Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time – #479: Richard & Linda Thompson – I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974)

You know how I always promise these posts will be quick and to the point?


Short and sweet, this review shall be.  While this album is full of songs that are fine, I do have to say that I find it completely lacking of material to place it on this exclusive list.  Having said that, there is some catchy electric folk here, and it starts with leadoff track “When I Get to the Border” with its almost Irish jig vibes.

The guitar effects and noodling on opening intro of “The Calvary Cross” are ahead of their time, so props to Richard for that.  Non-hot take of the post is that, yes, Linda’s voice is gorgeous.  When it is first heard on the super-sad “Withered and Died”, it is almost too much.

The title track is their Friday night ballad: after a tough week, its time for some downtown fun.  “Meet me at the station, don’t be late; I need to spend some money, I just won’t wait; take me to the dance and hold me tight, I want to see the bright lights tonight”.  “The Little Beggar Girl” actually rocks a little (relatively speaking, anyway).

Look- this is pretty good music, and has aged damned well considering it was released 46 years ago.  Not quite sure it is among the greatest 500 albums of the 1970s, however, let alone “of all time”.

Worthy Tracks: “When I Get to the Border”, “The Calvary Cross”, “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight”

Final Verdict: Moving on…

Spotify album link: