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Back to Basics

Billy Bragg Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £29.98
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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He was born Steven William Bragg in Essex around the time Tommy Steele was climbing the singles charts with Happy Guitar and the Soviet Union was launching Sputnik 2 into space. Today, on the verge of the release of his eleventh and best album, Mr. Love & Justice, he is known as Billy Bragg by his loyalists worldwide yet he is still called Steven by his Mother and still referred to as the ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Bragg Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Back to Basics + Victim of Geography + England,Half English
Price For All Three: £70.66

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Oct 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B000024VL8
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Milkman of Human Kindness 2:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. To Have and to Have Not 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Richard 2:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Lovers Town Revisited 1:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. A New England 2:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Man in the Iron Mask 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Busy Girl Buys Beauty 1:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. It Says Here 4:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Love Gets Dangerous 2:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. From a Vauxhall Velox 2:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Myth of Trust 2:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Saturday Boy 3:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Island of No Return 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. This Guitar Says Sorry 2:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Like Soldiers Do 2:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. St. Swithin's Day 3:50£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Strange Things Happen 2:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. A Lover Sings 3:51£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Between the Wars 2:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. The World Turned Upside Down 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Which Side Are You On 2:34£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

This collection of feisty early recordings (the Between the Wars EP and the Brewing Up LP) features England's loudest socialist folkie, usually armed only with an electric guitar and a millennium's worth of outrage, attacking those in power (lazy journalists in "It Says Here", the eternal mining aristocracy in "The World Turned Upside Down") with precision and enough energy to make even the most dogmatic lyrics sound colloquial and persuasive. Bragg is a one-man Clash here, seeking to demolish all he can and then build a better world with his electric guitar and his righteousness as the only tools he'll need. --Jimmy Guterman

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can they only charge six quid for this? 6 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Why should you buy this? The first reason is simply that it is outstanding value for money - two albums and an EP lumped onto one low price CD. Older fans will remember that Billy Bragg used to put "Pay no more than ......" messages on the front of his LPs so this generosity is no surprise.
For the uninitiated, Billy Bragg is unique (as far as I know) in that he plays songs with only an ELECTRIC guitar as accompaniment. The result is stark and powerful, for people who like their music that way. Of course his lyrical strengths and ear for a good tune also add to this.
Bragg is known for his militant political stance and songs such as "To have and have not", "Between the Wars" and the strident "Which side are you on?" are some of the highlights of this CD, but perhaps underestimated in the face of this is his ability to write strong songs about love and relationships. The charming "The milkman of human kindness" , the regretful "Saturday Boy" and "The Myth of Trust" are all strong players, but perhaps the strongest track of all is "The Man in the Iron Mask" about a man who puts up with his girlfriend's affairs, presumably because he has no choice but to stay with her.
And then of course, there's also the original version of "A New England" which Kirsty McColl took into the charts. All in all, Billy Bragg made some of the most beautifully honest and perhaps most underestimated music of the early 80's. Nick Drake meets The Jam here. Buy it.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ~A Timeless Classic - I Third That 1 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
"Billy Bragg? He's that lefty bloke who can't sing" is the usual reaction by people who've never listened to him. The whole point of Billy Bragg is that he is an absolute genius of a songwriter, the best that this country has produced in the last 25 years without question. Equally heartfelt whether he is writing about love, politics or everyday life, the fact that countless people have covered his material is a testament to his songwriting ability. "Back to Basics" stunningly demonstrates this. Billy demonstrates brilliant mastery of dynamics and structure on this album, despite the fact that it is just him, an electric guitar and pretty basic production. This is one of the most evocative, thought provoking and witty albums I have ever heard, as fresh and relevant now as when the original albums were released in the early 1980's.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . 3 April 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is one of those spinetingly albums that musicians live for. The overwhelming starkness of the production only serves to accentuate Billy Bragg's outstanding talent at writing a great song.
His voice sounds like that bloke that plays down the open-mic session down the local, his guitar playing is reminiscent of the way your strat-copy sounded when you practiced in your bedroom with your 40 Watt Page Amp and the headphones you mum made you wear, yet singers and musicians all over the place have covered song after song after song.
What is it about Billy that stands out from all the other wannabe rock stars? It could be the genius way with words he has, making the mundane sound magical and the magical sound mundane. It could be the way he cleverly renders the drum beat, the bassline, the harmony vocals and the string section, all from one slightly off-key guitar. Or it could just be because he sounds like the bloke from down the pub, like yourself when you were young, like anyone, but you just know the songs are something special.
Favourite lyrics:
I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware?
I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care
--- A New England ---
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic 26 Jan 2000
Format:Audio CD
'Back to Basics' is Billy Bragg's first two LP's, 'Lifes a Riot with Spy vs Spy', and 'Brewing up with Billy Bragg', 17 and 16 years old respectively, plus the 'Between the Wars' EP. It has to be said that Billy's sound is unique, and has never been copied despite the successful formula of 'one man and his guitar'. The songs are a cross between folk and punk, with hard cutting riffs, witty lyrics and accompanied by Billy's obvious vocals. A timeless classic for sure. You really must buy, steal or borrow a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right title 14 Sep 2009
Format:MP3 Download
Having seen the excellent Mr Bragg at this year's Beverley Folk Festival, where he played a good few of his old songs (and crowd-pleasing favourites to sing along to) I though it was time to revisit some of his earlier albums, and fill a gap in my collection. This fits the bill to a T. The title of the album says it all. These are raw, emotional, angry and powerful songs, stripped back to mostly solo voice and electric guitar. The songs just don't need any embelishment. Mr B still does them the same way live now, just updating a few words here and there to take a pop or three at Messrs Bush, Blair and Brown. Vintage and timeless stuff. Load some songs onto your MP3 player or phone and sing along - loudly!
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