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I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Mar. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000025RLQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,493 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight survives as a stunning introduction to Richard and Linda Thompson's remarkable music, despite the silver horns, concertina and pre-industrial imagery taking these songs way out of contention with the rock fare of the day. The set also offers a primer on Richard's understated brilliance as both electric and acoustic guitarist (and no mean hand on mandolin). His spidery Stratocaster jigs and reels with a vinous sting, and, on the ear-tweaking "The Calvary Cross", offers a position paper on the rudiments of a style that would influence guitarists on both sides of the pond. Like the Band's Robbie Robertson, Thompson harnesses a tough rock attack to a rootsy folk intelligence, which has since bubbled up in the playing of successors such as Mark Knopfler, sounding timeless and contemporary with every string-bending flourish. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Audio CD
Combining exotic medieval instruments with his own blistering guitar, Richard Thompson and his then-wife, Linda crafted one of the greatest folk records of all time. Linda's voice, in particular, is a standout, especially on the heart-wrenching "Withered and Died." Other standout tracks include the rollicking "When I get to the Border," and the title track, the jubilant "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight." This should sit proudly next to "Blonde on Blonde" and "Astral Weeks" on your CD shelf.
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Format: Audio CD
A superb remastering job by Island, who have also finally done the decent thing and put out Hokey Pokey and Pour Down... as well. If you don't know this album, there are fuller reviews elsewhere for the old edition, but there is one significant factor that may endear this to hardened RT fans. The ten minute version of Calvary Cross added as a bonus track is NOT the version previously available on the (admittedly harder to find than hens' teeth) Guitar, Vocal. Having noticed that the bonus tracks on Pour Down... come mostly from Guitar, Vocal, this was a pleasant surprise.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album has to be one of the bleakest in the annals of ''British'' Rock, but thats not to say its not also one of the most breathtaking.The humour is there together with the despair; and the intelligence and the marvellous tunes ,playing and singing. Something of a peak for Richard and Linda T.,groundbreaking,life affirming,humane and damn catchy.I would recommend this album to my worst enemy.It does what music should do:adds another dimension to life. Buy!(its relatively cheap)and enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm guessing that most people reading this will already be familiar with the music since 'I Want To The Bright Lights Tonight' has always been available since its release thirty years ago. If, by some chance, you've never heard it then be assured that it's a great album and you could do lot worse than kick off your Richard Thompson collection here: you won't regret your purchase.
Apart from the rather uncharacteristic 'Henry The Human Fly', this is Thompson's earliest solo work and the first to prominently feature the gorgeous voice of his then-wife, Linda. It is a work of remarkable assurance and maturity, yet despite the beauty and majesty of the performances, Thompson's 70s output contained some of the darkest and bleakest music you'll hear and 'Bright Lights' is no exception. Although there are some upbeat performaces, notably the opener 'When I Get To The Border', the title track, 'We Sing Hallelujah' and the traditional-sounding 'Little Beggar Girl', the dominant tone is sorrow for things lost and regret for things done and undone. While this sombre tone reaches its nadir with the hopelessly misanthropic 'The End Of The Rainbow', many of the slower numbers are achingly beautiful, notably 'Withered And Died' and 'The Great Valerio'. The musicianship from all involved is peerless and the arrangements are flawless. It's not hard to hear why this album established Richard And Linda Thompson as one of the essential non-mainstream acts of the 1970s and why 'Bright Lights' in particular continues to top all-time greatest album polls.
What about the quality of the reissue itself? It's pretty good, although not up to the quality of Island's Fairport reissue program. The CD comes housed in a slipcase and the booklet contains full lyrics and a critical history of the LP.
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