Album #315 – I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Album #315

Richard and Linda Thompson are one of the most successful husband and wife teams to come out of folk music (along with Ian and Sylvia, of course). Richard was originally the lead guitarist and songwriter in the Fairport Convention along with the late Sandy Denny. Both Denny and Richard left Fairport in 1970. He did a solo album that went nowhere. So, Richard decided to record an album with his then-wife Linda. What results is I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. This album was a joy to listen to. Both Richard and Linda have unique and distinctive voices. The songs were entirely written by Richard but, Linda made tracks like Has He Got A Friend For Me (my favourite song on this album) her own. Sadly, when I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight was released in 1974, it was hardly noticed by critics. But, a few years later, critics and listeners started to notice. But, by then it was almost too late. The Thompsons split professionally and personally in 1982 after recording Shoot Out The Lights (also on the list). But, this album marks the start of a beautiful partnership. One that put a new spin of the British Folk Rock Movement. As for the music, it is a mixture of ballads and old thyme British folk songs that are in fact new songs written by Richard. Traditional instruments including: a krummhorn, dulcimer, accordion and mandolin are used adding sounds of the past to create some authenticity. I really enjoyed this album because it proves to me once again that you don’t have to do vocal gymnastics to stir emotion in people. You just need to sing like Linda Thompson, simple yet filled with heartache, sadness, happiness, anger and joy. Her voice makes these songs more powerful than they already are. Other highlights include: When I Get To The Border, Withered and Died, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, Down Where The Drunkards Roll, We Sing Hallelujah and The End of the Rainbow. Overall, I give I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight 5 out of 5.

Next: Winter in America by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson

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