Editors’ Notes Recorded on s shoestring budget over the course of a few days in May 1973, I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight sat on the shelf for one year. But when it was released it immediately changed the course of Richard Thompson’s career. It was his first proper album since leaving Fairport Convention, and his first album with his new wife Linda. Few husband-and-wife teams have burned as intensely. Infused with the folk sensibility of his early career but ignited by a renewed love for rock music, Bright Lights hews to a singular vision that is mournful, but elegant. Collectively, the songs form a portrait of luckless tavern life, but the Thompsons treat the material with such warmth and grace that even the most doomed scenes are lit as if by candelabra. The three live bonus tracks — taken from a show at London’s Roundhouse in September 1975 — show the couple bringing a few of these singular barroom ballads back to their natural element.

SONG
When I Get to the Border
1
3:27
 
The Calvary Cross
2
3:53
 
Withered and Died
3
3:26
 
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
4
3:09
 
Down Where the Drunkards Roll
5
4:06
 
We Sing Hallelujah
6
2:52
 
Has He Got a Friend for Me
7
3:34
 
The Little Beggar Girl
8
3:26
 
The End of the Rainbow
9
3:57
 
The Great Valerio
10
5:26
 
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Live)
11
3:16
 
Together Again (Live)
12
2:51
 
The Calvary Cross (Live)
13
9:56
 

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