music, I wondered why they would have sent picked it, with so much other quality stuff out there. But the songs grow on you. Linda Thompson has a wonderful voice and Richard is a creative guitar player and great lyricist, though a bit dark.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

A really fine album. Some great songs, particularly the title track, Calvary Cross and Down Where the Drunkards Go, beautiful guitar throughout

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

A surprisingly great folk rock album from the UK. Richard Thompson's songwriting is so quintessentially British that it's hard not to like it. Melancholy and fatalistic in equal measure with just the right hint of optimism to keep the ship afloat. Really well done. This was so close to a 5-star album. I bounced back and forth on it throughout the whole album but, at the end of the day, there just wasn't enough that was truly exceptional to earn it 5 stars. But it's a solid 4.5 at least.

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