Getting The Spins: Richard and Linda Thompson – I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

(Island, 1974)

There aren’t many artists that can easily bring me to tears, but Richard and Linda Thompson sure can. Linda’s voice alone does that, but add Richard’s low-end harmony and I melt into a puddle. Or when he squeezes off one of those moving guitar solos. Or when he drops a minor chord in just the right spot. I listen to I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight a lot–sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the day with my faculties intact. “The Cavalry Cross” makes time stand still, and the title track is a joyous sliver of hedonistic ’70s barroom rock. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Timi Donald, whose laid back, yet precise drumming is one of my favorite things about this record (he’s also excellent on John Cale’s Slow Dazzle). This album is perfection and, if you’re looking for more, 1975’s Pour Down Like Silver notches only slightly lower for me.

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