My one complaint about this album has always been that it's not long enough.
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.
My one complaint about this album has always been that it's not long enough.
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
Bit of a masterpiece really
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.
Nice, folksy, and calm. Linda Thompson's name should also be included in the Artist name here.
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.
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"
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.
Liked this album a lot. Pretty haunting and moody throughout, simple instrumentals and great vocals.
It's alright, some of the less dull old folk we've had on the list
Like the original angus and julia stone. Loved the harmonies.
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!
Great British folk. Really heartwarming in places. Strong Neil Young and nick drake vibes in places.
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.
Perfect Saturday/Sunday morning music
Aldrig hört talas om men det var ju jättebra. Tyckte det lät så mycket Fairport Covention. Efter litte googlande så förstår jag varför.
Hitting the right spot today
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.
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
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.
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.
Önskar att jag köpt Fairport och Thompsonplattor i stället alla Jefferson Airplane… sent skall syndaren vakna.
I liked the exotic folksy feel of this album and Richard and Linda’s voices. Very nice!
Delightful. A ray of sunshine, with a bit of shadow. Just the way I like it.
Absolutely fantastic album, love it love it love it
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.
Might have just been in the mood for this but loved it, atmospheric folk 4.6
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.
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.
Not a big fan of country music style
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.
Lovely stuff. 5 stars.
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.
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.
I had a good time discovering this album
Easy and sweet
Didn't think I'd like it but it's stunning!!
Production: 11/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 10/20 Bangers: 15/20 Emotional response: 15/20 = 66 Pleasantly surprised
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.
Du bon folk rock ! Un classique que je ne connaissais pas. 4.5.
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
Didn’t love didn’t hate, it was cute
Great album, not quite remarkable enough to warrant a 5.
Not bad...enjoyable even
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.
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.
Couple of solid tunes, great atmosphere, but some of it lands a bit flat.
Pretty mellow, good acoustic ballads and nice use of brass for some background
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.
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
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.
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
Solid folk with great vocals. Best track: Down Where the Drunkards Roll
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.
Not heard it for a while but some great songs.
Terrific folky goodness.
This was a nice vocal jazz album to listen to. Wasn't mind blowing but calming. 7/10.
Хороший плотный альбом гитарной американской музыки
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.
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
A new slant on electric folk - a stunning guitarist.
Best album to come from this list in a long while. Great folk, vocals, and instrumentation. Will be returning to this.
It sounds good, I guess. But come on, it's 1973, and they are basically making folk? Kind of boring.
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
Great folk album. I loved the melodies and harmonies and shared vocals. The instrumentation was great.
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.
I really liked the folksy refrains. Reminded me a lot of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer
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
Layered and beautiful
An unexpected change of pace - new to me. I could get into this. Loved the opening track, lost some steam by the end.
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.
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.
most people don’t know this but spotify actually made this album to replace Neil Young and Joni Mitchell
great british folk music
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.
A really fine album. Some great songs, particularly the title track, Calvary Cross and Down Where the Drunkards Go, beautiful guitar throughout
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.
Quintessential British folk rock that’s bleaker and more cynical than I anticipated, with the jauntier tunes holding some of the album’s darkest truths. Paradoxically though, ‘…Bright Lights Tonight’ is still easy to love because despite its songs being full of existential dread and tales about the futility of life, it’s so accomplished and inviting musically.
merci à la voix de linda thompson
On paper it ticks so many boxes for something i wouldn't like, but i really liked it. i may need to change my boxes
Enjoyable and surprisingly close to country music given it's origin in Britain.
Gorgeous songs with lovely vocals and melancholy, sometimes deeply cynical lyrics. The arrangements are elegant, yet also expertly restrained. This is the album I would give to anyone who claims they don't like folk rock. Fave Songs: When I Get to the Border, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Withered and Died, The Calvary Cross The End of the Rainbow, Down Where the Drunkards Roll
Très belle découverte! Ça tombe dans mes cordes! Jsuis occupé, donc j'ai pas le temps d'écrire plus.
Really good, and some great variety in there. A couple songs are duds but that’s all part of the fun
Crisp, distinctive guitar playing. A unique electric blend of traditional English folk, and rock. Surprising chord changes. Pretty fucking cool.
Folk, Calming, Soothing, Sweet, Acoustic, Subtle, Introspective, Storytelling
Yeah, enjoyed this - the Linda-lead songs were folky goodness. Kinda reminded me of Steeleye Span. And some of the Richard-lead songs, particularly "The Calvary Cross" and "The End of the Rainbow" prefigured slowcore, which is probably my favourite core, music genre-wise. Plus, "The Calvary Cross" was used to _such_ good effect in the movie "The Night House". If you like supernatural horror films, skip the trailer and go watch it! Fave track - "The Calvary Cross", natch.
Nice indie influence
I usually like Richard Thompson both solo and with Linda. I think this is a very good album. The title track is great (although not quite as good as Wall of Death from the much later Shoot Out the Lights album). As always, his guitar playing is very impressive.
I really enjoyed this album more than I thought I would
This really hit me in the right feelings today.. lovely classic folk.
Richard AND Linda
Title track is great and it’s very pretty but also a bit sleepy. 7/10
7/10 pleasant but silly