Billy Bragg “life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy” 30th Anniversary Edition*

“I was 21 years when I wrote this song. I’m 22 now but I won’t be for long!”

How many great records came out 30 years ago? Recent mentions have been Aztec Camera’s “High Land Hard Rain”, The Smiths “This Charming Man” as well as “Murmur”, “Power Corruption and Lies”, “Head over heels” and now Billy Bragg’s debut. 1983 really was a wonderful year. I remember watching Billy on the Tube. Wasn’t everything great on the Tube? We really were spoilt. Every Friday night a great band or singer would appear from nowhere and change our lives!! He performed 2 or 3 tracks from this great debut LP. (see link below) We call it an LP but at 17 minutes it wasn’t much longer than a 12″ single. 7 tracks all short and to the point. Telling tales of loneliness, unrequited love, the dole and space hardware! He was mixing sex and politics and touching the heart of every teenager who’d just left school and couldn’t get a job or a girlfriend!! This month the LP is re-issued not as a 6 CD box set with hard back book and other things no one really wants at a cost of £100. It is merely brushed down and the only addition is a live version of the whole album that Billy recorded as an encore at The Union Chapel, London on the 5th of June this year. So the whole thing clocks in at 34 minutes long. It doesn’t quite have the pay no more than £3.99 sticker on it like the original but the download is available almost as cheaply. Billy has always worn his socialist credentials like a badge of honour. After 30 years he is not going to start to rip people off. So if you don’t own it, buy it. If you’ve got the original on vinyl, buy the CD purely for the live version which is excellent. Go see Billy as he is touring this month. (Dates on his website) He might even do the whole album as an encore!!

“At 21 your on top of the scrapheap, at 16 you were top of your class!!!!

*I know Billy is from Barking which is not in the North but his support of the miners and general greatness over the past 30 years has made him an honorary Northerner!!!!

LINKS:

BILLY BRAGG: http://www.billybragg.co.uk/

“A NEW ENGLAND” (The Tube. October 1983): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv4CNoq8nC4

By peter on November 3, 2013


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