42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
An indispensable classic of British folk-rock,
By A Customer
This review is from: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Audio CD)
There is no point writing at length about this album - it is a sheer classic and demonstrates clearly why Richard Thompson is such an original musical talent. Despite not being rock in any conventional sense, it has been recognised as one of the most notable British albums of the 70s. With simple but effective arrangements, the rough-edged 'live' sound perfectly suits the subject matter of the more rhythmic tracks, whilst the sadness in Linda's voice on slow songs like 'Withered and died' and 'Has he got a friend' is truly touching. Richard and Linda's vocals are very different, and reflect the varied moods of the songs, whilst the combination of traditional folk instruments such as dulcimer, accordion and recorder with the electric guitar/bass/drums format and even a silver band is refreshingly different, maybe unique. In fact the whole album is a breath of fresh air, and a wonderful contrast to the emotionless over-production of so much current music.
The album has recently been given a new lease of life with the new remastering, which makes the recording even clearer and louder than before (I had the earlier CD issue and to me the remaster is definitely an improvement). The booklet gives full lyrics and credits, together with a brief essay and a few archive photos. There are also three live tracks added at the end (as on the other new Island remasters of the Thompsons' albums), but though these are of interest in demonstrating how the songs were typically performed on stage, they are not of any real significance.