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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Thatcher was Shaking in her Jackboots, 6 Mar 2002
Back in 1985 Billy Bragg shook off his monotonic, acoustic routine and jazzed himself up a bit. The result is this enjoyable and powerful album that fuses both melody and fine lyrics. The fiery passion of Socialism soars from this landmark record in an explosion of musical merriment.
'Talking to the Taxman' begins with 'Greetings to the New Brunette', a song imbued with guitar and feeling. Not sure what's it's all about, but you can't argue with lines such as 'I'm celebrating my love for you / With a pint of beer and a new tattoo' and 'how can you lie there and think of England / when you don't even know who'se in the team?' Track three - "Marriage" - was my favourite song for many years: 'Marriage is when we admit our parents were right'.
Track four, the brilliantly and simply entitled 'Ideology', is also fantastic. It gets you all worked up. After twenty years we're still asking the same question - "Is there more to a seat in Parliament / than sitting, on your arse?". The song / battle cry 'Power in a Union' needs no explanation.
The album, however, is not all hammers and sickles. Billy isn't just an angry leftie. 'Levi Stubbs Tears' is a melancholic exploration of a caged woman - an Eleanor Rigby for the 1980's. Anger also turns to thoughtfulness in such songs as 'The Warmest Room' and 'The Home Front'.
My advice is this: buy the album, re-live those halcyon days and sing along to the sound of good old-fashioned Socialism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic from the '80s, 22 Feb 2002
This CD is the best of Billy Bragg for miles. Songs like Grettings to the new brunette, Ideology, There's power in a union, Levi stubb's tears are all classic that you can listen for years an always be shock with them. The lyrics of Billy are great and if you like the folk music you have to get this right now!!.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talking With Amazon about Billy., 22 Mar 2008
This review is from: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (Audio CD)
Anyone who subtitles there LP `The Difficult Third Album' is not building up peoples expectations and although `Taxman' may have been `Difficult' for its author for the listener it is an absolute delight.

The album opens strongly with what would become its second single `Greetings to the New Brunette' with Bragg's aching guitar being complimented by John Porter on Bass and Johnny Marr on guitar (respectively The Smiths producer and guitarist) and backing vocals provided by the late Kirsty MacColl whom had done more for promoting Bragg then anyone else by getting her `Pop' cover of Bragg's `A New England' into the charts. Although many mourned the death of pure `Urban' folk it has to be said that the enthusiasm for a further album of a man shouting over his own urgent electric guitar accompaniment may have eventually waned. The additional musicians are used only sparingly but enough to keep you interest in the arrangements as well as the lyrics.

From this strong opening Billy takes us through a cover of Pub Rock outfit The Count Bishops `Train Train' whom were on the Chiswick label when Billy Bragg and colleagues Riff Raff put out the classic single `Romford Girls'. Following this are some of the strongest songs in Billy's cannon `The Marriage', `Ideology', the taster single `Levi Stubbs' Tears', `Honey, I'm a Big Boy Now', `There is Power in a Union', `Help Save the Youth of America' and `Wishing the Days away'. I think the last three songs are probably the weakest on this album and yet strong enough to be better than the majority of songs recorded in 1986.

Of the Bonus tracks collected here the cover versions are the most telling and although the Woody Guthrie cover `Deportees' could have been predicted Gram Parsons `Sin City' and most staggering Smokey Robinson's `The Tracks of my Tears' are obviously curiosities they are strangely fascinating. Bootleg the Bragg, confuse the enemy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BRAGGTASTIC!!!, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (Audio CD)
This album is brilliant... from start to finish every song is amazing. What other songwriter could produce lyrics that touch on every aspect of society and the oppressive politicians and rich businessmen... oops sorry they seem to be one another. Pure, honest music from a pure honest man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The words are the thing, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (Audio CD)
The lyrics of every song are truly worth listening to. When words and tune work best he creates minor masterpieces.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CD, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (Audio CD)
I collect books and CDs of all kinds and all subjects. This is a new interest so wanted some appropriate items. Good price and excellent transaction. Would use again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars classic - made better, 19 April 2013
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Mr. Charles P. Ross (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Talking With The Taxman About Poetry (Audio CD)
Great album, now uprated with good support material. Almost ageless, in that Billy Bragg way, certainly the extra tracks enhance the experience
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Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
Talking With The Taxman About Poetry by Billy Bragg (Audio CD - 2010)
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