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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Richard and Linda Thompson

1974

Wikipedia

I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Rating

2.96

Votes

3252

Reviews

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4

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

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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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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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5

hermoso

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5

Bit of a masterpiece really

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5

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

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5

Like it.

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5

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

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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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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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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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4

I had a good time discovering this album

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4

Easy and sweet

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4

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

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4

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

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4

Nice album.

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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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4

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

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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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4

Didn’t love didn’t hate, it was cute

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4

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

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4

Not bad...enjoyable even

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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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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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4

nice

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4

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

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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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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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4

folksy

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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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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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4

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

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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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4

Not heard it for a while but some great songs.

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4

Terrific folky goodness.

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4

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

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4

Хороший плотный альбом гитарной американской музыки

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4

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

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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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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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4

A new slant on electric folk - a stunning guitarist.

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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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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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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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4

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

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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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4

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

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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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4

Layered and beautiful

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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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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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4

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

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3

didnt stick much but i love all the female parts of the songs :)

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3

July 4th, Fitting album for today. Mostly somber but sometimes upbeat folk music with rock elements that make it more interesting. Standout Tracks: When I Get To The Border, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, The Little Beggar Girl, Together Again (Live), The Cavalry Cross (Live)

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3

definitely some good tracks. The kind of album (like most albums) I think I would need to listen to more than once. Definitely could see myself liking it a lot after a bunch of listens.

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3

Ok. Liked songs that added horns the most

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3

2.5/5

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3

sounds lush and at points fantastic, but the actual meat on the bones aren't all there for me necessarily throughout

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3

Not a big fan

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3

It was ok.

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3

I liked it. There was a song that sounded very shanty-esque!

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3

Nice bit of fokk

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3

Solid.

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3

On average I liked Richard's songs more but I like Down Where The Drunkards Roll the best out of this album. As a whole it's ok.

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3

Not bad, bits of folk are tasteful

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3

Folk stuff not too bad tbh

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3

Overall decent folk that I liked. One song: The End of the Rainbow is really depressing, but kinda beautiful.

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3

Good record, with two or three great songs... But really can't see anything special... Maybe lyrics? I did not pay attention...

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3

Jako znawca brytyjskiej muzyki folkowej, albumiku oczywiscie nie kojarze, nie slyszalem takze o malzenstwie Panstwa Thompsonow nigdy wczesniej, ale albumik bardzo przyjemny w odsluchu, wiekszosc wokali to Pani Linda, ale sa tez kawalki na ktorych spiewaja w duecie, badz Pan bierze udzial w chorkowaniu, instrumenty jak to na folkowego rocka przystalo, gitarki klasyczne, elektryki, jakis basik, drumy spokojne i nawet akordeonowe kawalki sie znajda, na plejke leci otwierajacy when i get to the border, gdzie najwiekszy udzial wokalowy ma Pan Rychu i ciekawe gitarki mozna posluchac oraz tytulowy I want to see the bright lights tonight, bardzo moodowy albumik

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3

there was a time and place for music like this....I'm sad I missed it because I think I could have gotten into it..... but in present day I don't think I can actually enjoy this music much :/

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3

Leuke soft rock maar wel een beetje saai. Wel leuke achtergrond muziek

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3

Y Linda Thompson

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3

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Don't love folk music but this had some great hooks and I feel they compliment each other very well Saved: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, We Sing Hallelujah

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3

Good american, country music, don't have anything else to say about it.

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3

nice enough, but a bit hippy dippy

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3

I liked a few of the songs especially when they sang together...the harmonies were beautiful. But only a few songs would I listen to more than once.

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3

A bit of an odd duck for the time period.... Unique layered folk song appeal. Good to listen to once

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3

Surprisingly good, slightly funky folk

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3

Folky

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3

I’d first listened to Richard Thompson here in Fairport Convention, which didn’t do anything for me. This record is far better from the opening pair of songs, probably the two best tracks on the album. For vocals, to be honest, I prefer Richard to Linda, who’s more natural and less melodramatic. While there are some fine songs in the second half, I found myself looking for something else every time “We Sing Hallelujah” came on.

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3

Easy listening with some great variety. Moderate tempo and upbeat feelings.

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3

Nice easy album to listen to. I feel they harmonize well and definitely some great songs from people I've never heard of before

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3

// Favs: The Cavalry Cross Score: Light to Decent 3

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3

Folky Country like "rock" so far so good.

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3

Ok, a bit too country for me

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3

boring but a nice listen

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3

Nice folk music. I enjoyed it. But I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece, by any stretch, as people say. 3/5

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3

Nice sleepy folk album. Something I'd listen to on a rainy day while cleaning or something

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3

Very folksy and well written. Title track was the best but probs wouldn’t listen to it again

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3

A great find. I’m not crazy for the sea shanty elements, but I should have heard this before now. Really enjoyed ‘The Calvary Cross.’ 3.5

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3

This album seems like it influenced a lot of early 00s indie acts.

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3

I have owned this album for nearly 20 years but don’t listen too often. The bits I like, I really like. But those are the least folky bits. The stuff on the really folky end of the spectrum doesn’t do much for me at all.

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3

7/10

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3

Nikad za njih čuo, ali vidim da su prava jesenska gozba, hehe. Nije loše. U nekim dijelovima njen vokal me podsjeća na Nico. Favoritne: Down Where the Drunkards Roll, The End of the Rainbow

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3

Yeah it was ok.

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3

Rating: 6/10

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3

I think this is one of those records I'm supposed to worship. It was fine?

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3

Some lovely English folk music. If a little generic sounding. Nothing really stands out to me (unlike Shoot Out The Lights). Maybe more listens would bring a higher rating but for now 3.5 🌟

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3

was good

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3

I enjoyed it but it didn't stand out to me, this one probably won't be a repeat listen

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3

Couple of lovely tracks here (calvary cross and IWTSTBLT)

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3

I'm a folk fan so I really enjoy this album musically. And its lyrically solid. I just am a much larger fan of American folk music and get tired of the English whine at times. It is still a really good album just not the vocal sound I enjoy.

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3

Good for what it is but not something I'd listen to often

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3

Interesante. No sabía que existían. Buena noticia conocerlos.

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3

Found this album after watching The Night House for the use of Calvary Cross. Calvary Cross is easily the best on the album, but decent overall (minus Beggar's Girl).

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3

Is it fun and enjoyable? Yes. Are there a few standout tracks? Also yes. But do I find it infinitely enjoyable to listen and re-listen to? Nah, not really. It was a solid album, it was worth a listen, and I enjoyed it. Highlights/fave tracks included "We Sing Hallelujah," "Withered and Died," and "The Little Beggar Girl." Good stuff here, solid listening, and deserves to be on the list. Just not my particular cup of tea.

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3

I enjoyed the first half a lot. Folksy tunes with some upbeat elements (which are apparently shanty elements). The second half is the usual slow folk that is so boring I decided to just give this a 3 instead of a 4. Still, it's another one of the few folk albums that I actually enjoy.

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3

Not a huge folk person but it seems fine, the titular track was definitely the best.

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3

Interesting. Guitar technique and mezzo-soprano singing. (6/10) FT: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

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2

Ok this pair are from London but the music is a mix of Irish-sounding folk songs (bunged-on accents and lyrics about alcoholism, being poor and migrating) and then some other tracks are just kinda straight-up 70s soft rock. The more traditional folk end has been done far better, the generic rock songs are boring, and nothing ever really kicks into powerband. Probably shouldn't be on this list but neither should half the other shit it gives me most days. 2.5/5.

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2

I know this is a classic, but the music genre does not appeal to me at all. Nice lyrics tho, and I definitively felt the personal and internal conflict of its authors being poured into the songs.

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2

It was ok

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2

It's not the worth thing in the world, but I wouldn't listen again and wouldn't suggest to anyone.

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2

Prima folk, was lekker

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2

One decent song, but not terrible

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2

Kind of typical-sounding 60s/70s rock, but really slow and boring. I don't hate it, I just wouldn't listen to it again.

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2

Let's say that I'm not particularly fond of 70's English folk rock.

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2

Folk rock bastante moñas.

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2

Hoewel ik een zwak heb voor samenzang vind ik dit zaad-muziek.

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2

Het had wat Fleetwood Mac vibes, maar over het geheel toch teveel gezapige vibes.

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2

Mwah, kabbelde wat voorbij maar niet bijster interessant.

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2

Not bad, but not my favorite. 0RS

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2

Tjemig, ik begon met goede moed aan dit album. Ik ken deze familie Thompson niet zo goed, maar als snel was ik er klaar mee.

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2

A bit too folky 😄

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2

Classic folk music that easily passes the time. However, this album's musical rhythm is too slow for my tastes.

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2

This brand of folk rock was a bit tedious for myself. I few interesting lyrical sections or tracks weren't able to pull me in enough to say that I enjoyed myself or the vibes this particular kind of folk rock is putting down. Maybe it's how anxious and distant it feels at times, I am not quite sure, but it just ended up very flat to me.

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2

I don't really have an interesting take. Its decent music. Probably won't get another listen, but I am not mad at it.

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2

Not really interesting, more like a radio sound 3/5

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2

Generic 70s half-country twang. I nearly fell asleep as soon as I heard a few notes. Pass.

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2

4.5

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2

Some interesting instrumentation, but most tracks are dreadfully one-note in structure

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2

Ok nothing special.

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2

Here and there ok. Threw the kitchen sink of instruments at times.

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2

Enjoyable

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2

They sound like a lovely couple who moved to the suburbs and started experimenting with swinging out of sheer boredom. I might do the same after this.

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2

folk off! ha ha, did you see what i did there. there's a folk night in every town in the country specifically for all the chunky knitwear wearing, lentil eating 60 year old bearded men with mad guitar skills that have a hard on for songs about how shit life was before electricity. if for some reason i want to feel the pain of someone who's job it was to sift effluence to feed their family of 14 in song format then i'll just seek out one of those pubs. history nonces.

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2

not that bad 2.5

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2

Nije mi za 2 nije mi za 3

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2

This was pleasant to listen to and I did enjoy it, however I have hard time rating this higher than 2 because I just feel there are so much better folk music stemming from this era. I will give this a strong 2 star rating though.

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2

Meh... 1.8/5

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2

"1001 Albums Generator doesn't give me a Folk Rock album for 3 days" challenge (IMPOSSIBLE) Nothing to be said. It's folk rock. Boring. Next.

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2

At first listen, the draw is slight and the decision to remain engaged is delayed but not denied. An intentional exam of the lyrics of "When I Get to the Border" suggests that as far as songwriting goes, the Thompson's looking to tell short stories. The border is a euphemism for heaven, with golden pavement upon arrival. Yes, there's a flute and electric guitar showdown as well, musically, and that is a little weird. The title track might just be as happy, or sad, as the album gets, with the young lady insistent that she's taken on a date that spans an entire weekend full of dancing, bright lights and drunken nights that she can dream of on Monday morning. Overall, the theme is rather sad and without the sympathetic quality of the blues that suggest tomorrow can be a better day. Instead, the album goes a bit further in suggesting that tomorrow can be a better day but it probably will not. If one is prone to manic depression, perhaps there is an empathetic vibe with which to vent one's sorrows, as well as a mild tone with which to disappear into a corner when finished.

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2

Pretty meh but good background music 2/5

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2

A little too slow for me but had a few good songs! Not sure I would listen again.

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2

Not my thing

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2

Strangely enjoyable but not quite right 2.5 !

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2

Eh.

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2

I can enjoy very folky English folk for the odd song, but a whole album is a bit much for me, particularly if it is on the gloomy side, like this is. If you're going down the route of this sound, I'd much prefer songs with earthy lyrics about trees, seasons and North Yorkshire coastal herb fayres. 2/5

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2

Like The Pogues, but not as good

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2

not for me

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2

not for me

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2

Too folk for me

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2

Did not love this. The title track was the only song I liked at all, tbh. And randomly I watched the movie Looper after listening to this album and the title track was in it. Small world.

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1

booooooring

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1

2/10

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1

Only listened to one song, Don't like the voice unfortunately

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1

beuh

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1

no thanks

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1

Had not heard of them or their music. Some of the tracks are interesting to me. Overall, I'm not wild about the sound, can't quite explain what it is about it -- I have a vague sense of my not liking both aspects of the music and aspects of the production, if that makes sense -- so much as I can hear their talent and ability, just doesn't quite do it for me.

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1

There is no doubt a great album that could have been made fusing Irish folk music and pop/rock. I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight is not that album. It manages to dilute the strengths of both Irish music and rock. The rock half of that equation should need no further explanation--anyone with a passing familiarity with rock or pop could see the weakness of the presentation here, if not the tunes themselves. Richard Thompson is a mediocre vocalist, full stop. Linda's voice has a pleasant but slight timbre and isn't very expressive. The musicianship barely struggles to rise above the level of amateur musicians in Ireland of the time. I suppose we ought to give the Thompsons credit for trying, though. To hear what a great fusion of pop and Irish music actually sounds like, check out The Ninth Wave from Kate Bush's Hounds of Love, also on this list. Or better yet, check out a traditional Irish band with truly great vocalists and musicians, like the Bothy Band. The bigger question is \"Why is this album on the 1001 list?\" Once again, we see the pattern of including music from another tradition, but only if it is mixed with traditional Western pop, and a weak example at that. I've got to cut the list maker a little slack because there is no truly great album that's a fusion of rock and traditional Irish music, as far as I know. But there are a whole bunch of great albums of traditional Irish music, if they wanted something undiluted, or quite a few great examples of traditional English folk music fused with rock, e.g. Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull (to their credit, Aqualung is on this list). I was blissfully unaware of I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight before today--no great loss.

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1

Not my cup of tea at all

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1

I hated this so much it was like having all the annoying niggly thoughts that run around your head put to shit music. The ones that drag you down the banal the superfluous the 'should I go to the shops' or 'I'm fed up of eating nuts'. Aĺl these thoughts put to a bunch 9f horrible folly country just nasty sounds. An what was beggar girl all about!

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1

Just could not get into it. Slow and lofty, but if I stop listening and close the tab before the halfway point, I know I am not into it.

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1

'The Calvary Cross' è toccante, quasi emozionante. Anche 'I want to see to see the bright lights tonight' è piacevolmente allegra, mi ricorda gli ABBA. Il resto dell'album lo trovo un po' insulso. La svolta christian rock di 'We Sing Hallelujah' è una sorpresa, non so quanto gradita. Oltre a questo si aggiunge la depressione delle ultime 2. *

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1

The shortest album I heard so far, but it was the one I was most looking forward to end. I only enjoyed the first song maybe, and it became boring after that. Not my cup of tea, I would give it 1.5/5 maximum.

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1

Folk rock. Folk. Rock. No.

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1

The album was not good and it was folk music. Nothing was memorable or noteworthy. Go ahead and skip this one.

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