Billy Bragg, Vol. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Billy Bragg's first and best music reflected a union of two complementary musical approaches that had yet to be brought together -- the tradition of topical songwriting which dated back to the earliest days of British folk and championed in the 20th century by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, and the working-class ranting of British punk, which reflected life, love, and frustration in both the dole queue and the bedsits of a generation of alienated young people. With his big, fuzzy electric guitar chords and passionate bark of a voice, Bragg was often cited as "a one-man Clash", but he dealt with the nuts and bolts of the political issues of the day with far more ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Billy Bragg's first and best music reflected a union of two complementary musical approaches that had yet to be brought together -- the tradition of topical songwriting which dated back to the earliest days of British folk and championed in the 20th century by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, and the working-class ranting of British punk, which reflected life, love, and frustration in both the dole queue and the bedsits of a generation of alienated young people. With his big, fuzzy electric guitar chords and passionate bark of a voice, Bragg was often cited as "a one-man Clash", but he dealt with the nuts and bolts of the political issues of the day with far more specificity than, say, Joe Strummer, and his songs about love and confusion were more in the manner of a grittier Ray Davies, or a warmer and wittier Paul Weller than the likes of Sham 69. Volume 1 is a box set which collects the lion's share of Bragg's early work, including his debut EP Life's a Riot with Spy vs. Spy, the albums Brewing Up with Billy Bragg and Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, and three other EPs Between the Wars, Live and Dubious, and The Internationale. Listening to the set in sequence offers an interesting opportunity to observe the evolution of Bragg's music, as he begins with the Spartan guitar/vocal approach of 1983's Life's a Riot and gradually adds more ingredients to the mix until he graduated to the rich and fully furnished production of 1990's The Internationale; the politics of Bragg's music also become increasingly pointed with the passage of time, though he's clearly more concerned with Joe Public than the Powers That Be and still hasn't forgotten about the mysteries of romantic interaction. Each of the four key releases included in this box Life's a Riot, Brewing Up, Talking with the Taxman and The Internationale has been paired up with an additional disc of bonus material, which in the case of The Internationale is a DVD of television performances from Lithuania and East Berlin, while the other audio discs feature unreleased songs, alternate takes, and single or compilation sides. All four double-disc releases have also been released separately, but this box set includes a book of lyrics, photos, and additional credits, as well as a second DVD featuring an appearance of Bragg from a 1985 edition of The South Bank Show, and another concert recorded for television broadcast in East Berlin in 1986. Volume 1 is an exhaustive chronicle of Billy Bragg's formative era, and contains some of his best and most moving recordings; it's a fine set for those upgrading their old vinyl versions of his albums, but some might prefer to pick and choose among the individual releases Yep Roc has also put out.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/12/2006
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 711297479423
  • Catalog Number: 1003622

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Milkman of Human Kindness (2:49)
  2. 2 To Have and to Have Not (2:33)
  3. 3 Richard (2:51)
  4. 4 A New England (2:14)
  5. 5 The Man in the Iron Mask (2:13)
  6. 6 The Busy Girl Buys Beauty (1:58)
  7. 7 Lovers Town Revisited (1:19)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Strange Things Happen (3:19)
  2. 2 The Cloth (1) (2:50)
  3. 3 Love Lives Here (1:42)
  4. 4 Speedway Hero (2:39)
  5. 5 Loving You Too Long (2:51)
  6. 6 This Guitar Says Sorry (2:14)
  7. 7 Love Gets Dangerous (2:32)
  8. 8 The Cloth (2) (2:47)
  9. 9 The Man in the Iron Mask (2:17)
  10. 10 A13, Trunk Road to the Sea (2:27)
  11. 11 Fear Is a Man's Best Friend (2:32)
Disc 3
  1. 1 It Says Here (4:18)
  2. 2 Love Gets Dangerous (2:23)
  3. 3 The Myth of Trust (2:54)
  4. 4 From a Vauxhall Velox (2:31)
  5. 5 The Saturday Boy (3:30)
  6. 6 Island of No Return (3:37)
  7. 7 St. Swithin's Day (3:54)
  8. 8 Like Solidiers Do (2:39)
  9. 9 This Guitar Says Sorry (2:31)
  10. 10 Strange Things Happen (2:38)
  11. 11 A Lover Sings (3:54)
Disc 4
  1. 1 It Must Be a River (2:19)
  2. 2 I Won't Talk About It (5:06)
  3. 3 Talking Wag Club Blues (2:59)
  4. 4 You Got the Power (3:10)
  5. 5 The Last Time (2:55)
  6. 6 Back to the Old House (2:53)
  7. 7 A Lover Sings (3:58)
  8. 8 Which Side Are You On? (2:34)
  9. 9 It Says Here (2:36)
  10. 10 Between the Wars (2:30)
  11. 11 The World Turned Upside Down (2:35)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Greetings to the New Brunette (3:31)
  2. 2 Train Train (2:12)
  3. 3 The Marriage (2:31)
  4. 4 Ideology (3:27)
  5. 5 Levi Stubbs' Tears (3:31)
  6. 6 Honey I'm a Big Boy Now (4:07)
  7. 7 There Is Power in a Union (2:48)
  8. 8 Help Save the Youth of America (2:48)
  9. 9 Wishing the Days Away (2:29)
  10. 10 The Passion (2:54)
  11. 11 The Warmest Room (3:57)
  12. 12 The Home Front (4:12)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Sin City (3:34)
  2. 2 Deportees (4:03)
  3. 3 There Is Power in a Union (3:16)
  4. 4 The Tracks of My Tears (2:56)
  5. 5 Wishing the Days Away (2:32)
  6. 6 The Clashing of Ideologies (2:52)
  7. 7 Greetings to the New Brunette (3:57)
  8. 8 A Nurse's Life Is Full of Woe (2:48)
  9. 9 Only Bad Signs (3:10)
  10. 10 Hold the Fort (1:47)
Disc 7
  1. 1 Internationale (3:49)
  2. 2 I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night (1:29)
  3. 3 The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions (4:00)
  4. 4 Blake's Jerusalem (2:31)
  5. 5 Nicaragua, Nicaragüita (1:08)
  6. 6 The Red Flag (3:13)
  7. 7 My Youngest Son Came Home Today (3:08)
  8. 8 Introduction (0:57)
  9. 9 Help Save the Youth of America (2:36)
  10. 10 Think Again (4:21)
  11. 11 Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto (3:09)
  12. 12 Days Like These (2:40)
  13. 13 To Have and to Have Not (2:47)
  14. 14 There Is Power in a Union - The Pattersons (3:27)
  15. 15 Joe Hill (8:23)
  16. 16 This Land Is Your Land (4:35)
  17. 17 Never Cross a Picket Line (3:38)
  18. 18 A Change Is Gonna Come (3:58)
  19. 19 A Miner's Life (3:01)
Disc 8
  1. 1 There Is Power in a Union
  2. 2 Between the Wars
  3. 3 Nicaragua, Nicaragüita
  4. 4 I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  5. 5 To Have and to Have Not
  6. 6 The Milkman of Human Kindness
  7. 7 Island of No Return
  8. 8 Between the Wars
  9. 9 The World Turned Upside Down
  10. 10 Levi Stubbs' Tears
  11. 11 Help Save the Youth of America
  12. 12 A New England
  13. 13 Wishing the Days Away
  14. 14 People Get Ready
  15. 15 Tupelo Honey
  16. 16 Star
  17. 17 A13, Trunk Road to the Sea
Disc 9
  1. 1 To Have and to Have Not
  2. 2 A13, Trunk Road to the Sea
  3. 3 Island of No Return
  4. 4 A Lover Sings
  5. 5 A New England
  6. 6 Which Side Are You On?
  7. 7 Between the Wars
  8. 8 Lovers Town Revisited
  9. 9 Levi Stubbs' Tears
  10. 10 The World Turned Upside Down
  11. 11 It Says Here
  12. 12 Island of No Return
  13. 13 Which Side Are You On?
  14. 14 Love Gets Dangerous
  15. 15 Richard
  16. 16 Train Train
  17. 17 A New England
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Billy Bragg Primary Artist
Dick Gaughan Musician
Kirsty MacColl Musician
David Bedford Musician
Chris Thompson Banjo, Musician
Lorraine Bowen Musician
Ken Craddock Musician
Charlie Llewellin Musician
Johnny Marr Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals, Musician
Simon Moreton Musician
John Porter Mandolin, Musician
George Shilling Percussion, Musician
Grant Showbiz Musician
Cara Tivey Musician
Bobby Valentino Musician
Hank Wangford Mandolin, Vocals, Musician
Dave Woodhead Trumpet, Musician
Cor Cochion Caerdydd Musician
Nigel Frydman Musician
Kenny Jones Musician
Robert Handley Vocals, Musician
Christie Cory Band Musician
Heathens All Musician
Technical Credits
Dick Gaughan Composer
Hubert Parry Composer
Chris Hillman Composer
Eric Bogle Composer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Phil Ochs Composer
David Bowie Composer
Billy Bragg Composer, Adaptation
John Cale Composer
Sam Cooke Composer
Mick Jagger Composer
Curtis Mayfield Composer
Gram Parsons Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
Bobby Troup Composer
Earl Robinson Composer
Melody Makers Author
William Blake Composer
Bernice Johnson Reagon Composer
Leon Rosselson Composer
Derek Bolland Engineer
Edward DeBono Producer
Steve Goldstein Engineer
Peter Haigh Engineer
Andy Kershaw Author
Charlie Llewellin Engineer
Johnny Marr Composer
Warren "Pete" Moore Composer
Van Morrison Composer
Morrissey Composer
Step Parikian Engineer
John Porter Producer
Keith Richards Composer
Grant Showbiz Producer
Marvin Tarplin Composer
Zenon de Fleur Composer
Barney Bubbles Cover Design
Pierre Degeyter Composer
Traditional Composer
Carlos Mejia Godoy Composer
Kenny Jones Producer, Engineer
Oliver Hitch Producer, Engineer
Sabine Troendle translation
Caramel Crunch Cover Design
Heeps Willard Original Cover Artwork
Florence Reece Composer
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