Sunday, April 22, 2012

Richard and Linda Thompson I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

After the marked lack of success achieved by his first album, Henry The Human Fly, British singer/songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson struck up a personal and professional relationship with Linda Peters, a session singer. I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight was the first album by the duo of Richard and Linda Thompson.

Where his first album was treated harshly by the critics, the second was hailed as a masterpiece. Recorded on a shoestring budget in a matter of days (and sat unreleased for nearly 8 months while record label Island tried to decide what to do with it), it is now regarded as a classic of English folk-rock and one of Thompson's finest achievements.

The album is ranked number 479 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The title track has been covered by (among others) Lucy Kaplansky, Weddings Parties Anything, Arlo Guthrie, Matt Pond PA, Ocean Colour Scene, Julie Covington and Sleater-Kinney, whilst Kate Rusby and Elvis Costello have both covered "Withered and Died". Costello also covered "The End Of The Rainbow" as did Barbara Manning. Maria McKee covered "Has He Got a Friend for Me" on her first solo album.

All songs written by Richard Thompson, except for "Together Again" by (Buck Owens).

1. "When I Get to the Border"
2. "The Calvary Cross"
3. "Withered and Died"
4. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight"
5. "Down Where the Drunkards Roll"
6. "We Sing Hallelujah"
7. "Has He Got a Friend for Me"
8. "The Little Beggar Girl"
9. "The End of the Rainbow"
10. "The Great Valerio"
11. "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" (live)*
12. "Together Again" (live)*
13. "Calvary Cross" (live)*

(*) - additional tracks, on the 2004 Island Records re-issue, previously unreleased.

* Richard Thompson - guitar, vocals, dulcimer, mandolin, whistle, keyboards
* Linda Thompson - vocals
* Timmy Donald - drums
* Pat Donaldson - bass guitar
* John Kirkpatrick - accordion, concertina
* Simon Nicol - dulcimer
* Brian Gulland - krummhorn
* Richard Harvey - krummhorn
* Royston Wood - vocals
* The CWS Silver Band

For those that missed the first posts, I'm doing an homage a day to the 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine list of the top 500 albums ever, one LP a day until I've been through them all. Let me know how they still stand up, and whether you'd include the albums on a list like that! For the original list, go here.

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