I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight album cover
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

Linda Thompson , Richard Thompson

Island Records

The first album by Richard and Linda Thompson remains not only one of their two best, but also one of the most enduring artifacts of British folk-rock. The title track manages simultaneously to convey party-hearty eagerness and world-weary exhaustion; “The Little Beggar Girl” uses music-hall tropes to create a snide commentary on the ruling class, and “The Great Valerio” is a metaphor for existential angst. If all of that sounds like a pretty heavy conceptual burden for a folk-rock album, well, it is — and the fact that the Thompsons carry it off so well is a tribute to Richard’s taste and skill as a songwriter and Linda’s as an interpreter.

Rick Anderson

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