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Back to Basics

11 customer reviews

Price: £31.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Music

Image of album by Billy Bragg

Photos

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Biography

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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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 (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,163 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The milkman of human kindness
2. To have and to have not
3. Richard
4. Lovers town revisited
5. A new England
6. The man in the iron mask
7. The busy girl buys beauty
8. It says here
9. Love gets dangerous
10. From a Vauxhall Velox
11. The myth of trust
12. The saturday boy
13. Island of no return
14. This guitar says sorry
15. Like soldiers do
16. St. Swithins day
17. Strange things happen
18. A lover sings
19. Betwwen the wars
20. The world turned upside down
See all 21 tracks on this disc

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.

Amazon.co.uk

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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2001
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 2000
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mathew@parkinsonm95.freeserve.co.uk on 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig Boxshall on 14 Sept. 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Billy Bragg came to prominence during the Thatcher years, and the political songs have worn less well than the off-beat love songs, hence one star deducted. His delivery is very direct, often accompanied only by an electric guitar.
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