Song of the Day, February 1: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight by Richard and Linda Thompson

ThompsonBrightLightsToday’s song is I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight by Richard and Linda Thompson. After leaving Fairport Convention, Richard recorded a solo album, Henry the Human Fly, which featured Linda Peters as a backing vocalist. Shortly thereafter the two were married; in 1974 they released their first joint venture. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight is a stunning album, taking Richard’s folk roots and amazing guitar work and merging them with Linda’s powerful vocals and great musical sensibilities.

While much of the material explores the darker side of life — as is Richard’s lyrical wont — the title track is a delightfully upbeat affair, with an edge, of course. An invitation to go out for the evening and have some fun, it keeps the pair’s musical and lyrical quirkiness while still managing to be a fundamentally happy song. The presence of a brass band adds a humorously buoyant note and the couple seem to really be enjoying themselves as they sing.

I’m so tired of working every day,
Now the weekend’s come I’m gonna throw my troubles away
If you’ve got the cab fare, mister you’ll do all right
I want to see the bright lights tonight

A favorite of fans and the performers, it was a staple of their live sets and has endured into Richard’s shows post-Linda. Enjoy this wonderful song today. As an added bonus, here is a live-for-television performance of the song from 1981, shortly before the couple’s marriage and musical partnership disintegrated.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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