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4.7 out of 5 stars
58
4.7 out of 5 stars
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 May 2017
A classic album. It does have a rather gloomy and melancholic feel but this should not put anyone off, it is the album's character. It gives me pleasure every time I listen to it and I keep find new subtleties in the music.
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on 30 March 2017
breathtaking, heavy. It's not Ed Sheeran.
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on 2 October 2017
Good album heavy Thompsons
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on 8 January 2017
Brilliant
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on 21 September 2004
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. The notes could be more detailed, I believe, since I didn't really learn anything new. Also, the booklet could do with more photos. Nevertheless, it's good to see Island Records finally giving Richard Thompson's back catalogue the respect it deserves. The package is topped off with three bonus live tracks, all of them previously unavailable; indeed 'Together Again', a cover of an old fifties rocker has probably not been heard since it was performed.
All told, this is a fine repackaging of a very fine album and I recommend it without hesitation.
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on 4 June 2004
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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on 15 June 2015
After his stint in the mighty Fairport Convention Richard Thompson embarked on a successful solo career and quickly established himself as one of Britains finest singer songwriters and a damn fine guitarist.Together with his beautiful wife Linda this remains his finest record.Released at a time when the UK was going through the Three Day Week,IRA bombings,the oil crisis,inflation and general misery the music accurately reflects the mood of the times but is not the doom fest some people would have you believe.Songs like We sing Hallelujah, When i get to the Border,The Little Beggar Girl, and the title track are exhilarating folk rock songs.An outstanding British folk album.
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on 10 January 2005
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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VINE VOICEon 10 May 2004
This is simply one of the best albums ever recorded and is at last given the remastered treatment. Richard Thompson developed his inimitable songwriting and guitar skills within Fairport Convention who themselves released some classic albums, in particular “Leige and Leif”. Though the group were pigeonholed as an electric folk/rock group, Thompson transcended the genre to the extent that he is rightfully regarded as one of England’s best songwriters.
“I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” was the first musical collaboration between the then husband and wife team and the results were nothing short of astonishing. The opening “When I Get to the Border” starts things off sprightly enough with some great ensemble instrumental playing, which include krumhorns provided by Gryphon’s Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland and the excellent accordions of John Kirkpatrick. Next up “The Calvary Cross” and this is a classic. Live, it is extended to include great electric guitar soloing by Thompson. A 10 minute live version is added to this remastered release. “Down Where the Drunkards Roll” is a particular favourite. The sadness of the song deepened by the dulcimer playing of Simon Nicol. But the best is left to last. “The Great Valerio” is a showcase for Linda’s plaintive voice and Richards own haunting acoustic guitar playing. The mood is stark and sombre, but this is one of the saddest and most beautiful songs ever written. These are just some personal highlights, but the whole album is brim full of wonderful songs, none of which have lost their allure over the years.
The following albums, “Hokey Pokey” and “Pour Down Like Silver”, which are also re-issued in remastered form, never quite reached the artistic heights of this album, though “Pour Down Like Silver” comes very close.
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on 6 March 2001
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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