Weekly Vinyl – Billy Bragg

25 Oct

Talking to the Taxman about Poetry
Billy Bragg
(1986)
SONY DSC
I bought this album in Ukraine.
The album cover proclaims that the buyer should “Pay No More Than £4.49.”
I did not overpay. I believe I shelled out about 20 cents for this album at the Universal Store (Univernah) on Kyiv’s main street Khreshchatyk. The currency crisis was insane in Ukraine in the early 90s.
I suspect that this album is a pirated copy, since it was made in Vilnus, Lithuania. Perhaps that company had the rights? It was one of several records that I picked up and is one of my favourites.
Many people dismiss Mr. Bragg by saying his songs are overtly left-wing political. There is a bit of that but it is really not much of a distraction – except for “There is Power in the Union” – that is a very overt signal but a very well executed and powerful song. Most people have not heard this song and should listen to this version.
Although there are some backing musicians on this album, notably Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Kirsty MacColl, Kenny Jones of the Small Faces and The Who, among others, the music is sparse on this album.
It has a great vibe.
It has great lyrics.
It is a great album.

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