Billy Bragg, Vol. 1

Billy Bragg, Vol. 1

by Billy Bragg
     
 
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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/07/2006
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457260023
catalogNumber:
2600

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. The Milkman of Human Kindness
  2. To Have and to Have Not
  3. Richard
  4. A New England
  5. The Man in the Iron Mask
  6. The Busy Girl Buys Beauty
  7. Lovers Town Revisited

Disc 2

  1. Strange Things Happen
  2. The Cloth (1)
  3. Love Lives Here
  4. Speedway Hero
  5. Loving You Too Long
  6. This Guitar Says Sorry
  7. Love Gets Dangerous
  8. The Cloth (2)
  9. The Man in the Iron Mask
  10. A13, Trunk Road to the Sea
  11. Fear Is a Man's Best Friend

Disc 3

  1. It Says Here
  2. Love Gets Dangerous
  3. The Myth of Trust
  4. From a Vauxhall Velox
  5. The Saturday Boy
  6. Island of No Return
  7. St. Swithin's Day
  8. Like Solidiers Do
  9. This Guitar Says Sorry
  10. Strange Things Happen
  11. A Lover Sings

Disc 4

  1. It Must Be a River
  2. I Won't Talk About It
  3. Talking Wag Club Blues
  4. You Got the Power
  5. The Last Time
  6. Back to the Old House
  7. A Lover Sings
  8. Which Side Are You On?
  9. It Says Here
  10. Between the Wars
  11. The World Turned Upside Down

Disc 5

  1. Greetings to the New Brunette
  2. Train Train
  3. The Marriage
  4. Ideology
  5. Levi Stubbs' Tears
  6. Honey I'm a Big Boy Now
  7. There Is Power in a Union
  8. Help Save the Youth of America
  9. Wishing the Days Away
  10. The Passion
  11. The Warmest Room
  12. The Home Front

Disc 6

  1. Sin City
  2. Deportees
  3. There Is Power in a Union
  4. The Tracks of My Tears
  5. Wishing the Days Away
  6. The Clashing of Ideologies
  7. Greetings to the New Brunette
  8. A Nurse's Life Is Full of Woe
  9. Only Bad Signs
  10. Hold the Fort

Disc 7

  1. Internationale
  2. I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night
  3. The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions
  4. Blake's Jerusalem
  5. Nicaragua, Nicaragüita
  6. The Red Flag
  7. My Youngest Son Came Home Today
  8. Introduction
  9. Help Save the Youth of America
  10. Think Again
  11. Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto
  12. Days Like These
  13. To Have and to Have Not
  14. There Is Power in a Union
  15. Joe Hill
  16. This Land Is Your Land
  17. Never Cross a Picket Line
  18. A Change Is Gonna Come
  19. A Miner's Life

Disc 8

  1. There Is Power in a Union
  2. Between the Wars
  3. Nicaragua, Nicaragüita
  4. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  5. To Have and to Have Not
  6. The Milkman of Human Kindness
  7. Island of No Return
  8. Between the Wars
  9. The World Turned Upside Down
  10. Levi Stubbs' Tears
  11. Help Save the Youth of America
  12. A New England
  13. Wishing the Days Away
  14. People Get Ready
  15. Tupelo Honey
  16. Star
  17. A13, Trunk Road to the Sea

Disc 9

  1. To Have and to Have Not
  2. A13, Trunk Road to the Sea
  3. Island of No Return
  4. A Lover Sings
  5. A New England
  6. Which Side Are You On?
  7. Between the Wars
  8. Lovers Town Revisited
  9. Levi Stubbs' Tears
  10. The World Turned Upside Down
  11. It Says Here
  12. Island of No Return
  13. Which Side Are You On?
  14. Love Gets Dangerous
  15. Richard
  16. Train Train
  17. A New England

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
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
Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers   Author
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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