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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album of the Seventies?,
Ignore any caveats about re-issues. It doesn't matter what version you get of this record. Just get it. Now. It is astonishingly brilliant. It always was, but unappreciated in the past. Attractive and intelligent from end to end, it is a record you will never regret buying. Following on from the attraction you will get on first hearing, you will continue to find more and more depths to the songs.
Richard Thompson is one of the planet's greatest songwriters, and also one of its greatest guitarists. You get more of the former here, but with tantalising flashes of the latter - for example the introduction to 'Cavalry Cross'.
Best Album of the Seventies? A contender, without a doubt. Complicated by competition with Richard & Linda Thompson's 'Shoot out the Lights' - another work of genius later in the Seventies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starter for 5....,
This is where I started with Richard Thompson: possibly not the best of ideas, because this album is simply flawless and nothing else can realistically compare!
If you come into this album thinking that folk music is all about people is Aran sweaters with their finger in their ear, you're in for a rude awakening. Yes, OK, so "When I Get To The Border" and "We Sing Hallelujah" have clearly strong folk influences, but songs like "The Calvary Cross" and "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight" wear their rock-heart on their sleeve - the latter has a particularly fine groove going on (or something).
My own personal favourite is "Withered And Died", with a heartbreaking vocal performance from Linda, and some very sharp lyrics. An absolutely glorious track.
This is an exceptionally fine album, which would be cheap at twice the price. Buy it - you can't really go wrong.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Thompson - A National Treasure,
Just because an artist is great, does not mean the artist will sell a lot of records. Mr Thompson (along with Mr Cale et al) is one of Britain's geatest musical treasures. For 40 years now, he has consistently proven himself a highly inventive and original composer of pop music (not to mention one of our most stunning guitarists). He is unique and now at almost 60 still producing stunning music. I've seen him live twice in two years and although his audience per gig is perhaps around the 2000 mark, it's easy to feel dissapointed that such an enduring artist is not playing to an audience of 20,000 and that his records (if ever they were not cult and lacking in media attention) are selling mostly to harcore fans only now.
It doesn't matter.
Richard Thompson, like all great artists transcends record sales and popularity polls. We are lucky to be able to enjoy such music from a genuine talent. Celebrate the man.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Thompsons' Lights Still Burning Brightly,
'Lights' is one of those forgotten classics of contemporary British music which deserves a far wider appreciation that it has hitherto enjoyed. It was the first outing, in 1973, by the ex-Fairport guitar virtuoso and his (then) folk-singer wife, Linda. The blend of his playing and her singing gels perfectly here, to my ears at least, on a succession of slow and medium paced songs. To some, there is a despondence about the material but I prefer to see it - and hear it - as the sort of gritty cynicism (with a touch of black humour) that was also to be one of the future Billy Bragg's most endearing features. Despite this album being generally classified as 'rock' or 'folk-rock', Thompson's sensibilities are very much from the roots of pure English folk music - attested by the 'working class' solidarity of his lyrics and that dark humour. This is music that both the 19th farm labourer and the 20th century factory worker would 'get'. The session men are brilliant, the voices - solo and in harmony - are wonderful and, astride all, the brilliance of Richard Thompson's distinctive guitar-playing makes this a classic album and reminds us, should we need reminding, that Thompson undoubtedly belongs in the pantheon of innovative guitar greats produced by this country.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so good,
By A Customer
Fantastic. I still cry at "End of the Rainbow" and "calvary cross". Great Valerio and "When I get to the border" also stand out. The best Richard and Linda album (shoot out the lights is a v. close second and all the others a v. close third!)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright,
I'm new to this album despite long being aware of its reputation, one which is entirely justified. I've already listened to it five times in two days. My introduction to Richard Thompson's music came through the 'Capitol Years' compilation. I was impressed by how fresh and imaginative he seemed during that period, given that he'd been recording for two decades. Hearing this, though, enlightened me as to how much richer his earlier recordings had been. Like all the very best albums, this one seems to exist in its own unique world, setting boundaries that set it apart from everything else out there. I suppose the obvious thing to say is that it's updated folk music, retaining the flavour of traditional music yet giving it a rock backing to remind us that the issues are contemporary. While essentially a downbeat view of life liberally sprinkled with Biblical references, there is a wry sense of 'damn you' defiance throughout.
Musically, the tunes are memorable, the playing epic but simple, and if that's not enough the varied arrangements keep your attention from wandering. The shifts between guitar, dulcimer and crumhorn on the opening track are masterly. One of my favourite moments, though, comes a minute into 'The Calvary Cross' when guitar doodling gives way to an emphatic, portentous chord. The title track sets off as the most modern-sounding song, which is then reined back by the silver band. Every track on this album counts in a big way and the final judgement on 'The Great Valerio' brings it to a fitting end. I must make a note to investigate the Thompsons' back catalogue further.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good,
Very good arrived on time and plays well no personal with this order just the order of Neil diamond big hits that I have yet to. receive
4.0 out of 5 stars I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight,
Saw them play at the University of Essex in late 70's, this album brought back many happy memories. As well as the original studio album the disk contains 3 bonus live tracks including a nearly 10 minute long version of The Calvary Cross which contains a RT guitar solo worth the money alone!
5.0 out of 5 stars classic,
not a bad song well played wonderfully sung and such atmosphere -timeless songs great lyrics..unsurpassed in it's genre. And wonderfully British !
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the Kind of Mess I'm Looking For,
A superb re-mastering of this classic 1974 album. This is my favourite of the husband and wife duo's albums with every track being of interest. When I get to the border, Calvary Cross and the title track are the standouts but there really isn't a weak track. The new master sounds great and there are 3 live tracks as bonus material. This is highly recommended for anyone interested in these two great musicians
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I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight [Bonus Tracks] by Richard Thompson
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